Best Nutrients for Hydroponics

Reviews of the Top Hydroponic Fertilizers

Hydroponic nutrients are a crucial component to any hydroponic system. Without a complete and balanced nutrient solution – administered in the correct dosage and at the proper time – your plants can easily suffer from malnutrition, over-fertilization, or the wrong concentrations of each nutrient. Let’s first take a look at some of the key factors to consider when choosing a hydroponic fertilizer, and then review some of the best nutrients for hydroponics on the market today. Hopefully, this will help you choose the correct fertilizer for your next hydroponic crop.

Nutrients for Hydroponic Systems: The Considerations

There are a few factors to consider when you are choosing nutrients for hydroponic systems. First, does it have all of the elements your plant will need for growth? Are these elements balanced to the correct ratios?

Once you know your nutrients are complete and balanced, then you should consider the strength (or “EC”) you should give your plants. This will depend on what crop you are growing and the stage/phase of growth of the plant when giving them nutrients (i.e., vegetative, flowering, fruiting). As the grower, you will have complete control over administering the nutrients. Therefore, you must give your plants the proper nutrients they need – at the times they need it – in order to keep them healthy. And lastly, any hydroponic fertilizer you use must be water soluble in order for the plant to access it. 

Keep in mind that not all plant fertilizers are equal. The plant nutrients you may find at your local garden center may be well-suited for plants grown in soil but may not be the complete plant food needed for soil-free hydroponic systems.

In order to be a complete plant food for hydroponics growing, the nutrients should include:

Nitrogen (N)

Potassium (K)

Phosphorus (P)

Calcium (Ca)

Magnesium (Mg)

Sulphur (S)

Iron (Fe)

Manganese (Mn)

Copper (Cu)

Zinc (Zn)

Molybdate (Mo)

Boron (B)

Chlorine (Cl)

Since each crop and phase of plant growth benefits from different ratios of each element, then it can be a chore trying to figure out what is needed to mix together. If you are not interested in becoming an amateur chemist, not to worry. The good news in that there are plenty of great pre-mixed nutrient solutions which have been specifically designed for hydroponics. These are available in either liquid or dry form, and you simply follow the directions as to the feed-schedule and how to administer them. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most popular, highest-rated, and best nutrients for hydroponics on the market today.

Best Hydroponic Nutrients – Fertilizers for your Indoor Growing System

Other Flora Series Products

pH UP/down Adjuster 

This product makes it easy to keep your pH in check. Simply add in to adjust the acidity in your hydroponic system.

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Flora Series Performance Pack

A convenient package that includes 16 oz. Flora Micro,  FloraGro, and Flora Bloom; 8 oz. Flora Blend, Liquid KoolBloom; 4 oz. FloraKleen; and 1 oz. Rapid Start, Floralicious Plus and pH Test Indicator.

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Flora Series 1 Gallon x 3

Get the essential 3 Flora Series nutrients in these 1 gallon each package.

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General Hydroponics Flora Series

A Gold Standard in Nutrients for Hydroponics

uPONICS Rating

4.5 drop rating

The General Hydroponics Flora Series is possibly the most popular hydroponic nutrients on the planet. This is a pioneering brand known for its high quality and highly-purified concentrates to maximize solubility. With its Flora Series Performance Pack, General Hydroponics includes FloraGro 2-1-6, FloraMicro 5-0-1, and FloraBloom 0-5-4 to give you the complete primary, secondary and micronutrients your plants need for better yields and great quality crops. Also included is its RapidStart product. This stimulates root growth by delivering a mixture of premium plant extracts, amino acids, and nutrients. RapidStart also helps in the development of tiny root hairs to increase the uptake of nutrients which creates whiter and healthier roots.

GH’s Flora Series is great for both beginners and experts. The user is responsible for adjusting the mixture to accommodate the plant’s needs so just read the directions carefully. Just read the instructions and mix/pour accordingly. It’s as simple as it gets! Although it is pH-balanced, we always recommend you monitor the pH level to stay within range (General Hydroponics “pH UP/down” is great for easy adjusting).  Simply, easy, reliable – its no wonder why NASA and Antarctic researchers choose the Flora Series.

Combo Pack Includes:

1 qt. – FloraGro
1 qt. – FloraMicro
1 qt. – FloraBloom
1 oz. – RapidStart

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FoxFarm Big Bloom, Grow Big & Tiger Bloom Trio

Quality Hydroponic Nutrients for Every Stage of Growth

uPONICS Rating

4.5 drop rating

FoxFarm is another well-respected brand in the gardening community and this convenient trio pack of liquid fertilizer is specifically designed for hydroponic systems.  The 3 x 32 oz bottles are used in sequence to bring about lush vegetation, vibrant blooms, and exceptional fruit for a full season of plant growth. Begin with the Grow Big Hydro to jump-start the green vegetation, and then change to Tiger Blooms once you begin to see buds setting or flowing. As for the third bottle, Big Bloom, you will use this throughout the entire grow to increase nutrient cycling and repair the root system.

As the reviews attest, hydro growers are head-over-heels in love with the results of FoxFarm’s trio pack of nutrients. It’s a quality product and the pre-mixed formulation is tailored to take the guesswork out of what and when to add nutrients to your hydroponic system.


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Advanced Nutrients Hydroponic Nutrients

Extensive line of Specially Designed Nutrients

uPONICS Rating

4 drop rating

Advanced Nutrients has created dozens of growing formulas to give your crops exactly what they need at the times when they need it.  The end result is higher yield and better crops.

Base Nutrients – pH Perfect Grow, Micro, Bloom

Their line of base nutrients is a 3-part series designed for lush and sturdy growth. The nutrients contain carrier molecule to make sure your plants receive the maximum amounts of nutrients. Advanced Nutrients’ pH Perfect Technology automatically stabilizes the pH within an optimal range of 5.5–6.3 and keep it locked in that range.

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Big Bud Liquid Fertilizer

If you are after bigger plants with dense flowers, Advanced Nutrients’ Big Bud Liquid Fertilizer may be what you need. Cultivate flowers with more potency, aromatics, essential oils, terpenoids, and phenols with significant increases in overall market value and harvest weight.  This is designed to be used during the flowering stage. 

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Bud Candy Fertilizer

No, this isn’t the cotton candy you buy at the fair. This product can be added to your hydroponic system during flowering to bring out the plant’s natural flavor and sweetness. The carbohydrate energy will help your flowers expand. Known to increase trichome production and fruity flavor. Cannabis growers rave about this product but can be used in other crops such as tomatoes.

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Other Recommend Nutrients for Hydroponics

Cucumber Hydroponic Nutrients

This is an inexpensive nutrient mixture specifically designed for cucumbers.

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Pepper Hydroponic Nutrients

Another nutrient mixture to use when growing hydroponic peppers.

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General Hydroponics KoolBloom

A popular 0-10-0 dry formula to encourage flowering and ripening in annuals.

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Best Nutrients for Hydroponics – Water Soluble for Mixing

Add Water and Mix your our Fertilizer

uPONICS Rating

3.5 drop rating

General Hydroponics MaxiGro & MaxiBloom

Quite possibly the most popular dry, concentrated nutrients for hydroponics on the market.  MaxiGro and MaxiBloom will give you superior results regardless of the crop you are growing. Use the MaxiGro to encourage the growth of seedlings and cuttings, and then all throughout the vegetative growth stages. After vegetation, then switch to MaxiBloom during the flowering stage. 

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Lettuce Greens and Herbs 

Here is a complete nutrient formulation for hydroponically-grown greens. It’s great for hydroponic herbs, microgreens, and lettuce because the powdered mix has all 5 macronutrients (N, P, K, Mg, Ca) plus the 6 micronutrients you need for a perfectly balanced solution. It’s an economical choice because this is a non-liquid formulation. Thus, you will save on the packaging and shipping costs. You will need 3 5-gallon buckets and measuring cups to do the mixing.

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Tomato Hydroponic Nutrients

Here you have 2 lbs of hydroponic tomato nutrients to make 128 gallons. The powder mix contains the 5 macronutrients (N, P, K, Mg, Ca) and 6 micronutrients you will need in a perfectly balanced ratio for tomato plants. 

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AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients

For Aerogarden or any other Hydroponic System

uPONICS Rating

4 drop rating

If you have an AeroGarden, then you probably know that seed pod kits and nutrients can be pricey. One cheaper alternative is to purchase pods without seeds and then add your own choice of seeds to the pod and buy your nutrients in bulk. Here we have a 1 liter – or 100 feedings worth – of nutrients to last you a few years. Aerogarden’s patented formulation of liquid nutrients gives you better germination and growth. The organic pH buffering system makes it easy to use from the seedling stage all the way through vegetative and flowering. Could it be any easier? If you don’t have an Aerogarden but still want a simple and worry-free fertilizer for your simple hydroponics system, then this may be the way to go. It’s very versatile, to say the least.

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Thanks for reading our Best Nutrients for Hydroponics article. We hope that you found a fertilizer for your next soilless grow. For more hydroponics and aquaponics articles, please see our LED Grow Light Reviews, Grow Tent Kits, Hydroponics Growing Medium, Grow Lights for Plants,  and Hydroponics System pages.

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