Source: Lucasbosch


Plants absorb nutrients through the roots in inorganic or mineral form.

When plants grow in soil, organic matter must first be broken down into its inorganic elements for the plant to absorb.

In hydroponics, these inorganic substances are dissolved in water as positive and negative ions.

Components of the nutrient solution:

The main components or macro-nutrients in the nutrient solution are:

  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • calcium
  • potassium
  • sulfur
  • magnesium
  • iron

There are also trace elements or micro-elements, i.e. elements that are present in minute quantities:

  • manganese
  • boron
  • zinc
  • copper
  • molybdenum

Commercial nutrient solutions:

Several commercial nutrient solutions were special developed for hydroponics.

Depending on the purpose and plant, the nutrient solutions differ in the amount and proportions of nutrients.

We distinguish nutrient solutions who boost:

  • growth of the plant
  • flower formation
  • root growth

Furthermore, the nutrient solutions also vary depending on the plant itself. For example, cacti and orchids contain different amounts and proportions of nutrients.

Homemade nutrient solutions:

It is possible to prepare a nutrient solution by mixing the individual minerals that plants need.

This can be fun for some hobbyists, but you must purchase all items separately and weigh the elements accurately to prepare the solution, which does not necessarily result in a cheaper or better nutrient solution.

There are some practical programs to calculate the quantities of elements in the nutrient solution: