When you think about the things a plant needs to survive, there are probably some things that come to mind right away; sun and water being the biggest. You also might consider soil, or at least a suitable place for the roots to grow and get nutrition. But beyond that, you probably haven’t given it much thought. But, those in the Hydroponics business know it’s much more complicated than that.
One of the most important things a proper hydroponics system needs (and one of the most overlooked) to keep its plants healthy is proper air flow. Outside, in their natural environment, the air is never stagnant. It is constantly flowing, changing and is almost always fresh. This environment must be recreated when growing with a hydroponic system. This is especially important if you are growing in a confined area such as a basement.
Simply put, proper air flow in a grow room means that plants can breathe in Co2 and create O2 (oxygen).
Why Is It So Important?
A Clean Stomata = A Healthy Plant
These microscopic pores located on the underside of the leaf regulate the flow of gases in and out of the plant. When they get clogged with dust or pollen it can hurt the plant so it’s important to use sufficient airflow to keep these clean.
Stagnant Air Kills
If there is no fresh air present, your plants will be forced to use all the CO2 from the leaf surface. This dead air will begin to build up and clog the above mentioned stomata, stifling the growth of the plant.
Your plants need water to live. When this life-giving water evaporates, it goes into the air. If this damp air sits still and surrounds the plants, the flow of water through the plant will slow, the leaf will get limp, and the stomata will be stifled.
When all of these problems combine, you will have some very dead plants. In some ways, having proper air flow can be as (or more!) important than water, light or heat.