Hydroponic nutrients are basically liquid solutions (occasionally available in powder form) which are added to your systems water supply at a predetermined amount. Without nutrients added to the water in your hydroponic system, your plants health will steadily decline and eventually die. Plants require differing amounts and types of nutrients during the vegetative and flowering stages of their life and most hydroponic nutrients are sold either as grow or bloom formulas grow being for the vegetative stage and bloom for the flowering stage.
Something most people dont know is that over 20 minerals and elements are needed for a plant to be able to grow. Oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon are taken in through the air and water. The remaining elements are found in the nutrient solution with the primary ones being nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium as these are the minerals which the plants use the most.
Here is brief summary of the more important minerals or elements which plants need most and can be found in almost all hydroponic nutrient products.
Nitrogen is probably the most important mineral to plant growth. Plants absorb nitrogen in order to produce the proteins necessary for new cell growth. This mineral is used mainly in a plants leaf and stem growth as well as the plants overall stature. Nitrogen is a truly amazing mineral for plants travelling easily throughout a plant to the buds to activate, even to the shoots and old leaves which can be much more difficult to reach.
Phosphorus is mostly beneficial for photosynthesis and also acts as a mechanism for conveying energy through the plant. Phosphorus also promotes a strong and healthy root system and is vital for the flowering stage in order to keep producing healthy seeds. You will usually see high levels of phosphorus during the germination phase and flowering phase.
This mineral is mainly used for encouraging increased chlorophyll production in foliage and helps to normalize stomata openings so that plants can take in light and air more efficiently. Potassium also promotes strong root growth and mass, water intake and distribution. Another benefit of potassium is that it activates enzymes in the plant to fight disease, something most growers fail to know.
Okay so now that the most important minerals found in hydroponic nutrients have been covered, here are a few which are not quite as important as the ones already mentioned but are still great minerals which definitely should not be overlooked when deciding on which hydroponic nutrients are right for you.
Magnesium basically aids in the deployment of nutrients and, at the same time, neutralizes any toxic compounds and acids produced by the plants.
Calcium is a good multiplier for proper cell growth and production. However, it can also lead to root problems as it tends to move slowly inside the plant and eventually starts to concentrate in the roots, leading to complications later on, if not properly treated.
As you can see, hydroponic nutrients are vast in minerals and can get a little complicated at times. These mineral descriptions and functions should help you on your way in finding the perfect hydroponic nutrients which will suit your plants best.