What Does Hydroponic Nutrients Mean?
The term hydroponic nutrients refers to any commercially available plant nutrients that are suitable for plants grown in a hydroponic system. Plants require nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (N-P-K), and numerous trace elements to grow. Hydroponic nutrients are liquid versions of N-P-K, with secondary nutrients and macro elements such as trace minerals in various quantities.
The secondary nutrients are usually varying degrees of sulfur, calcium, and magnesium. The liquid nature of the hydroponic nutrients allows them to be applied directly to the plant’s root system.
The nutrients are mixed with water in a hydroponic nutrient reservoir and applied to the plant’s root system several times per day. Some hydroponic nutrients also come in powder form, but the majority of hydroponic nutrients are still liquid form.
Maximum Yield Explains Hydroponic Nutrients
Hydroponic systems require specific hydroponic nutrients because of the soilless growing conditions. Hydroponically grown plants sit in mediums such as hydrocorn, puffed rock, expanded clay pellets, rockwool, coco coir, Growstone, grow rocks, or perlite. With deep water culture (DWC), no medium is used at all around the plant’s roots. Without soil, the plant has no way to absorb nutrients; instead, it must rely on hydroponic nutrients to fulfill its nutritional and mineral requirements.
Hydroponically grown plants require daily doses of hydroponic nutrient solutions to grow. The nutrient-rich liquid solution is delivered to the plant’s root system via an ebb-and-flow tray. Several times a day the hydroponic nutrients are flooded into the tray around the plant's roots and then drained away into a reservoir for later re-use. Once the liquid drains away from the plant’s roots, the plant is able to absorb oxygen.
Hydroponic nutrients are often sold in multi-part bottles, one for grow and one for bloom. This is because plants require different amounts of different nutrients throughout their growth cycles. In this way, a grower is able to dial in their crop's nutritional needs in order to maximize yields.