How to Choose the Right Nutrients for Your Hydroponics System


Like every living creature, plants also need nutrients to survive. The source of nutrients for any plant is soil. But, the hydroponics system makes it much efficient to grow plants in a simple setting. Slowly, but surely, people are turning towards hydroponics gardening system.

The hydroponic system relies on a solution-system to provide the plant with the required nutrients and minerals. It is because of the absence of soil in the hydroponic system.

 The usual questions about the hydroponics system include:

  • What nutrients do my plants need?
  • What quantity of nutrients the plant needs
  • Where to get these nutrients

So, here is a step by step guide on how to choose the right nutrients for your hydroponics system.

What Your Hydroponic Plants Need

As opposed to what you learned in elementary school, your plant doesn't grow only with the help of photosynthesis. Your plant needs nutrients and minerals to grow, fight diseases, and reproduce.

Nutrients that are needed by a hydroponic plant are categorized.

1. Vital Nutrients

While there are numerous nutrients that your hydroponic plant needs to grow, the most common three are NPK. 

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium

They are termed as vital nutrients because your hydroponic plant cannot survive without them. The scientific formula for chlorophyll includes nitrogen, which helps in making the plant green and gets high energy levels.


In simple words, Phosphorous helps the plant growing. Lack of this component will kill your hydroponic plant slowly. Lastly, Potassium is essential for your plant growth as it activates the enzyme that helps in letting the plant breathe, and forms ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), which is the energy source.

You can opt for Dakine 420 Starter Kit, and it is a synthetic nutrient that works best for beginners. 

2. Micro-Nutrients

Mineral such as chlorine, copper, iron, and manganese are essential for a hydroponic plant’s growth. You don’t have to worry about these nutrients, as Lotus Nutrients Starter Kit does the job pretty well.

The absence of micro-nutrients in any plant will cause the plant to fade or even lose color.

3. External Elements

Apart from these nutrients, a plant needs carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water to stay healthy.  Of course, nature provides all these elements, except for water.

Tip: Your hydroponic plants do not need mineral water, and they can do well with purified or filtered water that does not contain extra minerals or nutrients because that will destroy your hydroponic system.

Quantity of Nutrients That Your Hydroponic Plants Need

We all know that a hydroponics plant system needs NPK nutrients to grow. But, how much do you need to feed these nutrients to your hydroponic plant is the correct question.

Stages of Plant Growth

A plant grows in four stages. Every phase is different and requires a fixed quantity of nutrients. You may be giving your hydroponic plants the right nutrients, but the time may not be correct.


Hence, it is essential to know about the different growth stages and the number of nutrients that your plant needs at a particular level. Keep in mind that any NPK nutrient box comes with the specification of ratios. For example, a 6-6-6 ratio means that there is 6% of each nutrient in one drop.

1. The Birth Stage

Your plant has just shot out and needs a proper structure to grow. The plant needs a high amount of Potassium and phosphorous to have strong roots. It is to maintain the nutrient level with the water level at the start so that the plant does not feel overwhelmed. Once you have fertilized the system with water and nutrients, let the system run for 7-9 days. Wash it thoroughly with water afterward, as the birth stage takes up less time.  

2. Vegetation Stage

If the plant doesn't grow well in the initial phase, you can use Dakine 420 Atomic Root Powder to stimulate growth. Furthermore, a plant needs high levels of NPK in the vegetation stage. A ratio of 10-10-10 NPK will work best for this purpose. Let the system run for a week and see the changes for you.

dakine 420

3. Reproductive phase

The reproductive phase is tricky. Maintain the PK level high with a lower N level. Your plant has passed the growth stage and doesn't need large amounts of nitrogen. So, a 6-10-10 ratio of NPK will work well. Bloom booster, such as Lotus Nutrients Pro Series will be suitable at this phase of growth. 

4. Ripening Stage

The ripening stage of a plant means that the plant is now mature. At this phase, you may want to cut the flowers, fruit, or vegetable that you were growing. There is no use of added nutrients, maintain a simple and equal ratio of NPK, and make sure to use a flush before harvesting. Flushing compounds help to remove excess nutrients from the plants to encourage growth and better tasting vegetables. The new Lotus Nutrients Pro Series- Carbo Flush does the job pretty well.

Additional Nutrients for Hydroponic Plants

Giving your plants all the nutrients doesn’t guarantee a healthy plant in the end. There is a lot that can go wrong.

So, in case you see that your hydroponic plant looks a bit slump even after providing the necessary nutrients, you can treat it with enzymes. Enzymes breakdown the food into smaller pieces so that it can be consumed by plants easily. Adding ¼ tsp of Dakine Sticky Icky Enzymes directly in the tank can give your promising results in the end.


rockwool and planting
Growing plants hydroponically can be a piece of work, but hydroponics has proved to be good for the environment. Moreover, you can harvest a variety of plants through the hydroponics system. There are countless boosters and stimulants in liquid and powder form that make sure your garden grows healthy. In the world of hydroponics gardening, a little investment goes a long way. Purchase a nutrient starter kit today by clicking here.
How toNutrients

1 comment

Rob kendig

Rob kendig

I am using the five gallon aireated bucket method. Currently using the Flora three part nutrient system. Change solution every two weeks with fresh nutrients, check the ph which I adjust as needed, also check the ppm. This number changes throughout the two week cycle. What can or should I do about it?

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