DIY Hydroponics Nutrients [The Best Recipe]

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Last Updated on February 25, 2023

Let’s guide you on how to make the best DIY hydroponics nutrients recipe. The nutrient solution is an essential component in hydroponic farming. Providing the appropriate nutrient mixture in the right proportion will enhance the growth and yield of your crops.

Usually, most hydroponic growers purchase nutrient solutions from commercial sellers. It will interest you to know that making your homemade hydroponics nutrients recipe is affordable and possible to make with the right knowledge.

Why Make Your Own DIY Hydroponics Nutrients Recipe?

Even though most growers prefer to buy premixed nutrients because they don’t want the stress of calculating the ratios of nutrients required, there are benefits to making your nutrient solution.

The most rewarding advantage you get from making your hydroponics nutrients recipe is that you get to cut down on your expenses. Making your own nutrients can also be a fun thing to do. You would be amazed to know you’ve been buying these commercially made nutrients at high prices when most of the ingredients used are very affordable and easily obtainable.

Now if it interests you to grow plants for a long duration or you’re growing on a large scale, commercial nutrient purchase may not be beneficial to you. Preparing your own formula may be the best way to go. So, if you’re wondering how best to make a DIY hydroponics nutrients recipe, we will guide you into this.

DIY Hydroponic Nutrient Solution Recipe Guidelines

The combination of nutrients and water makes up a hydroponic nutrient solution. Before we look into the nutrient recipe, let us look at the important nutrient elements hydroponic plants require to grow successfully.

Nutrient elements required for making hydroponic nutrients solution

For hydroponic plants to grow adequately, they require both macronutrients and micronutrients present in their nutrient solutions.

  • Macronutrients

Macronutrients are higher concentrated elements required by plants to grow appropriately. They include magnesium, carbon, calcium, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, phosphorous, and potassium.

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Nitrogen and sulfur nutrient elements will assist in the production of protein and amino acids for your plant. Potassium and magnesium will produce sugar and starch. While phosphorus is required for plant growth and photosynthesis, and calcium is also required for growth. The production of chlorophyll requires magnesium and nitrogen.

All these elements must be contained in your hydroponic nutrients solution or else it will be rendered futile.

  • Micronutrients

Plants also need micronutrients or trace elements in small amounts to develop. Ensure they are present in your homemade hydroponics nutrients recipe so your plants can thrive well. Micronutrients required by hydroponic plants are zinc, boron, cobalt, copper, manganese, iron, chlorine, and molybdenum.

Recipe On How to Make Hydroponic Solution at Home

All types of plants flourish with the presence of both macronutrients and micronutrients. However, the concentrations of these nutrients will vary depending on the type of plants and growth stages. They can be in vegetative, flowering, or fruiting stages.

Guidelines for making macronutrients recipe

Obtain the base of your fertilizer. The base includes nutrient elements such as sulfur, calcium, phosphorous, nitrogen, and so on. They usually come in form of salts and they are mixed with water to form a solution.

These are the amounts of salts you should use for your homemade hydroponics nutrient recipe:

  • 4.5 tablespoons of calcium nitrate
  • 4 tablespoons of potassium nitrate
  • 4 tablespoons of magnesium sulfate, calcium carbonate, and magnesium carbonate
  • 10 gallons of water


  1. Ensure you use clean or filtered water.
  2. To your 10 gallons of water, add two tablespoons of salt to each gallon of water.
  3. Ensure you mix or add one tablespoon of salt at a time.
  4. As you mix the solution, the salts will break down their nutrient elements to make them available to your plants.

Guidelines for adding/preparing micronutrients recipe


  1. Using a different container, measure 1 quart of water and add 0.25 tablespoons of boric acid as well as 0.1 tablespoons of manganese chloride. Ensure you stir the mixture adequately.
  2. After mixing, pour half a cup of this mixture and add it into the macronutrient solution.
  3. Now get a different container and add 1 quart of water and mix 0.5 tablespoons of chelated iron.
  4. Then add 3/5 cups of this mixture into the already made macronutrient solutions.

Guidelines For Adding / Preparing Micronutrients Recipe

Tips for DIY Organic Hydroponic Nutrients Solution

One of the biggest reasons why people are intimidated by hydroponics is because of the daunting task of having to deal with nutrients. Getting the balance of nutrient balance may seem like a monumental task that can only be done by experts or robots. Store-bought hydroponic nutrients can also be quite pricey. This leaves people wondering if they can be able to sustain nutrient provision to their systems.

There is however a way to avoid all these issues. Here, we are going to show you how you can make your own DIY hydroponic nutrients.

Hydroponics can be organic as well. If you want to have an organic hydroponics system, you can achieve it as long as you refrain from using any chemicals, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers. You can obtain all-natural products from things like manure and plant matter.

The advantage of having an organic system is that you produce better-looking crops, the crops taste and smell better, as well as have better nutritional value.

Some of the most common organic fertilizers that are used for hydroponic nutrients include:

  1. Manure based
  2. Fish meal
  3. Gypsum based
  4. Bone meal
  5. Guano
  6. Blood meal
  7. Compost based
  8. Plant-based

These materials can be mixed and matched depending on the system that you are using and the requirements of the crops that you are growing.

A basic NPK proportion of 15-15-15 is mostly used by many hydroponic gardeners. Many other macronutrients and micronutrients such as calcium, sulfur, copper, boron, zinc, iron, and manganese are also necessary.

While there are all these options available to make hydroponic nutrients, in some cases it might be best to avoid substances like manure because of the risk of bacterial contamination. Another issue with these kinds of substances is that they can cause other problems such as clogging of pipes.

The best organic fertilizer for your hydroponics system ultimately depends on the system and crops you are growing. With that said, there are many possibilities once you get the hang of it.

Once you have decided on the materials you are going to use for your DIY hydroponic nutrient solution, these are the materials you will need to mix everything all together before incorporating it into your hydroponics system:

When making your nutrient solution, it is important to monitor the EC and pH as they are essential to water quality parameters. The pH affects the ability of the plants to absorb essential elements from the nutrient solution. Most plants prefer acidic conditions in the pH range between 5.8 and 6.5, you should ensure that you’re solution stays within this range. Make pH adjustments to your system as necessary during the growth of your plants. You can make use of pH up and down to adjust the pH accordingly.

Simple Hydroponics Nutrients

It is easy to make your own, natural fertilizer for hydroponics as we have demonstrated above. It is also possible to make your formula with readily available components. You can do this by using normal hydroponics fertilizer or making your own.

A simple way to make hydroponic nutrients is to purchase some water-soluble fertilizer. Good ones are 20-20-20 or 24-8-16 (NPK), which are available from nurseries, garden supply stores, and even online stores such as Amazon. When purchasing these commercial nutrients, make sure you get the ones that have micronutrients included.

Add two teaspoons of this fertilizer per gallon of water and mix very well. Add one teaspoon of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) per gallon. After mixing these, thoroughly stir the mixture and ensure that everything is well incorporated. And then it is ready for use.

Hydroponics Nutrients

Cheap Hydroponics Nutrients

If you have ever owned a hydroponics system or looking into having and running one, you will know how expensive pre-made hydroponic nutrient mixes are very expensive. If you are running a small system that has not yet reached optimum production, you may find yourself making a loss from having to purchase nutrients.

Here are some cheap hydroponics nutrients for you to try out:

Formula #1

This formula will work for a 5-gallon container of nutrient solution. This solution works best for non-recirculating and small systems, such as DWC and raft systems:

  • Masterblend Tomato 4-18-38: 10 g
  • Calcium Nitrate 15.5-0-0: 10 g 
  • Epsom Salt: 5 g

While using this formula, if you notice any deficiencies in your plants, you should use a supplementary formula for extra nutrition.

Formula #2

This nutrient mix needs a few more components but it is a very easy mix. Once mixed, add 10 g of the mixture for each gallon of water in your system:

  • Potassium nitrate: 255g
  • Calcium Phosphate: 198g 
  • Magnesium Sulfate: 170g
  • Powdered Ammonium Sulfate: 43g
  • Monocalcium Phosphate: 113g
  • Iron Sulfate: 1/2 teaspoon

This mixture is highly concentrated, so make sure to wear protective clothing to avoid skin and eye irritations.

Formula #3

This 2 ingredient solution is quite cheap and very easy to make:

  • Seaweed (Kelp): 6oz
  • Epsom Salts: 5 teaspoons – 1 teaspoon per gallon of water

Wrap your seaweed in cheesecloth and tie it with twine. Add 5 gallons of water into a bucket and add the seaweed bag. Leave this mix outside in the sun for 5 days. Afterward, add 5 teaspoons of Epsom salts. You can either add this entire mixture into your hydroponics tank or in small increments.

DIY Hydroponic Nutrients From Compost

These are the steps to follow if you want to make your own nutrients from compost:

  1. Place a gallon of compost into a 5-gallon bucket
  2. Fill the bucket with water and stir well
  3. Continuously aerate the mixture with an aquarium air pump
  4. Let the mixture sit out of direct sunlight for up to 3 days. Make sure to stir the mixture every day
  5. Pour the liquid through a strainer to filter out the solids. The resulting liquid can then be used as fertilizer

simple hydroponics nutrients


We hope this article has provided you with all you needed to know about DIY hydroponics nutrients. There are many different components you can use to make your hydroponics nutrients, depending on your system and the plant species in the system. We hope the information in this article will help you to become more confident with your next DIY hydroponics nutrient solution. 


What’s a decent

In the process of making the solution, there are many different methods and processes that can be used to make the solution. The solution can either be made with or without the use of nutrients. If you want to make a nutrient-free solution, it is important to know the amount of water that your plants need to survive.

To make an organic hydroponic solution, you will need some nutrients. You can use a commercial product like Gro-Lite or you can make your own solution. The problem with making the solution is that it requires a lot of time and work. The other problem is that you will end up using a lot of chemicals that will pollute the environment. If you have been growing plants organically for a long time, then you should be familiar with this method. There are many products available on the market that are designed to be used as organic fertilizers. When making the solution, you need to add the fertilizer into the distilled water.

You can use a regular 5 gallon bucket for your hydroponic system. Next, you will need something to use as a nutrient solution. This could be a combination of water, water soluble fertilizer, and some Epsom salt. I usually use 1/4 cup of Epsom salt, 1/2 cup of water soluble fertilizer, and 1 quart of water.

What are the common nutrients for hydroponics?

There are a lot of different types of nutrients available, but I’ve found that the most commonly used ones are:

Nitrogen: N-P-K Phosphorus: P-S-B Potassium: K-Mg-Fe Sulfur: N-P-S Magnesium: Mg-Ca-K Manganese: Mn-Cu-Mn Calcium: Ca-Mg-K Copper: Cu-Mn Zinc: Zn-Fe Boron: B-Mn-Co-Ni Chromium: Cr-Cu-Mn Iron: Fe-Mn-Co-Cu-Zn

There are certain nutrients that will work for all plants, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. Others are best suited for specific plant families. For example, copper is known to be good for ferns, while manganese is best for flowering plants. Some of these are also more common than others, so it’s important to know what types of nutrients are most commonly used for each plant family. For instance, in a hydroponic system you wouldn’t use manganese for flowering plants because it can have an effect on the colour of the flowers.

There are certain nutrients that will not work for all plants, and will actually have the opposite effect to what you want. For example, sulphur is known to be harmful to ferns and algae, while some flowering plants need potassium in order to flower. Some other nutrients are very specific and can only be used for a certain type of plant, such as calcium, which is only useful for ferns and cacti. Some of these are also more common than others, so it’s important to know what types of nutrients are most commonly used for each plant family.

What type of fertilizer should you use for a hydroponic solution?

Make sure that the fertilizer you use has all of the elements that you want in your solution. When you add too much nitrogen into the solution, you will have more of a root zone which will slow down the growth of the plant. If you want to make your own hydroponic solution, you should know what nutrients to add. When you start growing plants, you will need to fertilize them once every 2 to 3 weeks.

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