Hydroponics or Soil – Pros and Cons

When it comes to growing cannabis, you have two options; soil  for indoor or outdoor growing or a hydroponic setup which can also be used for indoor or outdoor growing. Soil is one of the most traditional ways to grow cannabis but enthusiasts of indoor growing using a variety of hydroponic systems, are growing in numbers across Canada.

While it can be difficult to replicate the great material, natural elements and nutrients that you find in soil, with a little experience and the purchase of high-quality nutrients, you can get some fantastic results from a hydroponic setup.

The biggest factor differentiating both grow mediums is quality versus yield. With an outdoor soil grow, you’ll typically get a higher yield because plants aren’t limited by overhead space and the plants have room to spread out and grow. You’ll typically get 400g of bud per plant with outdoor soil-grown plants in optimal conditions. There are also certain strains that deliver higher yields outdoors.

With a hydroponic setup, you’ll typically get a smaller yield because your plants simply don’t have as much room to grow and you may not get as much root development as you do in an outdoor soil grow. However, what you may lose in quantity, you often make up with quality. With a hydroponic setup, you can give your plants the exact amount of light, air, nutrients and humidity that they require at each growth stage where you may not be able to regulate these important aspects with an outdoor grow. Weather conditions including low temperatures, lack of sunlight and wind can negatively impact your plants and outdoor growing in Canada is limited to a much shorter growing season than an indoor hydroponic system which is year round.

The cost of growing Cannabis outdoors is minimal and while it may cost a small investment to set up an indoor system, you’ll recoup the cost of the setup after several grows. Ultimately, the type of medium you choose to grow your cannabis plants will depend on many factors; space, outdoor environment and possible financial restraints of an indoor setup.


Quality or quantity; it all comes down to how you choose to grow your cannabis and what strain of cannabis you choose to grow! Although a hydroponic system takes a small up-front investment and some ongoing lighting costs, the ability to control the exact amount of light, nutrients and humidity at each growth stage helps to ensure a healthy plant that yields quality cannabis buds. If cost is an issue and you prefer to grow your cannabis outdoors, you may want to choose a strain that thrives in an outdoor growing environment. Whether grown indoors or outdoors, you must start with good quality seeds and care for your plants every step of the way and as your experience growing cannabis grows, so will your yields!