Colander Hydroponics




Make a cheap and easy hydroponic setup with household items.
You need a dark bucket.
A colander that will fit on the rim of the bucket.
An air pump, a few feet of air hose, an air stone.

Step 1: Bucket & Air

Take a clean dark bucket.
Remove the handle bar.
Why dark ? Otherwise you'll have algae grow.
Does not have to be black.
Why clean ?..... Leftover of soap or chemicals are not recommended.

Step 2: Plant Inside the Colander

You can plant almost anything in the colander.
Bulbs work great.
On the picture, you see an Amarilys also called Hippeastrum
These are very easy to grow, i grow them on water without nutrient !
If you carefully rince the roots of a young plant, and remove (almost) all soil, you can transfer it into hydroponics.
A young plant will have fewer and lighter roots.
I have done it many times, it works.

Step 3: Add Medium

Medium is what will hold the plants, and help transfer the nutrient to the plant.
You can use pebbles, sand, fired clay ,hydroton.

Step 4: Pump & Airstone

Branch pump and airstone.
Add water till it touches the bottom of the colander.

Step 5: Results

See the results.
I grow these on a radiator in front of a window, so they have enough light and heath.
Growth is spectacular, sometimes 1 inch per day.



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    29 Discussions


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I only grew Amarilys (hippeastrum) but I am certain it wil work with other plants. There is no reason it will not work. I personally switched to sub-irrigated planters, see


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    Airstones will agitate the water when air is feeded into them. Most important is to keep the air-hose low in the water. If you can keep your air-hose under water with a heavy object, I am sure it will work. Have you ever build a hydroponic system ? Try it, it is cheap and fun. Good luck to you ! Chefmichel


    9 years ago on Step 5

    ever grow "anything else" if u know what i mean with this system and can this system be used for coleus


    9 years ago on Step 5

    you got me to make 1 for me and 2 for my sisters. what about nutrients?

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    I am not a professional gardener, but read that the bulb has all it needs. See and other web sites. I use tap water. Just make sure the roots get enough "splash" You can also use hydroponic nutrients, it might grow even better. After the growing season, cut all the leaves flush to the bulb, and let it dry. Read more on "forcing the bulb". Good luck to you, keep us posted re the results.


    For a cheap "airstone" i found 1/4" soaker hose for drip Irrigation works well. Found it at Lowe's


    10 years ago on Step 5

    That's cool and cheap and beautiful! Thanks for sharing, one question about the bulbs: what happens after the flowering ? Does the bulb end its life or produce other bulbs underground ?

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    These bulbs are very resistant. You can leave the bulbs in the colander to dry, and reused them next season. The year after however, I got only flowers. I have to look this up or ask my supplier the reason why. Maybe next year I'll have flowers. By the way you can plant them in soil too.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You need to force the flower bulbs by giving them a cold treatment. The leaves are providing energy for the bulbs and when they bloom. They will be spectacular. Bless


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    it sounds like a good idea, Try it out and please tell us all how it works out. Good luck. Chefmichel


    12 years ago

    What I'd like to see is a way to do this whole process with homemade/found materials. That includes the nutrient solution. There must be some way of making he nutrient solution at home with compost... Just throwing out an idea, I am great at keeping Animals of all types alive (snakes, cockroachs, giant water bugs, nake mole-rates, etc.), but I keep a healthy plant if my life depended on it.

    4 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I've read that Alfalfa tea will work as a nutrient and will also LOWER THE pH, which is desirable when using 'tap' water (which is usually alkaline).