There are so many benefits that you will gain by growing plants hydroponically. Besides having the tent and other accessories, you need to find the top hydroponic nutrients. This will help your plants grow quicker and fuller. You need to have the proper fertilizer and other essential nutrients so that you can harvest the full bounty of hydroponic gardening.
Hydroponic fertilizer is necessary to have for your indoor garden. However, there are so many products on the market and that leads to confusion on which nutrients you need or don’t need to buy.
We advise to use only nutrients that have been tested and approved for hydroponics. As a new grower or even an experienced one, you may not know what to look for and this is the main reason we have put together this guide so as to help you find the best nutrients for cannabis and your other plants.
Benefits of Hydroponic Nutrients
The hydro nutrients help improve the soil or base that is used for hydroponics. These ensure that the plants can absorb all essential nutrients they need to be able to grow in a healthy manner. For instance, nitrogen is not typically available in hydroponics, yet we all know that it is necessary for plants to grow. With the right choice of products, you will enjoy every aspect of your grow tent and, better yet, you end up with higher yields.
What Nutrients to Use for Hydroponics?
When talking about hydroponic plant nutrients, hydroponic fertilizer is crucial. Fertilizer comes in two types: powder and liquid. Knowing the difference between the two forms of fertilizers will allow you to pick the one that suits your needs.
The powdered fertilizer is typically for commercial and/or experienced growers. This types comes in two parts, one with the main nutrients and the other with the calcium nitrate. The trick with powdered fertilizer is that you have to mix them in the proper quantities to create your solution.
The liquid fertilizer is typically the leading type for hobbyists. This design makes it easier to use with your hydroponic system. This mixture is done at the factory–no messing by you! All you need to do is simply apply it to the soil and plants, as per the manufacturer’s recommended instructions.
Which type is the best nutrients for hydroponics? The powder form is cheaper than the liquid fertilizer, even the shipping costs are usually higher since they need to be handled with extra care. This is why the powdered hydroponic fertilizer becomes a favorable option for the commercial growers. It is cheaper and allows you to mix the quantities that you need.
How to Pick the Right Hydroponic Nutrients?
When shopping for hydroponic plant nutrients, you want to get the top hydroponic nutrients in the market. Here are some factors that will help and allow you to get the top hydroponic nutrients.
Type of Fertilizer
As we discussed above, you can choose between the liquid and powder fertilizers. This choice depends on how you want your crops to grow and how involved you want to get.
Typically, small scale growers and hobbyist prefer the liquid fertilizer. With this type, you do not worry about mixing the solution and it is just easier and less messy. For large scale and/or commercial growers with some experience, powder fertilizers may be the way to go. They can be cheaper and come in two parts that you mix together before applying to the plants.
pH levels are important to allow your plants to thrive. Look at the acidity and basic levels of the nutrients before applying any sort of fertilizer. You may need to consult an expert to get the correct pH levels for the plants that you are growing. Often, you local extension office can help with free or cheap analysis tools.
Stage of Growth
Plants go through a life cycle and you should take note of the plant’s current stage before applying the nutrients. The vegetative stage is quite critical and this is one of the stages that plants need the most nutrients. Nitrogen is always necessary to ensure that the plants blossom and grow tall. If your plants are in the flowering stage, cut back on the amount of nitrogen and start providing other nutrients that are rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Electrical Conductivity Levels
Electrical Conductivity or EC levels essential to consider when you are shopping for the hydroponic nutrients for some hardy growers such as cannabis. We believe the best nutrients are ones that have an EC level of around 1200 to 1500 parts per million. Again, make sure to check that you have nutrients that will be in the ideal range so your yields will be optimal.
Synthetic or Organic Nutrients
We have seen two basic typse–synthetic or organic nutrients. Synthetic nutrients seem to be the best for hydroponics because they easily break down into smaller particles. The plants to absorb can then these nutrients. However, this does not mean that synthetics have more nutrients, only that the absorption rate is much faster.
Organic hydroponic nutrients are more ideal for the soil-based gardens. In most cases, this type may have ingredients that can clog the small tubes and pumps in your hydroponic system. However, organic hydroponic nutrients have advantages, it all depends on what you are growing. Synthetic nutrients are said to be the best high performance nutrients for certain plants like cannabis that are nutrient hungry.
It always comes back to this doesn’t it. Let’s be honest, money does not grow on trees. (p.s. If you have one, let me know!) Finding the nutrients that provide the best bang for the buck is important. Since nutrients are a reoccurring cost, you want to be smart about your nutrients and their price.
Wtih all of that, we prefer liquid fertilizer because of the ease of use and mixing.
Now here are our recommended top picks:
General Hydroponics FloraGro, FloraBloom, & FloraMicro Combo Fertilizer Set — Our Top Hydroponic Nutrients Pick
This hydroponic nutrient set comes with a pack of three bottles. It is basically the starter pack which every home-grower will need once he gets his hydroponic system.
The beneficial thing about having 3 individual solutions is that it allows you to customize your hydroponics nutrients solution to your plant’s exact needs at any given period during it’s growing cycle.
FloraMicro is one of the bottles that you get with this pack, it includes a mixture of calcium, nitrogen, and potassium.
FloraGro specializes in building the root structure and helping the plant during its vegetative stage.
FloraBloom helps vegetables grow larger in size and weight while keeping flowers big and colorful as well. The package varies in different container sizes, ranging from a pint and quart to a gallon and even 55-gallon drum.
Packaging comes in various sizes (gallon, pint, quart)
Contains specialized nutrients for each growing phase
Mixture is already pH balanced
General Hydroponics GH5100 General Organics Go Box
With the Go Box, you’re getting instructions and a nice schedule that guides you on how much you should use for each bottle and when. That is a nice bonus!
The Go Box comes with pint sized bottles of BioThrive Grow and Bloom and 8-ounce packages of CaMg+, BioRoot, BioWeed, BioBud, BioMarine, and Diamond Black.
Each bottle is designed for different plants, so make sure to read the manual and be very careful which one you’re using and how much.
As an example, if you’re growing tomatoes you need lots of calcium to prevent diseases like blossom end rot. The CaMg+ package helps you prevent this.
Contains organic nutrients for almost all plant types
Comes with nutrient mixtures as well as separate nutrient samples
Kit contains everything you need for a beginner
Can be too strong for some plants.
Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro & Grow
By using Advanced Nutrients, you can automatically keep pH levels balanced. However, you still need to check the pH level periodically with a pH meter.
With this, you can also use this supplement in combination with their other products to help improve the growth process.
The package comes with three bottles that provide you the basic necessary nutrients needed for your plants. Besides the basics, these supplements also contain formulas that provide you with important fulvic acid and amino acids.
Fulvic acid is commonly found in humus, it is great because it contains a lot of nutrients that help your plants grow.
The hydroponic nutrients formulation is combined at the ratio of 1:1:1 for micro, grow and bloom, respectively. This package is a full spectrum pack that provides all the necessary ingredients that the plants need to have.
The amino acids and fulvic acid come with additional benefits for the plants and this is why you need to consider buying this product to give your crops the best nutrients.
The main reason I recommend this all-in-one hydroponic nutrient is that it comes with a powerful chelation. This ensures that each of the essential nutrients is available to the plant in the best way possible. There is also their balance free pH technology that works continuously. As such, you do not have to worry as much about the pH levels. All the macro and micro nutrients will be provided by this product.
Keeps your pH in balance automatically
Contains useful rare nutrients like fluvic acid and amino acids
Can be combined with other fertilizers for faster growth
Make sure to follow the instructions provided in the package in order to use this supplement efficiently. Otherwise, you can overfeed your plants and cause plant toxicity.
Humboldts Secret Base A & B Bundle
This comes in two different bundles and has all the nutrients that you need for your hydroponic plants.
It is significantly easier to use than the 3 part combinations of liquid fertilizer like we speak about above. The biggest advantage is that you can still customize it so that you can provide your plants with the nutrients they need.
In looking for the top hydroponic nutrients, this option includes all the necessary ingredients such as: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and Fulvic acid among others.
All plants can use this fertilizer to grow to their full potential. This has emerged as one of the best sources of nutrients for growers who use hydroponics. You will never go wrong with this fertilizer and has become popular across the nation and the world at large.
The Humboldt’s Secret is part of the additives that are provided to help your gardening activities product higher yields.
It is backed by years of research and development and as such, it has gone through rigorous tests to ensure efficacy and consistency.
For those who are interested in liquid fertilizer for hydroponics, then, this is an excellent option for you.
2-part base nutrient mix which works as a standalone product
Rich in nitrogen, total concentration is 5%
Comes in multiple package sizes
Nectar for the Gods Medusa’s Magic
To make Medusa’s Magic, proteins and enzymes are gently extracted from various eco-friendly materials, and then suspended in a worm casting tea.
It contains iron plus organic acids, calcium (6%) and in a 2-5-2 formula. With it’s higher concentration of iron, your plants may be a darker green color.
The nitrogen in Medusa’s Magic is derived from a protein which results in a healthier and a more natural growth pattern.
Obviously, the healthier the plant, the more efficient the plant’s natural response to produce its own defense mechanisms against pests and disease.
Medusa’s Magic contains both micro and macro nutrients which are essential during both the growing and vegetation stages. While you can use it as a standalone nutrient, we prefer to combine it with other hydroponic nutrients.
Contains both essential micro and macro nutrients
Rich in calcium with a concentration of about 6%
Made in a low-waste eco-friendly way
Choosing the best hydroponics nutrients is one of the best things you can do to ensure success. A top hydroponic fertilizer will make a major difference in how well your plants grow.
With all of the options out there in the world, we hope that our list of the best hydroponic nutrients and guide on choosing hydroponic nutrients has been helpful.