- Why create your hydroponic nutrient solution?
- How does the nutrient solutions for hydroponic systems work?
- What elements do you need for your homemade hydroponic solution?
- Hydroponic nutrient solution recipe: how to make it in 5 steps
- What is the ideal EC & pH for your hydroponics nutrients formula?
- Boost yields with your homemade hydroponic nutrient solution
When you care for a garden, you have to understand your plants well. You need to know what they need to thrive. All plants require nutrients. Marijuana plants demand even more when they’re grown in a hydroponics setup. They need a specific hydroponic nutrient solution to thrive.
You might be wondering what’s the best hydroponic nutrient solution recipe. Nute solutions are not a one-size-fits-all fix. Every marijuana plant demands something unique.
Don’t worry! In this guide, we take a closer look at why you should create a nutrient solution, how it works, and the ultimate recipe. Now let’s get started.
Why create your hydroponic nutrient solution?
The most straightforward reason is to save money. Learning how to make your homemade hydroponic nutrient solution is also very rewarding in itself. You finally get to make use of those chemical classes you took back in high school and care for your plants.
Learning about nutrients isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Most of the compounds can be bought online or at your local garden center.
Using a nutrient solution for hydroponic weed also helps to ensure your plants get the proper nutrients required by the specific strain. By making your homemade hydroponic nutrient solution, you’ll be able to control pests and care for your plant’s overall health.
How does the nutrient solutions for hydroponic systems work?
Homemade hydroponic nutrient solutions work the same way as adding fertilizers to the soil. The mixture is a liquid containing all the necessary nutrients to help plant roots grow and develop healthily.
Hydroponics as a setup is one of the most customized spaces to accelerate crop growth. When you feed plants with a specific hydroponics nutrients formula, you’re giving them the means to grow more efficiently.
The roots can absorb nutrients directly. Since the same feeding system is used as the water reservoir of your plants, you don’t have to put too much effort into maintenance.
This growing medium offers something most others don’t allow: the ease to measure the amount of hydroponic grow solution your plants need. When cultivating in soil, you have to factor in the absorption soaked up by the dirt before nutrients reach the roots—you don’t with hydroponics.
What elements do you need for your homemade hydroponic solution?
You essentially need a set of macronutrients and micronutrients to make your homemade hydroponic solution. You’ll need different measurements at varying growth stages to pour the solution on your garden as it grows, depending on the marijuana strain you’re planning to harvest.
Before we dive into the nutrients, though, we need to learn about carbon dioxide. Also known as CO2, this is a gas, and as such, we cannot include it in any hydroponic nutrient solution recipe. But for the formula to work, CO2 is essential. Your weed plants take in this gas from the atmosphere naturally and convert it into oxygen and energy.
It’s possible to increase the presence of carbon dioxide in your hydroponic setup by using CO2 generators. The gas interacts with the light your plants receive and the nutrients of your hydroponic nutrient solution, increasing your yields to the max.
In the following section of the hydroponic nutrient guide, you’ll find a list detailing each one of these nutrients and what they do for your marijuana garden. All of these chemical components work to help the plant grow healthy.
The following is the set of macronutrients that you must include in your hydroponics fertilizer mix:
The term “macro” is there for a reason: these are the nutrients your weed plants need the most. Failing to provide any of them results in dying plants with stunted growth, dropped stems, and general discoloring. The effect of each nutrient is described below:
Nitrogen is the main ingredient of any hydroponic nutrient solution. This sole component is responsible for helping every single part of your plant grow properly. Leaves, stems, branches, buds—all of it. It’s also the one helping chlorophyll give your plant that sweet green shade.
Your homemade hydroponic solution needs nitrogen to boost the presence of various proteins and enzymes in your plant. Lack of nitrogen doesn’t only make your mix weak. It also shows on your marijuana plants with yellowing leaves and failure to flower on time.
Phosphorus is just as necessary as nitrogen in your homemade hydroponic nutrient solution. You need to help your plant create genetic memory and keep generating cell division. These processes are vital for your plants to form roots, make seeds, grow flowers, and more.
Unlike nitrogen, phosphorus has to be lowered in the later stages of vegetation. Your nutrient solution for hydroponics should have the same parts of phosphorus and nitrogen at the earliest stages of growth up to the start of the flowering phase. Just like a phosphorus deficiency can cause a lot of harm, too much of it during flowering will block other nutrients effects.
Potassium plays a prominent role in the growth and reproduction of marijuana plants. Your hydroponics fertilizer mix needs this element to boost photosynthesis, help the plant process proteins, and activate a series of enzymes.
Lack of color on your leaves is clear evidence of a potassium deficiency. As with other nutrients, you need to measure the amount of potassium in your hydroponics nutrient recipe as your cannabis grows, or you could deprive your plant of the required intake of zinc, iron, and magnesium.
This is the list of micronutrients you need to add to your homemade hydroponic solution:
Your hydroponic nutrient solution recipe needs micronutrients as well. Your garden doesn’t need these elements in large amounts because they already produce most of them independently. Still, marijuana plants thrive with a little boost of them.
This is what each of these nutrients accomplishes:
Adding this nute to the homemade hydroponic solution helps your weed plants form new cells and the existing ones duplicate. This nutrient boosts the production of buds and flowers in your marijuana garden—a lack of boron stunts the plant’s growth.
Marijuana plants require calcium as humans do in their early years: to grow healthy and develop steadily. Your hydroponic grow solution needs this nute to help your weed plant form new cells and improve its development.
You need to include a bit of copper in your homemade hydroponic nutrient solution to help with your weed plant’s metabolism. This mineral assists the plant with its respiration process, but it only needs small quantities since abusing it can lead to dwarfed stems and roots.
The presence of iron in your nutrient solution for hydroponics makes your plant shine green. Iron is a crucial ingredient to form chlorophyll, and an iron deficiency can turn the leaves of your weed plant yellow.
Your hydroponic nutrient solution needs magnesium to help chlorophyll do its job. Magnesium boosts the production of oxygen and helps your weed plants make use of it properly. It’s a preferred nutrient for marijuana strains that have a faster growth cycle.
You don’t hear too much about multitasking nutrients, but manganese does just that with your marijuana plants. Add a bit of the mineral to your hydroponics fertilizer mix to help your plants’ respiration process, improving their nitrogen intake during photosynthesis.
Manganese is also great at helping marijuana plants increase their resilience against diseases. Don’t go overboard with this one; you can easily poison your plants and make leaves turn brown with red spots.
Molybdenum is probably the smallest portion of nutrients you’ll use in your hydroponics nutrients formula. The mineral is required to boost the performance and production of proteins. It’s also helpful to process nitrogen and covert part of the intake into amino acids.
Don’t abuse this mineral when preparing your hydroponics fertilizer mix. Your plants can get a severe case of decoloring, loss of leaves, or even distorted flowers. It can also deprive the plants of other important elements, such as CO2.
Your homemade hydroponic solution needs sulfur to work as a structural component for the amino acid series that creates proteins. It also helps your weed plants to increase their vitamin intake from other nutrients fed to them.
Sulfur needs to be treated with care since it’s a mineral that can be invasive and affect the taste of your weed if you abuse it. Lack of it makes your plant grow slower, and in some cases, brittle and smaller.
The last micronutrient on the list every hydroponics nutrient recipe should have. Zinc plays a significant role in producing proteins in your weed plants. It also helps with the growth of stems and the overall regulation of the size your plant reaches in the vegetative stage.
Hydroponic nutrient solution recipe: how to make it in 5 steps
You’re about to learn how to make a hydroponic solution at home. You don’t need to be a highly experienced gardener to get your recipe perfected and boost the growth of your marijuana in hydroponics with ease.
1. Make sure you need the nutrient solution
If you make your hydroponic nutrient solution, you’re investing in materials. When your hydroponic setting is a small one, you’ll be better off buying prepared nute solutions instead of making them.
2. Buy some standard fertilizer
Once you have a large setup that justifies the expense, you need to buy standard fertilizer. This is the key ingredient for your nutrient solution for hydroponics. Make sure it’s water-soluble. This formula contains most of the macro and micronutrients we already mentioned.
3. Measure the water you need to use
You’ll have to work out how much water your strain of choice requires. To make your hydroponics fertilizer mix, you need to add two teaspoons of fertilizer formula for each gallon of water. This is the average intake for most marijuana strains.
4. Stir, stir, stir…
Now it’s time to mix your homemade hydroponic solution! If you want to give your plants an extra boost, we recommend using one teaspoon of Epsom salts for each gallon of water. Check the pH to make sure the mix isn’t too acidic.
5. Time to pour some nutrients into your plants
Not all weeds strain need the same amount of nutrients. You must keep that in mind. Make sure to do your homework before drowning your plants with the homemade hydroponic nutrient solution you’ve made.
What is the ideal EC & pH for your hydroponics nutrients formula?
Now let’s break down some basic science to understand the ideal EC and pH for your hydroponic nutrient solution. You need to know that EC is the amount of salts that go in the formula. The best measurement you can get for EC is 1.2 to 2.0.
pH, on the other hand, is the amount of acidity in your hydroponics nutrients formula. Keep in mind that all marijuana strains require a different pH. Aim for between 5.5 and 6.5 in your mix. Never go over 0.5 higher when adding more nutrients to the mix.
You can measure both EC and pH for cannabis with a single tool called a dual meter. You can buy it in any hardware store. The tool will help you measure the concentration levels of your hydroponics nutrient recipe. Make sure to pick a digital option because they run measurements faster.
If you go overboard with the nutrients, you’ll make the pH too strong. This could damage your plant in the short run. You can fix this by adding a very small portion of phosphoric acid to your hydroponics fertilizer mix or add 1lt of water to get it down.
Boost yields with your homemade hydroponic nutrient solution
You’ve struck gold with this fantastic guide. Now you know one of the best trade secrets to grow your marijuana garden using hydroponics and the best way to make your hydroponic nutrient solution.
At Homegrown Cannabis Co., we have a great catalog of nutrients you can get sent to your home right now. Preparing nutrients is easy, and by making your hydroponics nutrients formula, you’ll save a ton of money.
If you need more assistance, make sure to join our community. There are many growers on our site willing to share their secrets with you. See you there!
About the author: Derek LaRose
Also known as Kronic from The Cannabis Kronicles, Derek LaRose is a young ambitious cultivator and a staple educator for indoor cultivation.