Before a plant produces fruit it must first produce flowers. When transitioning to the flowering stage of the hydroponics the plant’s nutrition needs change.
Here’s what you need to know about the flowering stage of hydroponics.
Know What Causes You Plants To Flower?
It’s important to know what causes the particular plant you’re growing to flower. This can be helpful because you can manipulate when a plant will produce flowers, forcing it to flower early, or hold off on flowering until there is more vegetation. Allowing a plant to produce more vegetation before flowering will allow the plant to create more productivity.
Some plants are triggered to flower when the light duration the receive reaches a certain point. This is called photoperiodism. There are short-day plants and long-day plants. Short day plants need about 10-12 hours for flowering and long-day plants typically need between 14-18 hours of light.
Other plants are day-neutral, which means that light doesn’t effect when they produce flowers. These plants instead produce flowers at a certain stage, age or environmental stimulus such as temperature.
*Protip– If you’re not ready for flowers you can pinch off the flower buds as they appear. This will allow the plant to continue putting most of its energy into foliage growth, growing the plant bigger and in turn creating more space for an increased number of flowers and produce.
Nutrient Needs During The Flowering Stage Of Hydroponics
Now that we’ve reached the flowering stage, we now want plants to focus less on foliage growth and instead on producing the flowers that will later turn into fruit. This means it’s time to reduce the nitrogen and increase phosphorus.
Recommend One Part Nutrient Regimen For The Flowering Stage Of Hydroponics
For those looking for a one-part nutrient solution, I recommend Dyna Gro nutrients. When you’re ready to switch your plants to the flowering stage use Dyna Gro “Bloom” formula.
Recommended Multi-Part Regimen For The Flowering Stage of Hydroponics
My go-to 3 part nutrient solution is General Hydroponics Flora Series. This nutrient regimen can be customized for any stage of plant growth so you will just need to follow the recommended dosing for the flowering stage.
Now it’s a good time to add a magnesium supplement to your nutrient regimen.
Before flowers can become fruit they will need to be pollinated. If you’re growing them indoors you will probably need to pollinate the flowers by hand.
Outdoor hydroponic gardens are often pollinated by nature whether it be wind or bugs. Even so, it’s never a bad idea to do some extra pollinating by hand to make sure flowers are pollinated well. This not only ensures pollination but can increase the quality of the fruit your plant produces.
Why Are The Flowers Falling Off?
Sometimes during flowering, some plants will produce great looking flowers only to have them fall off the plant. This is called blossom drop.
If you’re pollinating your flowers well and your still experience blossom drop it’s probably due to environmental factors like temperature and humidity.
The plant’s nutrition needs change when it transitions from the vegetative cycle to the flowing stage of hydroponics. During the flowering stage, you should change to bloom a nutrient formula and adjust the light cycle. Be sure to pollinate the flowers well and you’ll be ready for some fruiting!