Our list of the top 6 best hydroponic nutrients and fertilizers for the money. Since the best fertilizer for hydroponics can vary depending on your specific needs and desires, you should also check out our guide, How to Choose the Best Hydroponics Nutrients.
The 6 Best Hydroponic Nutrients and Fertilizers
- General Hydroponics Flora Grow, Bloom, Micro Combo Fertilizer
- AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients
- MasterBlend 4-18-38 Complete Combo Kit Fertilizer
- Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro & Grow
- General Hydroponics GH5100 General Organics Go Box
- Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula
Best Hydroponic Nutrients and Fertilizers
|General Hydroponics Flora Grow, Bloom, Micro Combo Fertilizer||AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients||MasterBlend 4-18-38 Complete Combo Kit Fertilizer|
|Components||3 individual components||One-part formula||3 individual components
|pH buffering||pH balanced||pH buffering|
|Special Features||1 quart each (3 quarts total)||1-liter bottle||Solid hydroponic nutrients
|Customer Ratings||4.6 / 5.0 Stars||4.4 / 5.0 Stars||4.6 / 5.0 Stars|
Also see: Hydroponic Nutrients Comparison Table
Best Hydroponic Nutrients and Fertilizers Reviews
- 3 individual components
- 1 quart each (3 quarts total)
- Highly customizable
- Included recommendations
- pH balanced
Each one of these contains a different formula with different hydroponic nutrients at different concentrations. The excellent thing about having 3 individual solutions is that it gives you the ability to customize your hydroponics nutrients solution to your plant’s exact needs at any given time during a growing cycle.
All plants have different nutrient needs and those needs change as the plant grows and goes through different parts of the growing cycle. The Flora Series from General Hydroponics splits up the different nutrients that a plant requires into these 3 formulas and provides recommendations on how to best utilize them for different crops during different parts of a growing cycle.
FloraMicro is the foundation of the set and contains a mixture of trace minerals, calcium, and nitrogen. These are things that will be needed all throughout the plant’s growing cycle. As your plant reaches the vegetative stage, FloraGrow provides increased nitrogen and potassium for better growth results.
Finally, FloraBloom provides nutrients like phosphorous, magnesium, and sulfur – all of which are important to the development of fruit and flowers. This system allows you a lot of control over your hydroponic nutrient solution to increase success regardless of what you are growing. Of course, it also takes more knowledge and planning to properly use the Flora System.
- One-part formula
- pH buffering
- 1-liter bottle
- Easy-to-use dispenser cup
This makes it a really wonderful choice for anyone that is just getting started with hydroponics. It takes all the guess work out of the process. With this hydroponic fertilizer, you just mix the one formula with water in the recommended ratio. There are over 100 feeds worth of this hydroponic plant food in just the one bottle, so it will last a long time.
Of course, with only the single formula, you don’t have the benefit of being able to customize your hydroponic nutrient solution throughout the growing cycle like with General Hydroponics and many other hydroponic fertilizer options. AeroGarden Liquid Hydroponic Nutrients are formulated to be effective during all parts of the growing cycle, but overall may not increase successful growing and harvest as much as a more customizable hydroponic nutrient solution.
Even so, its simplicity and ease of use make it one of the best hydroponic fertilizer options for beginners. To increase ease even more, this hydroponic fertilizer includes a convenient dispenser cup with mL markings. The pH buffering system adds one more convenience factor that will make a big difference in your plant growth.
AeroGarden also encourages use of their hydroponic plant food for other plants as well – including those growing in soil. It is a great fertilizer option across the board.
- Solid hydroponic nutrients
- 3 individual components
- Packaged in recommended ratios
This solid hydroponic fertilizer from MasterBlend is the best fertilizer for hydroponics when it comes to solid nutrient options. The reason that liquid concentrations are generally chosen is simply that they are easier to use and mix with your water to create your hydroponic nutrient solution.
However, there are some really great benefits to solid choices as well. Namely that solid hydroponic fertilizer is considerably less expensive in the long run. Solid hydroponic nutrients are much more cost-effective to prepare, package, and ship compared to liquid concentrations.
You also have to take into consideration that when choosing a liquid concentration, it is less concentrated than the solid version that contains no water at all – so you are only paying for the actual nutrients and not the addition of water.
This MasterBlend Complete Combo Kit Fertilizer contains 3 different components. You have the actual 4-18-38 MasterBlend that contains the necessities that you will want to provide your plants with including things like nitrogen, phosphate, magnesium, copper, iron, and more.
You also receive a bag of calcium nitrate that provides additional calcium and nitrogen as needed. Finally, you get a bag of Epsom salt which comprises of magnesium, sulfate, and sulfur which are highly beneficial during the final stage of the growth cycle – flowering and fruit bearing.
Each bag contains the exact amount needed, so that when used as recommended, you won’t run out of any particular component before the others. Another cool benefit of this system is that by allowing you to mix in each component one at a time, you prevent nutrient lockout.
The situation that can sometimes occur with pre-mixed blends when a plant is blocked from accessing and utilizing a particular nutrient or nutrients in the hydroponic nutrient solution.
- 3 individual components
- Liquid concentrations
- 1 Liter each (3 Liters total)
- pH balanced
- State-of-the-art carrier molecules
Of course, with the trust and reliability that General Hydroponics has built over the years, it is understandable why many still choose them even with the slightly higher price. Just like the Flora Series, this hydroponic nutrient system comes with their own Micro, Grow, and Bloom formulas. Each one has a similar make-up to the options provided in the Flora Series.
Micro includes a variety of essential nutrients and creates the base of your hydroponic fertilizer. Grow provides additional nutrients that aid in maximizing vegetative growth. Then, Bloom provides the extra needed nutrients to ensure the biggest and best results for whatever you’re growing.
The 3 unique formulas and pH perfect technology make it as easy as possible to customize your perfect hydroponic nutrient solution for each part of your plant’s growing cycle.
- 16-ounce bottles of BioThrive Grow and Bloom
- 8-ounce samples of each Go Organics line liquid nutrient
- Organic hydroponic fertilizer
- Highly customizable
- pH balanced
Basically, due to the nature of hydroponic nutrients, there are no officially organic or non-organic options. When you see talk about hydroponic organic nutrients, what they are really talking about are options like General Organics from General Hydroponics.
The General Organics line is formulated with purer nutrients sourced from botanical extracts and natural minerals. This can be a perfect choice for many, but it is important to realize that costs will be a good bit higher when it comes to upkeeping your plants with these hydroponic organic fertilizer options.
Even at the higher price, this General Organics Go Box provides a great overall value and is perfect for beginners or small-scale hydroponic gardening.
The Go Box contains a 16-ounce bottle of BioThrive Grow as well as a 16-ounce bottle of BioThrive Bloom. The BioThrive series is the main formula within the General Organics line. It provides everything necessary during each stage of the growing cycle for your plants. Since it contains both Bloom and Thrive, you’ll be able to customize your hydroponic nutrient solution to maximize your results.
In addition to the bottles of BioThrive, the Go Box also includes 8-ounce samples of every liquid nutrient concentration in the General Organics line. This includes BioBud, BioRoot, CaMg+, BioWeed, BioMarine, and Diamond Black. This gives you the opportunity to try out all of the different products and experiment with what works best for you and your plants.
- 3 individual components
- Liquid concentrations
- Big Bloom for organic nutrients
- Works well in soil too
This Trio Formula from Fox Farm includes three of their most popular liquid nutrient concentration options. You get a bottle of Grow Big, a bottle of Big Bloom, and a bottle of Tiger Bloom with this option.
This series is a bit different than the other 3-component liquid options that we have reviewed. Instead of having a base option that provides the essential nutrients all throughout the growing cycle, you actually get 2 different Bloom formulas. The concept here is that each of the 3 components will provide the basic, essential nutrients that your plants need at all stages during the growth cycle.
Grow Big is specifically formulated to really increase vegetative or green growth during the vegetative stage of the growing cycle. This, as the name suggests, helps your plants to reach bigger sizes for better health and output.
Once you start to see the first signs of blooming, Tiger Bloom is the ideal hydroponic nutrients option to get you the biggest, brightest, best results possible. Big Bloom is more ideal for using all throughout a growing cycle in order to help heal and improve root systems as well as increase overall output. Big Bloom also happens to be an excellent organic hydroponic fertilizer.
Hydroponic Nutrients Comparison Table
|Best Hydroponic Nutrients and Fertilizers||Price||Components||pH buffering||Special Features||Customer Ratings|
|General Hydroponics Flora Grow, Bloom, Micro Combo Fertilizer||$32.05||3 individual components||pH balanced||1 quart each (3 quarts total)||4.6 / 5.0 Stars|
|AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients||$29.14||One-part formula||pH buffering||1-liter bottle||4.4 / 5.0 Stars|
|MasterBlend 4-18-38 Complete Combo Kit Fertilizer||from $22.99||3 individual components||N/A||Solid hydroponic nutrients||4.6 / 5.0 Stars
|Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro & Grow||$31.75||3 individual components||pH balanced||1 Liter each (3 Liters total)||4.5 / 5.0 Stars
|General Hydroponics GH5100 General Organics Go Box||$38.66||Organic hydroponic fertilizer||pH balanced||16-ounce bottles of BioThrive Grow and Bloom||4.1 / 5.0 Stars
|Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula||$26.97||3 individual components||N/A||Big Bloom for organic nutrients||4.6 / 5.0 Stars
How to Choose the Best Hydroponics Nutrients
Since hydroponics has become more popular than ever and is still gaining traction, more and more people are on the search for the best hydroponic nutrients and fertilizers. To put it simply, hydroponics is the growing of terrestrial plants without soil. There are lots of different specific methods of hydroponics, but they all share the fact that they require some form of hydroponic nutrient solution.
Hydroponics nutrients are basically just hydroponic plant food. Since there is no soil for plants to gain nutrients from, you must provide it through nutrient solutions. There are lots of benefits of hydroponics, so it is completely understandable that both commercial hydroponics as well as home hydroponics have seen so much growth over the years. If you are interested in getting started with hydroponics or even just improving your current hydroponics set-up, you’re probably in the market for the best hydroponic fertilizer.
When it comes to home hydroponics, choosing the best hydroponics nutrients can feel very burdensome. You want to be successful with your gardening, but you may not have the experience and knowledge to know exactly what will work best and what you should be considering when trying to find the best hydroponics nutrients. This is a common dilemma because hydroponics can feel very complicated to beginners.
The most important thing is to just take your time and learn as you go. Choosing the best hydroponics fertilizer is an important step in getting started and we hope this guide on doing so can help you get started with successful home hydroponics. To make it as simple as possible, we will go over a few of the basics when it comes to what you should be considering when choosing the best hydroponic fertilizer for your needs.
Liquid or Solid
First off, you need to choose what form of hydroponic fertilizer that you want. Hydroponic fertilizers are available in liquid form as well as solid form and there are benefits to each. Liquid hydroponic nutrients are generally easier to mix and use while solid hydroponic nutrients are usually cheaper. Solid forms are also easier to ship, store, and are more easily purchased in bulk.
Number of Components
Another important consideration for choosing the best hydroponic nutrients for your needs is if you want a one-part system or a multi-part system. One-part systems only have one formula of hydroponic nutrients that you mix with water to create your hydroponic nutrient solution. This is obviously the easiest choice. These types of mixtures are made with a formula that is good for general use but obviously can’t be customized.
Alternatively, you can choose a multi-part system – most commonly a three-part system. This will consist of multiple different hydroponic nutrient formulas. In this case, you either mix the different parts of the formula at the ratios of your choosing or you use different formulas throughout different parts of the growing cycle. This obviously takes more knowledge of your specific plants and their changing nutrient needs, but the ability to customize your solution like that does give you the ability to enhance your overall success.
Finally, cost is very important when choosing hydroponic nutrients. That is because they are a consistent, reoccurring cost. This isn’t just something that you will purchase one time if you will be regularly practicing home hydroponics. Remember that dry hydroponic nutrients are generally much more affordable, but liquid options are simpler to use.
One-part systems are also usually more affordable, but don’t allow customization for different plants and changing needs throughout growing cycles. Even similar options from different brands can vary a lot in cost, though – which is why you should consider the long-term costs of your hydroponics nutrients choices carefully.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How can plants grow without soil?
Answer: One of the most common questions about hydroponics is how plants are able to grow without soil. The answer is hydroponic nutrients! In normal farming and gardening, plants receive nutrients from 3 places – the air, the water, and the soil. In the case of hydroponic farming, hydroponic nutrients replace the nutrients that would typically come from the soil and often supplement additional nutrients to maximize results.
Instead of growing in soil, hydroponically grown plant’s roots are suspended in a hydroponic nutrient solution. Sometimes an inert medium is used to suspend and support the roots instead of just the nutrient solution. The solution is made by mixing hydroponic nutrients with water. The solution is then delivered directly to the roots of the plant to provide all of the nutrients that a typical plant would get through soil.
Question: Are hydroponic nutrients better than soil?
Answer: It is a huge debate if hydroponics is better than traditional farming and gardening. The truth is that both can be utilized properly to get amazing results. The biggest difference is probably that hydroponics provides the ability to more easily control and monitor the environment of the plants. This allows a more targeted approach to providing all of the nutrients that are necessary to a plant for it to grow and thrive well.
Question: Can I use hydroponics nutrients in soil?
Answer: Hydroponics nutrients can certainly be used in soil, although it may be overkill in many cases. Since hydroponic nutrients and fertilizers are designed specifically to replace nutrients from soil, they aren’t really necessary for plants being grown in soil. However, they can still provide benefits and maximize growing potential. Some hydroponic fertilizers are marketed for use across the board. The most cost-effective option, of course, would be to just use normal fertilizers designed for soil specifically.
Buyer’s Tips for Hydroponics Nutrients
Choosing the best hydroponics nutrients is one of the most important things you can do to ensure success in home hydroponics. A good hydroponic fertilizer will make a huge difference in how well your plants grow.
Since choosing a hydroponic fertilizer can be overwhelming, we hope that our list of the top 6 best hydroponic nutrients and guide on choosing hydroponic nutrients have been helpful.
As long as you choose a balanced fertilizer that is targeted towards hydroponics and use it properly, you should see good results. Reading user reviews can also be a very helpful tool when choosing a product like hydroponic nutrients. Since this is a reoccurring cost, you want to be smart about where you purchase from.
Amazon is great because they regularly have free shipping, wide availability, excellent service, and low prices. It never hurts to shop around, though! There are lots of options available when shopping for hydroponic nutrients.
Thanks for reading The 6 Top-Rated Hydroponic Nutrients and Fertilizers. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best growing system foods for your plant or herb growing needs and preferences.
If you have any questions or comments for us just use this Contact Form.
And if you’re shopping for other gear take a look at these related review articles from Outside Pursuits:
HOME & GARDEN LED GROW LIGHTS | HYDROPONICS SYSTEMS | GROW TENTS | HYDROPONIC NUTRIENTS | HYGROMETERS | SOIL PH METERS | HERB GARDEN KITS | LED LANDSCAPE LIGHTS | LED SOLAR LIGHTS | FOOD DEHYDRATORS | COOLER ICE PACKS | BUG ZAPPERS | WHEELBARROWS | PRUNING SHEARS