Plants need access to adequate and proper nutrients to thrive. This is equally true in a hydroponic system, albeit with one added requirement – the nutrients must be soluble. In addition to naturally available oxygen and hydrogen, the solution of essential nutrients needs to be complete and balanced to ensure your plants thrive. 


Regardless of whether they are grown in a hydroponic system or in the ground, the nutrients that plants require are the same. The only difference is how these nutrients are presented to the plants. For one, soil-grown plants receive nutrients directly from the soil while hydroponic plants need complete plant nutrients that are dissolved in water. 


When choosing a nutrient solution, hydroponic growers should take factors such as the type of crop, phase of growth and the design of their hydroponic system into consideration. 


Here are six of the most important mineral nutrients for optimum plant growth and yields. 


1.    Nitrogen (N)


Nitrogen in the form of nitrates is crucial for plant growth as it enables the plants to utilise energy derived from the sun to create required sugars from water and carbon dioxide. Also, nitrogen is a chief element in amino acids – the nutrients responsible for the manufacture of proteins to help plants grow. 


2.    Potassium (K)


Potassium plays a significant role in a plant’s physiological development. Plants require substantial amounts of this nutrient to flourish and facilitate reproduction. Potassium makes protein and starch synthesis possible. 


3.    Phosphorous (P)


Phosphorus is an essential component in the nucleic acid structure of plants and plays a role in the management of protein synthesis. It is critical for the development of new tissue and the division of plant cells. Plants use phosphorus for complex energy transmissions. 


4.    Calcium (Ca)


Plants require calcium to strengthen cellular walls. An additional function of this nutrient is its important role in new cell development. 


5.    Magnesium (Mg)


Magnesium is the central atom in the chlorophyll molecule and therefore plays a critical role in photosynthesis. Inadequate magnesium leads to a reduction of photosynthetic and enzymatic activity. 


6.    Sulphur (S)


Sulphur aids in the development of essential enzymes and plant proteins. Even though only small amounts of this sulphur are required for plant health, a deficiency can have a significant impact on the health of your plants. 


If you’re new to hydroponics, it is essential that you use a complete and balanced nutrient solution that is specially formulated for hydroponic use. Check out the best range of hydroponic nutrients now.