Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2019


Plants are generally grown using soil as the main medium to supply the essentials necessary for growth, but as population grows and land decreases it is important to expand the knowledge of other growth mediums such as hydroponics. The purpose of this study is to provide information on hydroponic growing systems, specifically how the pH of the water effects cucumber plant growth and if different varieties of cucumber plants may have varying reactions to the pH. The hypothesis was that the plants would grow efficiently at pH of 5.0 and worst at pH of 7.5. This experiment was conducted in one of the labs in Plant Science Hall at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Eight varieties of cucumber plants were grown hydroponically in a mineral nutrient solution at four different pHs, 5.0, 5.65, 6.67, and 7.5. The plants were placed in a growth chamber for 14 days and then removed to measure the chlorophyll, fresh shoot weight, and fresh root weight. The results of the three different measurements were then averaged at each pH for each variety. It was found, focusing on the results of chlorophyll measurements, that fifty percent of the plants grew best at the pH of 5.65 while the other fifty percent varied. The results of the measurements did, in fact, vary depending upon the variety of cucumber plant grown.