How To Grow Hydroponic Kale: Beginner’s Guide With Steps

How To Grow Hydroponic Kale as a beginner. Kale has been one of the best vegetables for cultivation within a hydroponic habitat.

And for its flexibility and nutritional richness, it is commonly produced in various hydroponic greenhouses throughout the USA, CANADA, and UK as well as in other areas of the globe.

Kale is well-known for its delicious profundity all across the world. With its flexibility as well as dietary content, it is used in a variety of international dishes.

Why is hydroponic kale cultivation preferable? The extensive electrical conductivity spectrum of kale helps make it simpler to grow alongside various crops, resulting in a more diversified and lucrative yield.

Curly kale, as well as Scots kale, is by far the more popular kale cultivar cultivated using hydroponics. Kale is a multifunctional vegetable that thrives quickly, particularly within an indoor hydroponic garden.

Let’s get going on kale, which is a pretty intriguing vegetable to talk about.

  • Kale Plant Profile
  • Beginning With Their Seeds
  • What Are The Top Kale Cultivars for Hydroponic Developing?
  • Using a Variety of Hydroponic Systems For Developing Kale

Kale Plant Profile

Botanical NameBrassica oleracea
Common NameKale, ornamental kale  
Native AreaEurope
Hardiness Zones7 – 9(USDA)
Plant TypeVegetable, Annual/biennial
Bloom TimeSpring
Mature Size1 to 2ft. Tall and wide
Soil pH6.5 to 6.8 (Acidic)
Soil TypeMoist, well-drained, Loamy
Daylight ExposureBoth partial sun and full sun

How To Grow Hydroponic Kale With Seeds

Grow Hydroponic Kale With Seeds
Grow Hydroponic Kale With Seeds

Seeing your kale seeds mature into full-grown crops is usually a fulfilling sensation.

Because hydroponics offers perfect management of the environment, it is a great technique for kale seed beginning.

  • Normally, kale seeds are planted in growth cubes for sprouting, however, if you do have larger goals for your kale hydroponic garden, this will require a prolonged period.
  • Several commercial producers employ a vacuum seeder for expediting the procedure, but also pellet seeds remain simpler to manage because they are covered in clay.
  • When given adequate care and treatment, kale seeds will sprout in about 5 to 8 days.

What Are The Top Kale Cultivars for Hydroponic Developing?

Using your hydroponic setup, you may pick from a multitude of kale varieties to cultivate. A few cultivars, however, are probably more appropriate for hydroponics.

Let’s take a glimpse at the top hydroponically grown kale cultivars:

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1. Curly Kale

  • The curly type of kale has been the most prominent and is more likely what comes to mind when people think of this lush green vegetable.
  • Curly kale has curly foliage that ranges in hue from vibrant to deep green.
  • It also has a spicy taste that can become sour if cultivated for too long.

2. Scots Kale

  • Although this kale grows more slowly than other varieties, its fronds are nearly as curly as those of other varieties.
  •  It is basically a Scottish dwarf type of kale.
  • The main distinction between Scots kale as well as curly kale would be that Scots’ foliage is bluish in tone.
  • FUN FACT: Throughout Scotland, the term kale, or kail, clearly translates to “food.”

3. Kale (Red)

  • Russian red kale often referred to as red kale, would be another excellent cultivar to explore for hydroponically cultivating.
  •  It is frequently regarded as the best kale since it has a subtle delicious taste that others have little or no.
  • Similarly, its fronds are flatter but also softer unlike those of other types.

Overall, the three types listed here are still the most common for hydroponics, although they are by far the sole ones available. You might also try the following kale varieties:

  • Scarlett Kale
  • Winter Kale
  • Walking Stick Kale
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Siberian Kale
  • Ornamental Kale
  • Redbor Kale
  • Chinese Kale

Using a Variety of Hydroponic Systems For Developing Kale

Kale seedlings have substantially bigger roots, which is why they require more space to thrive.

There are several hydroponic techniques wherein your kale crops can thrive. Kale is also recognized as one of the most suitable crops for your hydroponic setup.

Deep Water Culture (DWC) system:

The roots can be submerged under water inside a typical water culture setup.

However, in order to be classified as a deep-water hydroponic system, the water has to remain at least 30.48 cm (12 inches) in depth. Kale may be produced in one of two kinds of DWC structures:

  • Floating Rafts: This sort of system is typically used by professional kale growers that want to increase the number of crops within their hydroponic garden.
  • Bucket DWC System: This has been the most common sort of technique used by enthusiasts to cultivate kale inside the convenience of their own homes. The Bucket system setup is fairly simple.

Kratky Method:

  • This Kratky technique is simple to monitor and maintain, and it gives every one of the perks of a hydroponic setup minus the time investment.
  • The kale seedlings in the Kratky technique are placed inside net containers with the aid of an appropriate growth medium.
  • The crop roots are partially exposed to air, with the lower portion immersed inside the deep-water tank.

Both techniques have benefits and are usable. The choice is determined by the system’s appropriateness for the farmer.

Ideal Cultivation Conditions and Caring Tips for Kale

Cultivation factors, of course, have a significant impact on how effectively your kale grows. The better the growth setting, the more productive your crops will be.

Hydroponic Kale Growing Conditions
Hydroponic Kale Growing Conditions

1. pH, EC, and PPM of Hydroponic Kale

The EC range for hydroponic kale would be typically 0.8 to 1.9, while the PPM ranges from 560 to 850, based on the variety. Kale grows best using hydroponic setups with a pH anywhere from 5.5 and 6.5.

2. Hydroponic Kale Exposure Requirements

Kale cultivated within indoor hydroponic setups needs 6 to 10 hours of daylight each day, particularly from LED grow lamps, such as specified suspended lamps setups having three modes as well as full-spectrum illumination.

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It is necessary to have at least 6 to 8 hours of continuous direct sunshine outdoors.

3. The Optimal Temperature for Growing Kale in a Hydroponic System

When producing hydroponic kale, you must keep two conditions in mind: the water temp, as well as the condition of your room/area in which the hydroponic setup is placed.

The temperature of the water ought to be within 63 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, while the temperature of the air within the system must be within 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moisture content around 45 and 55 percent are ideal.

Nutrient Regulation

Diverse micronutrients have diverse uses in crop growth. Kale, along with all other green vegetables, uses a great deal of nitrogen through its vegetative development period.

Nitrogen is required for the formation of larger and stronger leaves. Your kale crop uses extra phosphorus during the early stages of growth, while the roots are forming.

A couple of things can assist you in properly controlling your nutrition mixture, and they are as follows:

  • Checking the overall EC of the fertilizer solution: Regular EC assessment will allow you to make adjustments before everything goes awry.
  • Both elevated and reduced EC impair your plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.
  • Assessing the temperature of the kale nutritional solution is critical since high temperatures substantially diminish the solution’s air holding ability.
  • Crops take the majority of their air via their roots, which is also required for root expansion.

How To Grow Kale Using Hydroponics

Growing kale hydroponically is one of the easiest crops to master. Below are the steps you will need:

  • Germinate kale seeds outside of your hydroponic system.
  • Add proper nutrients for kale to your water reservoir.
  • Set the pH of your water to roughly 6.0 and the EC to approximately 1.0.
  • Regulate the water temperature to roughly 65°F or 70°F.
  • Transplant seedlings/plants into growing sites.
  • Maintain a temperature of between 50°F and 80°F around your system.
  • Set your lights to 6 to 10 hours on and 18 to 14 hours off.
  • Keep an eye on your kale hydroponic setup and all of its components.
  • Change the water and nutrients in your system every 14 to 21 days.
  • Make repairs to broken parts of your system as needed.

When Is Kale Harvested From A Hydroponic System?

Baby kale may most likely be harvested after around 30 days. A kale crop would need 60 or 90 days to wholly develop.

The quantity of green vegetables you love has a lot to do with your collecting techniques when it comes to kale output per plant.

If you pick leaves off the plant’s flanks selectively, it will usually continue to adapt and sustain growth. Kale’s development is frequently stunted when the top is cut off.

Recommendations For Pick & Come Again

  • Hold the outermost leaves at the bottom and draw them downward and outwardly to pick them.
  • Pick leaves from younger crops with a knife and perhaps scissors to avoid severing the primary stalk.
  • Pick only the outermost leaves.
  • Pick up and come back harvest would result in several crop yields because your hydroponic kale continues to produce.
  • To preserve your hydroponic kale crop robustly, simply pick the outermost leaves and allow at least four to five interior leaves to develop until you are prepared to pick and uproot the plant totally.
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Common Problems When Growing Kale Hydroponically

Now that we’ve discussed nearly everything there is to know about growing kale hydroponically, there’s just one thing left to cover: the common problems you may encounter when growing hydroponic kale.

Issues with Hydroponic kale
Issues with Hydroponic kale

Kale is such an easy/simple plant to grow in a hydroponic system that there aren’t too many serious issues associated with it.

The most common issues with growing kale hydroponically are:

1. Power Outages

Sudden power outages are the hydroponic gardeners’ worst enemy. When growing kale hydroponically, watch out for this bothersome problem, and avoid it at all costs.


Make sure you’re not overloading your power source or getting anything wet (that may cause a shortage). Also, keep your electricity bill paid on time!

2. Wrong pH, EC, or PPM

A common problem (with a simple fix) is having the wrong pH, EC, or PPM in your kale hydroponic reservoir’s water. It is a sure way to send your kale into shock or even kill them, eventually.


Test your system’s water daily, and adjust the pH, PPM, and EC levels as needed.

3. Not Changing Water

Speaking of checking on your hydroponic water daily, you must also change it out completely once every 2 to 3 weeks.

When you change your water, you need to add in new nutrients and adjust EC, pH, and PPM as well.


Set a schedule for changing your reservoir’s water, and stick to it. If necessary, schedule a notification on your smartphone!

4. Transplanting Too Soon

Another common problem with growing hydroponic kale is transplanting the seedlings/plants into your system’s grow sites too soon (or improperly “planting” them).

The roots of your kale should be successful in reaching the water and also be sufficiently developed to do just that.


Allow your kale plants to grow two sets of true leaves in addition to their first smooth ones (the sugar leaves) before you transplant them into your hydroponic growing system.

Is Hydroponic Kale Cut and Come Again?

Kale is one of those amazing veggies that you can cut when you harvest and it will grow back again.

Depending on how careful you are when cutting/harvesting, it may grow back several times. Some folks go as far as to claim to have the same kale growing in their systems for years at a time.

How To Grow and care for kale Hydroponically

Q: Can You Grow Kale Indoors Year-Round?

The Kale plant is a nutrient-dense, lush vegetable that may well be grown inside throughout the year.

Q: Does Kale Grow Well Hydroponically?

Kale is considered one of the most suitable crops for the hydroponic system.

Q: Can Kale Grow Without Soil?

No. While planting the kale, employ a vegetable-growing nutrient solution.

Garden soil is not used because it will bunch together inside a planter, rendering it impossible for the planter to discharge water.

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Growing hydroponic kale not only ensures that you have plenty of fresh and healthy greens to eat, but it is profitable as well.

It’s also one of the least complicated and hardest crops to mess up when it comes to hydroponics in general whether Russian, Scots or Curly kale.

Whether farming for money or the dinner table, growing kale hydroponically is a win-win situation.