After hydroponic seedlings get established, it’s time to focus on the vegetative stage of growth. The vegetative stage, also known as the veg or growth stage is a time of rapid growth of the stem, branches, and leaves.
Since plants require different N-P-K ratios for different stages of growth, it’s important to understand the nutrient needs for each growth cycle. Here’s what you need to know about a plant’s nutrition needs in the vegetative stage of hydroponics.
Nutrients Needed During The Vegetative Stage Of Hydroponics
While the types of minerals the plant needs stay the same throughout its life-cycle, the amount of each mineral they need changes with the different stages of growth. During the vegetative stage of plant growth, nitrogen is the most looked at mineral.
Nitrogen is important in the growth and development of vital plant tissues and cells, like the cell membranes and chlorophyll. Nitrogen is significant in many complex processes and functions, but if you’ve looked around my site you know I’m about simple how-to hydroponics, so I’ll keep it simple.
Nitrogen’s Role in the Vegetative Stage
One of the processes nitrogen is essential is in photosynthesis, the process turning light into usable plant energy. Nitrogen is a key player in producing chlorophyll; a pigment that absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis.
Plants with sufficient nitrogen will experience high rates of photosynthesis. High rates of photosynthesis create high amounts of energy that can be used for vigorous plant growth and development.
My Recommend Nutrient Regimens For Vegetative Growth Of Hydroponics
As far as the best nutrient regiment for the vegetative stage of growth you first have to decide between a one-part or multipart nutrient solution.
Recommend One Part Nutrient Regimen For The Vegetative Stage
For those looking for a one-part nutrient solution I recommend Dyna Gro nutrients. Dyna Gro offers 2 options, a “Foliage-Pro” formula and a “Grow” formula. Typically I use Foliage Pro for growing leafy greens that I don’t need to flower and the Grow formula for those plants that will fruit and flower.
You should check out my review of Dyna Gro Foliage-Pro here.
Both nutrient regimens are higher in nitrogen and geared towards the vegetative stage of plant growth.
Recommended Multi-Part Regimen For The Vegetative Stage
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 vegetative stage.
What If Hydroponic Plants Don’t Get Enough Nitrogen?
Lack of nitrogen typically shows up as yellowing in the leaves typically starting with the older growth.
A long term nitrogen deficiency will cause a plant to be stunted producing less growth with smaller fruits in less abundance.
Can Hydroponic Plants Get Too Much Nitrogen?
Even though nitrogen is important to the vegetative stage, it is possible to overdo it. It is possible to give plants too much nitrogen resulting in nitrogen toxicity.
A sign of nitrogen toxicity is leaf tip burn, where the tips of the leaves are dried out and brown. Too much nitrogen may also cause a plant to not form correctly in the flowering and fruiting stages.
It’s important to get your hydroponic garden started off on the right foot in the vegetative stage. The more branches and leaves on a plant the more room there is for flowers and fruit.