In all the hydroponics websites I’ve Googled up, only one (sadly, I’ve lost the link to that one. If anyone comes upon a site which has information like what I’m writing in this post, please let me know the link!) has ever brought up the effect of hydroponics on a perennial plant (or at least, not a cut-and-grow-again plant) with regards to unequal nutrients uptake.

It wasn’t until my chocolate mint which was growing extremely well in hydroponics died, that I went to Google again and found out the very possible reason why: unequal nutrients uptake, with a wrong method of replenishing the hydroponics solution in the bottle of mine.

What happens is this.

The plants absorb nutrients from the hydroponics solution at different rates. With that in mind, it means that over the course of say, a few days to a week, the remaining solution (if any) contains nutrients in varying amounts: some are in excess; some are in severe lack.

If, assuming there is still remaining solution, and over a long period of time, one only keeps topping up the solution, then over that period of time, some nutrients will accumulate in great excess; others in great lack. Your plants will suffer and will die off rather quickly.

I’ve learnt to always pour away any excess solution at the end of each week, and then pour in new solution. Or, if I’ve grown familiar with how much solution my plant takes up in a day, I can make sure that I top up the empty container at the end of each day.

Forget to do that, and well, what you’ll see is gradual yellowing of leaves and those yellow leaves falling off in great batches everyday, until your plant kneels over and die a watery grave of sorts.

Note: my healthy mint in the setup in the picture lasted only about four to five months before dying.