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Hydroponic Nutrient Solution: A Must-Read Essential Beginner’s Guide

Hydroponic greenhouse

Many gardeners use hydroponics as their preferred way to grow plants because using a hydroponic nutrient solution ensures optimal plant growth. Using a hydroponic nutrient solution ensures that your plant’s roots get the nutrients they need from the water so they can grow with ease. This article will teach you about hydroponic nutrient solutions and how to use them so you can hydroponically grow your own plants without worry.


Plants need macronutrients to be able to thrive and grow. The macronutrients that plants need are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Nitrogen (N) - allows the plant to grow its leaves, its leaves’ colors, and provides amino acids, proteins, nucleic acid, and chlorophyll synthesis. When a plant is lacking in nitrogen, its leaves are typically a faded color and the plant grows at a slower rate.

Phosphorous (P) - is necessary for the synthesis of the plant’s DNA and RNA. It is also responsible for developing the plant’s stems, roots, flowers, and seeds. A deficiency in this nutrient leads to weak stems and leaves, and it causes root growth to slow.

Potassium (K) - synthesizes the proteins and carbohydrates of the plant. It helps develop the flowers, roots, and stems but not as much as compared to phosphorus.

Am hydro


Alongside the macronutrients, plants also need micronutrients to grow. The nine micronutrients that a plant needs include:

Boron: Works with calcium to help form cell walls by synthesizing the cell membrane’s structure and functions.

Calcium: Works with boron to form cell walls

Copper: activates enzymes and helps with respiration and photosynthesis.

Iron: Forms chlorophyll, used in photosynthesis, and helps provide energy provision.

Magnesium: catalyzes the growth process and helps makes oxygen during photosynthesis

Sulfur: A component of two of the 21 amino acids that synthesize protein.

Zinc: Helps form chlorophyll and assists with plant respiration and nitrogen metabolism

Hydroponics farm

How to Form a Hydroponic Nutrient Solution

You can find a quality hydroponic nutrient solution at your local store, or you can create your own solution. It’s recommended for beginners to use store-bought solutions first, and once they get a hang of the hydroponic growing process then learning how to create your own hydroponic nutrient solution can be the next step.

Hydroponic nutrient solutions come in powder and liquid forms, which liquid forms being more popular to use. Since these liquid solutions are more concentrated, do not spill any on yourself or your plant. These typically come with pH buffers so you can test the water. You can mix the solution in the water, and it’s ready to go!

Make sure to choose a solution that is specifically made for hydroponic growing and not the all-purpose packages. Soil-grown plants have different needs than hydroponically grown plants. Try to purchase a 2 or 3 part hydroponic nutrient solution as well. This way you can mix in the solution depending on the needs of the plant at its specific life cycle. The 2 to 3-part solutions will contain separate packaging for macronutrients, a growing solution, and micronutrient solution depending on which one you get.

hydroponic microgreens

Want to Know More?

Now that you understand the basics of hydroponic nutrient solutions, you may want to learn more about hydroponic growing or growing plants at home! We at the Nick Greens Grow Team work diligently to provide the necessary research and information that covers everything from microgreen growing to hydroponics to way more!

Sign up for our new weekly microgreens class, which is held every Friday at 4:30 pm CST. Can’t make the class? Subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel for weekly updates about farming methods.

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