Basic Plant Nutrition

Hydroponic gardening demands nutrients in ideal proportions. The nutrients and water mix used are the sole source of plant nutrition. Because all plants require a balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, as well as trace elements (specific to the plant) to grow properly, it's important that you use nutrients in specific quantities and that the water is fresh and clean.

Hydroponics plants absorb nutrients through their tiny root hairs. The roots will only take up as much nutrition as it requires, so it's impossible to overfeed a hydroponic garden. However, mixing a solution that's too high in nutrient levels will result in root dehydration.

Hydroponic formulations are structured for the different stages of growth. A plant's nutritional requirements are divided into a 'vegetative cycle' and a 'flowering cycle' as follows:

Vegetative cycle - plants need higher levels of nitrogen because it's the key mineral in the early development of leaves and stems. Nitrogen is the most common deficiency in plant growth during the vegetative stage, resulting in stunted growth and yellowing leaves.

Flowering cycle - once the plant has developed its leaves and stems, it will begin to bloom. Therefore the ratio of nitrogen compared to the ratios of phosphorous and potassium is decreased.

Hydroponic Plant Nutrition Tips:

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