Does Pot Size Matter in Hydroponics? (Yes, It Certainly Does)

The demand for hydroponic system is growing exponentially. It’s very easy to maintain and also self sustainable.

But, does pot size matter in hydroponics?

Choosing the correct pot size for their hydroponic plants is challenging for new growers. However, without the correct pot size, your plant will not grow as much and its root development will be hampered.

does pot size matter in hydroponics
does pot size matter in hydroponics

While small pots cause the roots to suffocate, bigger pots for small plants can lead to over-evaporation of growing liquids even before the plants can absorb them. Thus it’s essential to make sure that the plants and the pot size complement. 

Choosing the right pot size requires additional considerations like plant type, temperature, and space. This article covers it all to help you understand the whole process better. 

Does Pot Size Matter in Hydroponics?

Pots sizes impact the growth of hydroponic plants. As contrary to popular opinion, bigger pots are not always use for the plants. Various types of pots are available and one must choose them based on factors like temperature, space, and plant type. 

Plant growth depends heavily on the pot size in hydroponic gardening, unlike in regular gardening. If you are opting for small pots your plants might get waterlogged if you are not cautious and in large pots, the nutrient solutions may evaporate before the plant can absorb them.

Overall the ideal pot size will determine the growth rate of your plant.

Things to Consider for Choosing the Right Pot Size 

To give hydroponic plants the beat growth scopes, you must consider a few points. All these factors will help you select the ideal pot for your hydroponic plants and thus help the growth of your plants. 

Things to Consider for Choosing the Right Pot Size 
Things to Consider for Choosing the Right Pot Size 


The amount of space you will need depends on the type of space available to you. For instance, indoor hydroponic setup requires lesser space than outdoor systems. Please consider the floor space and the height ro get a clear idea about the space. If you face height restrictions opt for smaller pots. But bare in mind, these will result in shorter plants. 


Temperature is often a challenging element especially for young growers. It’s noticed that pots dry quickly in indoor LED settings or when they are kept in direct sunlight.

You can resolve this issue by increasing the flood time with a strong ebb and flow system. Drip irrigation is a popular method for this. If you setup in a cold area large pots will be over moistured which may cause the plants to suffocate and rot.


Pot size are crucial for fruit-bearing plants. Your pot size for adding cuttings or seedlings should be smaller than when potting healthy plants. You can start with the 4-inch pots for the early days ans then transfer the plants to 6-12 inch pots once it develops roots. Transferring to bigger pots encourage better root growth. 

What are Smart Pots and Air Pots?

Smart and air pots significantly improve over traditional pots and have become quite popular among gardeners. Both smart pots and air pots provide extra oxygen to the plant roots. One of the biggest advantages of using these types of pots is that you can grow hydro while still hand-watering the soil. 

Smart Pots


  • Breathable fabrics keep the plant roots cool.
  • Encourages a healthy root system.
  • Eliminates the scope of overwatering.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Easy to add holes for spreaders.
smart pots hydroponics
smart pots hydroponics

These are soft-sided fabric containers for growing your plants. The fabric used is light and porous which is similar to landscaping materials. The material is also BPA free and functions well for organic gardening and food crops. 


✅ Keeps the roots cool and comfortable.
✅ Air pruning leads to the better root structure.
✅ Prevents overwatering.
✅ Provides storage space.
✅ Flexibility.


❌ Requires more space.
❌ They don’t feature a drip tray.
❌ Difficult to move and transport.
❌ Requires frequent watering.

Air Pots


  • They are always plastic made.
  • Cylindrical in shape.
  • Black color.
  • Features small holes for air to pass through the soil.
Air Pots hydroponics
Air Pots hydroponics

Though they have become a brand in themselves owing to their popularity in the horticulture industry, air pots are a subset of products from the Superroota Company. These pots cons in many sizes and have been created to improve the development of plant roots. 

As a rule of thumb, for every foot, a plant grows it has 2-3 times roots in the soil. Air pots provide oxygen to the growing roots, not the trapped ones, as they are pruned when they reach the soil edge. 


✅ Provide oxygen to roots.
✅ Eliminates root binding.
✅ Ideal for small spaces.
✅ Ide doe normal drip trays.
✅ Firm.


❌ Not ideal for big plants.
❌ Requires regular watering.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I put a small plant in a large pot?

Putting a small plant in a large pot adversely affects the plant’s growth. If the pot is too big, the growth solution given to the plants evaporates quickly even before the plants can absorb it. This leads to the undergrowth of plants.

What do you put in hydroponic pots?

Most often perlite and vermiculite are used in hydroponic pots as growing mediums. However, their application needs to be limited. Since they both float they cannot be used in ebb and flow hydroponic systems. However, they both provide sufficient oxygen to the roots.

Can you reuse smart pots?

Yes. If sufficient care is taken, smart pots can be reused many times. Once the pots are dry, fold them and store them in a clean dry place to reuse when required.


To ensure the success of your hydroponic garden, you must give proper attention to the pot sizes. This article has mentioned a few things you must consider before selecting the ideal pots for your plants.

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