No one can overlook the therapeutic effects of having flowers in their environment. Now, while you can control and manage a flower bed in your garden, imagine doing it indoors, in a controlled environment. However, choosing the optimal flowers is not as easy as it may seem. There are more options out there, and not all of them may actually fit the environment.
Fruits and vegetables may seem a bit unusual, but they are often grown in aquaponics systems – vegetables are more common though, as well as herbs. However, if you are not really interested in growing edibles, you might as well come with some beautiful flowers that will enrich your living space. Choosing the best flowers for aquaponics can be challenging though, but not impossible.
Why opt for flowers in an aquaponic system
There are lots of reasons wherefore lots of newbies (and even more experienced users) opt for flowers instead of fruits and vegetables. Growing flowers is a therapeutic activity. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing those vibrant colors kicking in and thinking it is your work. When it comes to flowers, most people choose them because of the aesthetics. But then, there are more reasons and benefits out there.
1. Culinary uses
You may not be aware of it, but lots of flowers are edible. Some of them can be used to garnish various dishes in the kitchen. Some others are part of the actual recipe, as they come with unique flavors. It makes no difference if you want a bit of color on top of a dish or you like the flavorful aroma. However, double check the species and ensure it is edible. If not 100% sure, do not use it for such purposes.
2. Great for pollinators
An indoor aquaponics system will not necessarily invite pollinators over – it is not like you let bees flow freely around your home. However, if the weather is good and your system is installed outdoors, choosing the best flowers for aquaponics will draw lots of attention. Beneficial insects will naturally be attracted to the flowers – such as bees and butterflies. These are the main pollinators out there.
Most pollinators will help flowers turn into fruits eventually – birds may also help in the process. In other words, having them over will help if your plants require pollination – cucumber, okra, cauliflower, and so on.
3. Pest control
You do not need any chemicals or toxic ingredients to maintain a self-sustainable system, such as an aquaponics system. This is one of the greatest benefits of this system. You will not have to rely on chemicals to handle pest-related problems. Natural pest control is also a reliable option and will actually work wonders. The idea is known as companion planting.
In other words, some flowers are used for sacrificial purposes. They draw pests in order to prevent them from attacking your main crops. At the same time, some flowers will naturally repel pests because of their aromas – such as marigold or lavender.
4. Business purposes
Too many flowers in your system? How about making some money out of it? An aquaponics system will allow you to enter the cut flower business. You can provide bouquets for particular occasions, but also start a little shop. It is a self-sustainable practice that does not require further investments – unless you choose to expand.
Now, what kind of flowers do you need for your system? What are the best flowers for aquaponics and why?
Best Flowers For Aquaponics
Roses are common, beautiful, widely diversified, and with a great aroma. The smell is fantastic, and their rich colors can certainly add to the environment, regardless of where your system is. At the same time, roses are extremely common in the cut flower industry, so you can always cut a few when you have an important event or special occasion – money saver.
Roses are well diversified and come in all kinds of colors and styles. Different varieties will also have different growing requirements and habits, so find something suitable for your needs. It is worth noting that most people relying on roses in this system will rely on propagated cuttings, rather than seeds. Seeds simply take too much to grow – it is not the money, but the time.
Pansies are beautiful and edible – what else can you ask for? These two reasons turn them into some of the most popular choices. Plus, they are great for beginners because they do not come with too many requirements. The flowering season is long too, even if you have made some mistakes and failed to look after them. As for eating them, they provide a minty flavor – not very intense, though.
Pansies have numerous benefits as well. When eaten on a regular basis, they supply the body with rutin – a powerful antioxidant with superpowers. It will improve blood circulation and ease varicose veins. Apart from having a nice aroma, the plant will also help you out in the long run – even when given minimum care.
Marigold is just as easy to grow. It looks good, and it provides blooms throughout the entire summertime. You do not have to be a genius to grow it, while the outcome is stunning – a great mix of orange and yellow. Furthermore, marigold is not aggressive towards other plants and will grow peacefully as a companion to numerous other plants.
Marigolds are just as efficient at attracting good insects to the environment while working against pests. They are some of the best flowers for aquaponics because they do not require any chemicals. Instead, they do everything naturally. Just like most other plants, they love the sun, so make sure they get plenty of sunshine to thrive.
Nasturtium adds beauty and acts against pests by keeping them away. Furthermore, the leaves and flowers are edible. Flowers do not provide too many changes to the taste of your dishes, but they are great for garnishing them. On the other hand, leaves are slightly spicy, so they may feel like pepper – definitely a unique taste that will impress.
The nasturtium is practically an all-purpose plant. You do not have to be a genius to grow it – not even in an aquaponics system. The plant is a trap crop – sacrificial plants that attract pests and keep them away from your main crops. To help you understand, if planted along with cabbage, it will draw aphids that normally would go to cabbage.
Sunflowers are beautiful and classic – they can turn a boring place into a beautiful summer garden. The bright yellow will stand out. Other than that, sunflowers can be used in a variety of different ways. You can use the seeds or the roots – everything is edible. They can be grown without using any fertilizers – like in agriculture, so everything is 100% natural.
Bottom line, these are some of the best flowers for aquaponics. Obviously, there are more options out there, and you can come up with anything based on your needs and purposes. However, these flowers are more popular because they come with numerous benefits and they are easy to grow.
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