Propagation is the first stage of a plant's hydroponic journey. When it comes to nutrient needs, this beginning stage is definitely the easiest. Here's what you need to know
about nutrient needs during the propagation and seedling stages of hydroponics.
Hydroponic Propagation Is All About The Roots
Propagation is all about the roots. The end goal of the propagation stage is for your seedlings or clones to develop a healthy root system.
A healthy root system is important so when the plant is ready to go into the next stage, the vegetative stage, the plant is ready to take in a lot of nutrients for foliage
Nutrients Needed During Propagation Stage Of Hydroponics
When it comes to nutrient needs during the different stages of hydroponics, the propagation stage is definitely the easiest. Most of the nutrient needs are already
provided so for some time there no need to add any nutrients at all.
Seeds don't require nutrients to germinate, just proper moisture, warmth and darkness. After a seed germinates the seedling initially uses nutrients stored in the seeds
until it forms leaves and roots.
Once the seedling develops a few leaves and a small root system it will be ready for some mild nutrients.
Like seeds, fresh clones cut from a mother plant do not need any nutrients. Since clones dt have a root system, there is nothing to absorb the nutrients from the water.
Though not a necessity you can dip your clones in rooting hormone to increase the speed and success rate of your clones producing roots. I've also been pretty successful
getting clones to form roots using no rooting hormone and placing them in a heavily oxygenated hydroponic cloner. Once clones develop a small root system with some
branches then they are ready for some mild nutrients.
Giving clones nutrients too soon can actually be counterproductive, and instead slows the growth of the roots. suggest being patient and making sure the root system is
ready. Don't worry about them dying, they can live quite awhile in just oxygenated water.
Nutrient Needs During The Seedling Stage Of Hydroponics
Once your plants are ready for nutrients it;s best to start them off slow. | typically would recommend 1/4 strength to start. If they are still small seedlings | then increase
to 1/2 strength the next week and then to full strength the following.
When starting with clones | typically skip the 1/2 strength step and go straight to full.
Recommend One Part Nutrient Regimen For The Seedling Stage
For those looking for nutrient solution, | recommend Mc nutrient. Nutrient regimens are higher in nitrogen and geared towards the vegetative stage of plant growth.
There's are not many nutrient needs when it comes to the propagation and seedling stages of hydroponics. While there isn't much to do with nutrients, it is important to
maintain good temperature, humidity and moisture levels to prevent things like damping off.
Getting off on the right foot with your hydroponic garden increases your chances of having a healthy harvest at the end.