% Learn about the cheapest alternative to Rockwool hydroponics. Grow your herbs, vegetables, or plants in a small indoor space in the most affordable way.

7 Cheapest Alternatives to Hydroponic Rockwool

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Rockwool is a hydroponic growing medium that many hydroponics stores sell. It’s often expensive, but it can be hard to find alternatives if you’re on a budget. Also, it is difficult to find in some areas.

What Are the 12 Alternatives to Rockwool?

I introduce you to12 alternatives to Rockwool that may work better for your hydroponics needs! These alternative hydroponic media are available in different densities and sizes to meet any growing or gardening need.

They are:

  1. Coconut fiber
  2. Coco peat
  3. Perlite
  4. Sand
  5. Oasis cubes
  6. Sponges
  7. Clay Pebbles
  8. Rocks and gravel/Sandstone/Growstone
  9. Vermiculite
  10. Rice hulls
  11. Sawdust
  12. Peat moss

Choose the Cheapest Alternative Without Compromising the Quality.

We always choose a low-cost solution that works adequately, regardless of what alternative we have on the market.

Luckily, several low-cost hydroponic growing mediums will still provide your plants with the nutrients they need! This blog post will go over hydroponic growing mediums cheaper than Rockwool and still work great for hydroponics systems.

They are:

  1. Perlite
  2. Vermiculite
  3. Coco Coir
  4. Clay Pebbles
  5. Growstones
  6. Sand
  7. Rice hulls

Also learn
Coco Peat vs Coco Coir: What’s the Difference?
10 Reasons to Have Alternative to Rockwool.

seven cheap or low cost alternative to rockwool


Perlite is a hydroponic growing medium that is made from volcanic glass. It is often used in hydroponics because it can hold a lot of water and air, necessary for plants. It is also an excellent insulator. So it can help keep your plants warm in the winter. Perlite is relatively cheap and easy to find at most garden stores.

Perlite: A Hydroponic Growing Medium for Your Garden
How Much Perlite To Use In Hydroponic Garden?


Vermiculite is another type of growing medium that is made from mica. Like perlite, vermiculite holds water and air well, has good drainage properties, and is a great insulator. It’s also lightweight and simple to use, making it a popular choice for hydroponic growers. Vermiculite can be found at most garden stores, and it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for something inexpensive yet durable enough to last long-term use.

Related: How Can Vermiculite Hydroponics Help You Grow Delicious, Nutritious Vegetables?

Coco Coir

Coco coir is made from the husks of coconuts. It has many of the same characteristics as perlite and vermiculite. But it is also naturally acidic. This acidity helps balance the water’s pH in your hydroponic system. Coco coir can hold up to ten times its own weight in water and requires only a short time to dry before reuse. It’s typically inexpensive when bought from coconut suppliers.

Related: Get Growing With Coco Coir

Clay Pebbles

Clay pebbles aremade from fired clay and are a great choice for hydroponic systems that need a lot of oxygen. They come in various sizes so that you can choose the appropriate one for your plants. They are lightweight so that they won’t weigh down your plants. Clay pebbles are also pH-neutral and help stabilize the pH of the water in your system. Clay pebbles can be found at most hydroponic stores.


Growstones are also made from fired clay, but unlike the previous growing mediums on this list, grow stones have a uniform shape that holds nutrients without compacting.

This makes them an excellent growing medium for hydroponic systems that recirculate water. They come in various sizes and can be found at most hydroponic stores. Growstones are more expensive than other growing mediums on this list, but they can last indefinitely if cared for properly.


Sand is the cheapest option on this list and is a great growing medium for plants that don’t need a lot of nutrients. It’s also pH-neutral, so it won’t affect the pH of your hydroponic system. Sand can be found at most garden stores and is very easy to work with. However, it does not hold water or air well, so it may be difficult for your plants to get the nutrients they need. Sand also compacts easily and can be messy, so it’s not typically recommended that you use sand in a hydroponic system unless you create some sort of media bed with it. However, a growing medium made from sand, clay, and silt; can be purchased at garden centers.

Rice hulls

Rice hulls are one of the cheapest options on this list. Rice hulls work well in hydroponic systems because they do not compact like other inexpensive growing mediums might do over time. They also have a high porosity, which means they hold a lot of air and water. Rice hulls are not pH-neutral, so it’s essential to monitor the pH of your system if you choose to use them. It is also can be used as mulch for gardening. Rice hulls available at most plant shops and online.

How to Set Up a Hydroponic Garden Using Rice Hulls?
10 Reasons Why Rice Hulls Are Great for Hydroponic Plants

In Conclusion

While Rockwool is a popular choice, it’s not the only option. There are many different types of hydroponic growing mediums available on the market today. So, if you’re looking for an affordable and environmentally-friendly way to grow your plants hydroponically, give one of these alternatives a try! These seven hydroponic growing mediums are a great alternative to Rockwool and can be found at most garden stores.

Thank you for reading!


Also, read:
How-To Hydroponics by Keith Roberto: Book Review
How to Grow Kratky Method Plants: A Passive Hydroponic System
How to Set Up a Drip Hydroponic System
Cheap Grow Lights Alternatives Used in Indoor Hydroponics

If you are looking to buy the above mentioned growing mediums for your indoor or outdoor garden click the below links to select the best one suited for you.

  1. Perlite
  2. Vermiculite
  3. Coco coir
  4. Clay pebbles
  5. Grow stones
  6. Sand
  7. Rice hulls

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