Deep Water Culture Pros and Cons You Should Know

Deep Water Culture

Deep Water Culture is a growth method of planting that is hydroponic. Plant roots are put in a well-oxygenated solution that is rich in nutrients. Plant roots are needed to water 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Other hydroponic techniques, such as Ebb and Flow, Aeroponics, and the Drip System, require plants to be watered on a continuous basis.

The term “deep” refers to the depth to which the roots must be buried in the water.

The reservoir in which the plants are housed must be able to hold a significant volume of water. The more water in the nutrient solution, the more stable it is and the less maintenance and monitoring it requires.

This method of planting has three important components:


Consider this system as if you were growing in soil and constantly watering your plants – one of the many advantages of growing hydroponically is that you never have to ‘water’ your plants again.


The roots are submerged in water rather than soil (which contains gaps and holes where air can escape).

The water must be sufficiently oxygenated to prevent the plant from drowning. An air pump and an air stone are used to do this.

The Nutrients

A good grade soil proves all of the micro and macronutrients that a plant requires to survive and develop.

We need to supplement the oxygen-rich water with nutrients to allow our plants to flourish because we don’t have soil.

This approach is called Deep Water Culture or DWC because of two things. First of all, you need a reservoir that can hold a reasonable amount of water.

More water in your fertilizer solution means more stability, which means less monitoring and maintenance for you.

The second explanation is the amount of root mass submerged in the water. Otherwise, soak your plant’s root zone in water several times a day and expose it to the air (ebb and flow systems are an excellent example of this).

Most of your plant’s root system remains submerged in deep-water crops 24 hours a day, seven days a week – hence the name!

Plant roots are hanging, exposed in the air, and watered continually in other systems, but in the DWC, they are submerged in oxygenated water that is oxygenated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How does Deep Water Culture Work?

Your plants will drown if you use too much water. You may have observed that your plants have died as a result of too much water.

True, but not in the case of DWC (or any other hydroponic method). Plants will survive and continue to live if you provide enough oxygen and suitable habitat for their roots.

Oxygen is essential in a water-filled system like the DWC.

Deep Water Culture solves the oxygen problem by creating air bubbles that rise from the nutrient solution and dissolve water in the reservoir using an air pump or falling water.

Plants in DWC can absorb enough oxygen while also absorbing nutrients and water throughout the day.

This allows them to develop quickly, and in many cases, better than their soil-grown counterparts.

Because the plants’ roots are submerged in water 24 hours a day, it’s critical that the air pump and airstone function continuously. Plant roots will suffer from waterlogging and oxygen deficiency if these items are not available. And death will be unavoidable.

A Process on How DWC Works:

In the reservoir, an air stone is connected to the air pump via the airline. It should be supplemented with nutrients and water. The plants should be placed in net pots over the reservoir’s nutrient solution.

A net pot resembles a cup; however, it is composed of reusable, stiff plastic mesh. This mesh enables a strong and resilient root system in your plants. If you use a regular cup with a hole on the bottom, your plants’ roots will only grow in one direction. However, upon the emergence of roots, roots can spread out from all different parts of your net pot. This is fantastic since it encourages a healthy root system.

When your roots come into contact with the nutrient solution, they will explode in size.

Instead of searching for water pockets in the soil, your plant roots can collect nutrients and water right immediately, thanks to this method.

The plant roots will have a little issue keeping submerged deep in water for the duration of the plant’s life cycle if the water is suitably oxygenated.

The plant roots do not suffocate because the bubbles rising through the nutrient solution and the dissolved oxygen in the water provide them with air and oxygen.

It is better when the deep-water culture system has more air bubbles. There should be enough bubbles in the water to make it appear to be boiling.

The Plants to Grow in DWC

Anything that will not produce a flower, such as many varieties of lettuce and a variety of herbs, is best suited for deep water culture system.

These plants grow quite quickly and are extremely healthy. Aside from that, tomatoes, peppers, and even larger fruits like squash can be grown with a little more work.

Pros of Deep Water Culture

The better absorption of nutrients and oxygen from the nutrient solution leads to faster growth. For example, instead of 60 days in the ground, you can grow lettuce and harvest it in 30 days.

Root ventilation promotes nutrient uptake and accelerates cell reproduction within the plants.

Fertilizer is not required as plants are immersed in deep water culture nutrients.

Once installed, it is easy to care for. There are no clogged nozzles, feed lines, or water pumps.

There are very few moving parts, and assembly is simple.

Cons of Deep Water Culture

The DWC system has a few drawbacks, but the benefits far exceed the drawbacks, and these drawbacks can be overlooked because any style of gardening necessitates maintenance. These are the drawbacks:

If your DWC breaks, there is a very small opening to replace the air pump. The plants will quickly deteriorate if the air pump is not operational for an extended period of time.

It’s difficult to maintain the temperature in a non-recirculating deep-water culture system since the water tends to grow too hot from the submersible pump that is working continuously.

In a small system, pH can all change drastically.

If there is an electrical outage or a pump failure, the plant roots may drown in a low-oxygen nutritional solution.

It’s quite easy to over-or under-calibrate small systems with a small scale.

Final Thoughts

The method of cultivating plants in aerated water is known as deep water culture. This system is considered by many gardeners to be the purest type of hydroponics.

If you’re new to the hydroponics method of growing plants, this is a low-cost (in comparison to other options) and straightforward DIY setup that both beginners and experienced growers will love.

The plant roots will thrive with enough aeration in the water and the correct temperature, and the growth rate and yields that this technology may accomplish are astounding.

Now, suitably informed with all the facts we can bring to you, we just want you to remember that it’s essential to follow the steps and be patient.

We wish you happy planting and joy while doing it!


Jennie Marie

Tribal Writer


Edited By

Patricia Godwin





Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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