Fertilizers for hydroponics or soil cultivation are not exactly the same.
In most cases it is better to buy a fertilizer for hydroponics. You can choose between a fertilizer that promotes plant growth, flowering or root growth. You must also take the fertilizer according to the plant as cacti and orchids need special fertilizer with different NPK ratio.
But some fertilizers for soil culture may be suitable for hydroponics.
Here are some points to consider when buying fertilizer for hydroculture.
The main difference lies in the trace elements or micro-elements, i.e. elements that are present in minute or trace amounts and that plants need in very small quantities.
In soil, these trace elements are usually present. Unless the soil is exhausted, for example by overexploitation or in a large pot where you have only changed the surface soil but not the entire pot.
Although these elements are necessary for the plant in minute quantities, they are indispensable: without these elements, the plant will eventually have growth problems.
Fertilizers for hydroponics are available as a concentrated solution or in solid form, which must be dissolved in water to obtain the nutrient solution.
And in these fertilizers, trace elements are present in sufficient quantity. Fertilizers for hydroponics generally contain fewer impurities and are more soluble and more stable.
The easiest and cheapest is to buy a special fertilizer for hydroponics.
Organic or inorganic:
With organic fertilizers, the fertilizer must first be decomposed by bacteria and microbes, before the plant can absorb them.
Inorganic fertilizers contain elements in pure chemical form which the plant can absorb directly.
Both can be used for hydroponics, but organic fertilizers require more control of the nutrient solution and more work.
Do I buy fertilizer for hydroponics or soil culture?
Buy a fertilizer for hydroponics, this way you are sure to have the best fertilizer.
Otherwise, read the package:
1. organic or inorganic: prefer inorganic
2. macro-nutrients: check if the following are present
- nitrogen (N)
- phosphorus (P)
- calcium (Ca)
- potassium (K)
- sulfur (S)
- magnesium (Mg)
- iron (Fe)
3. micro-elements: check if the following are present
- manganese (Mn)
- boron (B)
- zinc (Zn)
- copper (Cu)
- molybdenum (Mo)
Keep in mind that some plants need specific fertilizers with a different NPK ratio (orchids, cacti, …) and some fertilizers promote plant growth, flowering or root growth.
And, if you use a fertilizer for soil culture, be sure to dilute at least four times more than is recommended on the package.