The Best Hydroponic Books For Beginners and Beyond

Ed Wike
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Hydroponics is a system in which plants grow in water that contains dissolved nutrients. In the hydroponic system, plants grow in an inert growing media, with their roots bathed in the nutrient solution.

Hydroponics can be used indoors in greenhouses, or outdoors in fields. In many places, such as Israel, Australia, England, and the United States, indoor hydroponic farming is becoming increasingly popular. With the rising cost of land to grow crops, many people are choosing to practice Gardening indoors.

Let's find out the best books to guide you to master the art of hydroponic farming.

Hobby HydroponicsBest OverallHobby Hydroponics
Botany for GardenersBudget PickBotany for Gardeners
Hydroponics: A Practical GuideUpgrade PickHydroponics: A Practical Guide

1. Hobby Hydroponics

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hobby Hydroponics

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  • Large library of information
  • Easy to read and understand
  • Includes multiple tips to get started
  • Provides a wide range of information on various topics


  • Not for absolute beginners
  • Some information might be outdated

Hobby Hydroponics is a simple, beginner-oriented guide on what hydroponics is about and why it is important. The author has made the book easy to understand by incorporating many of the existing topics presented, however at the same time, only a basic knowledge of these various topics is required to understand this book.

This book determines why hydroponics is better than soil, and water is the answer. You will learn to determine the ideal time for watering and how to spot root disease symptoms, all of which are essential when growing any type of plant, whether via hydroponics or soil. You will also learn how to construct your little greenhouse easily.

This book provides the reader with information on some of the typical hobby hydroponic units available in the marketplace. It provides information on the following: crop varieties, seed sources, training techniques for the various crops, and suggests the best environmental conditions for growth.

2. Botany for Gardeners

Our rating: 7 / 10

Botany for Gardeners

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  • Useful for home gardeners and small farmers alike
  • Comprehensive and easy to follow
  • A good book for ‘Gardening Basics’


  • It may be too difficult for some novice gardeners
  • Doesn’t include much information about the hydroponic gardening method

Botany for Gardeners is a great introduction to botany and horticulture for anyone interested in gardening or hydroponics.

It introduces botany related to horticulture so that any novice can understand, making it easy for the novice gardener to get a good grounding in the subject.

3. Hydroponic Food Production: A Definitive Guidebook

Our rating: 6 / 10

Hydroponic Food Production: A Definitive Guidebook

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  • Shows the reader how to set up a hydroponic operation with the options of using any of the many hydroponic cultures presently used in the industry to grow vegetable crops
  • Provides background in plant physiology and nutrition essential for growing these crops
  • Describes nutrient formulations and their applications in nutrient solutions with calculations
  • Provides detailed information on how to design, set up, and operate hydroponic culture systems
  • Featuring more than 500 photographs, drawings, and tables
  • This is a very in-depth guide to hydroponic growing
  • It is meant for both commercial and smaller home growers


  • All the pictures are black and white and of poor quality
  • Have useless detail on the finite properties of Perlite

The book covers the more complex issues, and there is a ton of information about hydroponics. The information about setting up an operation is very thorough and well-written. For home growers, it covers how to grow food, and some of the topics include growing peppers and a wealth of information about home food production.

4. Hydroponics: A Practical Guide

Our rating: 6 / 10

Hydroponics: A Practical Guide

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  • A Practical Guide for the Soilless Growers
  • Provides essential information on greenhouse design, function, and methods for crop production and management
  • State-of-the-art, comprehensive guide
  • Easy to read and understand


  • Not truly relevant to the home gardeners
  • Contains some calculus errors

Hydroponics: A Practical Guide for the Soilless Grower is vastly different from the other hydroponics books on the market. This is the Bible for those who want to learn how all plants grow and why soilless growing is a better option. It is a manual for beginners and advanced growers who want to know all the ins and outs of hydroponics.

5. How-To Hydroponics

Our rating: 6 / 10

How-To Hydroponics

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  • A step-by-step guide on how to build and operate all the hydroponic and aeroponic systems
  • The book is an updated version of the previous one and includes everything you need to know to start hydroponics.
  • Covers all the basics of hydroponic systems
  • The book is easy to understand even if you’re just a beginner


  • Not one color photo inside
  • Book has a poor understanding of chemistry and physics in particular

This book includes everything you need to know to start your own indoor and outdoor hydroponic systems. This book shows DIY kits with readily available common parts and a wide range of topics to help you with your growing needs.

6. Hydroponics: Questions & Answers

Our rating: 5 / 10

Hydroponics: Questions & Answers

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  • A common-sense approach to hydroponics that is easy to understand
  • Great reference book for beginners and experts
  • A practical question-and-answer seminar
  • Offers a hands-on experience of a hydroponics grower, author and teacher
  • There are 287 questions and answers on topics like plant nutrition, essential elements; plant diseases and cures, environmental needs; harvesting, storing; marketing, and more.


  • Not a bad book if you know nothing hydroponic

This book goes into detail about the steps you need to take to get started with hydroponics. Moreover, it covers everything from the environmental and geographical factors that help or hinder a crop to the efficiency of various hydroponic systems. You’ll be able to get started with a hydroponic system of your very own, no matter how large or small your space is.

7. Commercial Hydroponics: How to Grow 86 Different Plants in Hydroponics

Our rating: 4 / 10

Commercial Hydroponics: How to Grow 86 Different Plants in Hydroponics

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  • Complete, in-depth guides from expert growers
  • Easy to understand written style
  • Helpful diagrams
  • Covers hydroponics and aeroponics
  • Beautiful pictures and layout


  • Not detailed enough for me, unfortunately
  • Very weak nutrient formula information

The Commercial Hydroponics guide is great for anyone new to hydroponics and veteran growers expanding their knowledge. It has a ton of useful information and advanced strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best hydroponic system for beginners?

When it comes to indoor gardening, the best hydroponic system for beginners is probably the DWC system. DWC stands for “Deep Water Culture,” and it’s known for being easy to use, maintain, and troubleshoot.

It’s a bucket with an aquarium pump, an air hose, and air stones placed into a reservoir of nutrient-rich water. Seedlings are grown in net cups suspended from the water’s surface and fed with oxygen and nutrients from the water and air.

How do I start a hydroponic garden book?

First, you need to determine what type of hydroponics system you will use. Next, you need to find out what plants you want to grow. If you want vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers, you will need a hydroponic system capable of growing many plants.

For beginners, you can focus and learn on one system instead of trying to figure out everything and choose a book accordingly.

Which hydroponic method is best?

The Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is perhaps the most reliable and popular hydroponic method. The fundamentals are very easy to get your head around. The most important feature of NFT hydroponics is that plant roots are in direct contact with flowing nutrient solutions.

Which is better aquaponics or hydroponics?

Both hydroponics and aquaponics have clear benefits over soil-based gardening: lessened adverse environmental impacts, reduced consumption of resources, faster plant growth, and higher yields. Many believe that aquaponics is a better option over hydroponics when choosing a soilless growing system.


If you are just diving into the space of hydroponics or consider yourself a total pro, then this list of books is for you. There’s a book on this list for every stage of the journey, from beginners to advanced growers who strive to be the best. Each of these 7 books is chosen for its usefulness in helping growers at whatever stage they may be at in their journey.

Our Recommendation

Hobby HydroponicsBest OverallHobby Hydroponics
Botany for GardenersBudget PickBotany for Gardeners
Hydroponics: A Practical GuideUpgrade PickHydroponics: A Practical Guide