Hydroponic Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Jeff
Posted on: July 14, 1998

I am involved in a project in which we utilize hydroponic greenhouse technology for year-round production of vegetables. For obvious reasons, we would like to identify the most viable and profitable herbs, or medicinal plants that can be grown using hydroponics.In your opinion, what would the best crop or mix of crops for year-round production and harvesting. Temp, humidity and amount of sunlight/shade are not problematic to mimic using our technology.

Hydroponic herb production will be covered at this year’s Richters Commercial Herb Growing Conference. A leading hydroponic systems engineer with over 20 years of experience in commercial hydroponics and with extensive experience with herbs will be presenting. He will give an overview of what herbs are most suitable, including medicinal herbs.

Among the herbs with the best potential for commercial hydroponic production are: basil, dill, cilantro, cress, savory, marjoram, oregano, mints, nasturtium, chives, sage. This is by no means exaustive; they are many other herbs that could be considered depending on the market.

The potential of medicinal herbs is less clear at the moment. In principle a hydroponic operation can be justified to grow a product that the market wants in fresh form. Generally, the medicinal market is adequately served by dried material that is produced in the field either locally or abroad. However, there is a growing market for fresh medicinals to go straight into tinctures in fresh form (not dried as is the case most of the time). This market, along with the potential of direct to consumer sales of fresh medicinals, is intriguing and, we believe, a growth opportunity. Some herbs that have been considered for hydroponic production are: gotu kola, echinacea, feverfew, and others.

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