This article is going to share with you the best hydroponic lettuce to grow. The lettuce is one of the favorite hydroponic vegetables the reason being the most desired benefits of green leafy things.
You will be happy to know that there are lots of varieties of lettuces that can be grown hydroponically. The examples include garlic chives, Lacinato, Red Russian, and so on.
All these varieties will be discussed in brief with regards to their growing conditions before you get to know the entire process of growing lettuces hydroponically. And if you want to learn how to germinate lettuce seeds check out our post.
So, let’s begin with the useful table on their respective growing conditions!
13 Best Hydroponic Lettuce to Grow
|Variety of Lettuce||Temperature||Light||Grow Cycle|
|Dynamite||60˚F-70˚F||6-7 hours partial shade||65-75 days|
|Bibb||60˚F – 65˚F||Full sun, partial shade||75-80 days|
|Tomb Thumb||>75˚F||Partial sun||45-50 days|
|Yugoslavian Red||45˚F – 90˚F (Germination)||Partial sun to full sun||55-60 days|
|Buttercrunch||40˚F – 85˚F||Part shade, Full sun||45-50 days|
|Little Gem||40˚F – 75˚F||5-6 hours||33-40 days|
|Little Caesar||40˚F – 90˚F>75˚F (In summers)||Part Sun, Full Sun||65-70 days|
|Cimarron||60˚F – 65˚F||4-5 hours full sun||28-65 days|
|EZ Serve||60˚F – 65˚F||Part Sun, Full sun||55-68 days|
|Paris White||55˚F – 65˚F||4-5 hours full sun||75-85 days|
|Green Ice||40˚F – 75˚F||Full sun||45-50 days|
|Grand Rapids||70˚F – 85˚F||4-5 hours partial to full sun||55-60 days|
|Black Seeded Simpson||40˚F – 75˚F||Partial sun||45-50 days|
Let’s now define each above-mentioned variety of best hydroponic lettuce to grow in brief as follows.
The name fits it perfectly as you get to see the shape as well as the tender and sweet leaves of butter lettuce. It is also known for round-shaped and loose leaves with a mild flavor.
You will also get to notice loosely-coiled and smooth leaves in almost each of its variety. All of its leaves are usually sold with the roots to preserve as maximum freshness as possible.
Let’s start with the Dynamite lettuce containing crumpled, overlapping, and soft leaves. However, the Dynamite hybrid cultivar is also known to be resistant to lettuce mosaic virus, aphids, and water mold.
This hydroponic crop usually matures in 65-75 days and can be harvested at 8-10 inches of length. Nonetheless, you can harvest its partial leaves within 40-50 days after seedlings germination.
The cultivators usually go for the Kratky method to grow hydroponic lettuces such as Bibb. It also takes around 75-80 days for harvest. Make sure that you follow all the steps of seedling germination before planting them hydroponically.
Another name for Bibb is ‘Limestone Lettuce’ which was originated by the market of Grenewein Greenhouse in Louisville, the 1920s. It has pretty tender, pale, and soft-green leaves with sizes ranging from 8-10 inches.
It is better if you keep its hydroponic grow condition at full sun. Most of the time, you will never have to wait for 75-80 days longer to see your plants’ growth. All you get is clean eating and delicious lettuce after harvest.
- Tomb Thumb
Tomb Thumb is another favorite variety of lettuce with 3-5 inches of leaf heads. It contains those crinkled, soft, and green leaves whose partial heads can be easily harvested within 40-50 days. And, its germination will need you around 4-10 days max.
Furthermore, its sowing depth is recommended at ¼-inch. Any type of lettuce you take will need a minimum of 5-6 weeks to get matured. After then, it depends upon the variety to fully harvest the lettuce on the maturity period.
Likewise, Tomb Thumb also looks for a sunny location to grow optimally. It is tolerant of light frosts at the same time. The Tomb Thumb is mostly recognized by one of the oldest US cultivators present even in today’s market.
- Yugoslavia Red
The Yugoslavia Red is a sub-variety of Bibb lettuce that only looks wonderful but tastes amazing as well. It features pretty purple and red spots throughout all its leaves. And, you need to wait for a minimum of 55 days to harvest Yugoslavia Red lettuce.
As the name suggests, it hails from Yugoslavia country and was introduced to the US in 1987 by the famous Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Its big leaves mature around 10-12 inches in diameter while throwing that decorative look.
Well, this cultivar loves to be happier in cool temperatures.
The Buttercrunch is the larger variety of Butterhead lettuce. Even though its seeds are very quick to germinate, but the plant and its maturity will grow slowly. The Buttercrunch variety forms distinct yet loose heads.
The Boston lettuce is also a sub-type of Bibb lettuce along with the Buttercrunch. So, they all are members of the same family! While you have to wait for long to harvest the Buttercrunch lettuce hydroponically, you have to harvest it before the plant gets bolt.
It is because the bolting leaves of plants become unpalatable and bitter. Its leaves are highly delicate, so you need to pick them either in the evening or late morning when the dew has dried.
However, the plant needs full sun growing conditions but it can also tolerate partial shade especially in warmer climates. With regards to its origin in America, it was first introduced by Cornell University that was a winner in All-America Selections edible vegetable category 1963.
Let’s introduce you to the most versatile variety of lettuces by Romaine. It is refreshingly crisp as well as tough enough to hold the heat in sautéing or grilling. The ‘cos’ or Romaine can grow about 8-12 inches tall with upright thick ribs that are spoon-shaped and tightly folded. It is probably the best hydroponic lettuce to grow in almost any conditions.
Another reason we said it versatile because of the incredible varieties available in the range. Generally, the Romaine cultivars are also the most heat tolerant lettuce types. You can find it in red, bronze, green, and speckled varieties.
- Little Gem
As the name also suggests, there are almost little beautiful gems of lettuces. It has a nutty and sweet flavor whose heirlooms can grow up to 7 inches in length. Ultimately, you have to wait for 50-60 days to fully harvest the crop hydroponically.
The Little Gem has soft yet tight and dense heart leaves. You can even call it ‘semi-cos’ because of the small Butterhead lettuce look. However, a sort of disagreement also arises among the cultivators in terms of its ideal classification.
You can grow it happily either in partial shade or full sun location. And, it prefers most of the day in cool weather as well.
- Little Caesar
It is a tall head lettuce variety with a crispy and sweet flavor. It is one of the highly considered lettuces for salads and other dressings. This is a lettuce type that needs full 6 hours of direct sunlight for optimal growth.
So, you must choose a sunny location and dig two times a wide hole to place the pot. As it is a crop that needs constant, so there may be high chances of better yield in the hydroponic growing method.
Even though the lettuce is disease and pest-free, you still have to be careful in terms of better maintenance. You can harvest it any time after the formation of true leaves. Most of the day, you have to put this lettuce in a cooler environment.
The sweet flavor develops if matures to a full head within 50-70 days.
Cimarron is another versatile variety of lettuce with lots of beautiful colors to gaze upon. It’s an heirloom that’s very old and dates back to the 1700s. It is also called ‘Red Romaine’ due to its color. The crunchy, mild, and sweet flavor further adds reliability to the type.
It matures with almost 10-12 inches tall head leaves and within 60 days. You can either make its independent salad or add its leaves with other varieties to create a perfect blend of taste.
However, the best part is that Cimarron is impervious to bolting. This variety is very pretty in both plates as well garden. Along with being heat and bolt resistant, it can also tolerate light frost. You can harvest it before 60 days in the case to pick up baby leaves.
- EZ Serve
Originated in Burpee 2008, this variety is easy to grow as well as easy to serve. It is good if you harvest it in early sessions than late to avoid the tough and bitter taste. And, when the leaves are large enough, you can harvest their loose leaves any time.
Watering the lettuce plants and preventing them from being dry is one of the best cultivator practices. It is the foremost reason the yield of your hydroponic approach is most likely to be achieved early than the traditional soil growing method.
You can either grow it in partial shade or full sun while also keeping it most of the day in a cooler environment.
- Paris White
The Paris White is one of the slow-growing types of lettuce that is likely to mature within 75-85 days. It is also the popular French heirloom variety that was brought to the US by Thomas Jefferson. Then, it was represented in his garden at Monticello.
This variety can also thrive either in partial shade or full sun depending upon the circumstances. This 1794 cos leaf lettuce comes with broad, long, and midrib leaves variety. The Paris White is particularly great for Caesar salads other than your salad blends.
When it comes to simplicity, it means the loose-leaf lettuces. These are the lettuces mostly taken as a side dish with vinegar and oil. These cultivars generally consist of sweet and mild textures that can be easily enjoyed without lots of adornment.
- Green Ice
As the name says, the Green Ice lettuce comes with frilly green leaves. The leaves will grow up to 12 inches hydroponically and can be fully matured within 45-50 days. Well, the variety was first introduced in 1973 by W. Atlee Burpee and Company.
The Green Ice lettuce is said to be an intersection of ‘Grand Rapids’ and ‘Fordhook’. It contains a very sweet, succulent, and crispy texture to consider. Being a vigorous grower can provide you with multiple harvests in a year. This is why this is also one of the best hydroponic lettuce to grow.
- Grand Rapids
The Grand Rapids is another dynamic grower with crinkled, frilly, and bright green leaves. Even though the full crop matures in 50-60 days, you can harvest its young leaves right within the 30 days after seedling germination.
However, this early maturing variety prefers to be more in the cool weather environment. The Grand Rapids heirloom variety was first introduced by a farmer, Eugene Davis in 1800 in the Grand Rapids itself.
- Black Seeded Simpson
The Black Seeded Simpson was originated in 1870 by the Peter Henderson and Company. It is one of the fast-growing varieties that you can harvest within the 40-50 days after seedling germination in the NFT hydroponic technique.
The Black Seeded Simpson also produces abundant leaves with a juicy, crispy, mild, and sweet texture. They are versatile and a sort of heat-resistant addition to your hydroponics garden.
As you get to know how to grow the best hydroponic lettuce to grow, it’s time to consider some aspects of its better maintenance. A crop without proper care will yield nothing. So, make sure you will put 100% effort to maintain the ideal growing conditions and protect your hydroponic lettuce plants from diseases and pests.