Tag Archives: plant nutrition


Common Nutrient Related Disorders In Hydroponic Tomatoes and Ways to Prevent Them.

Common Nutrient Related Disorders In Hydroponic Tomatoes and Ways to Prevent Them.


Hydroponic tomatoes are a popular crop with unique nutrient requirements. Optimal growth is achieved through appropriate nutrient management and control of the environment. In this blog, we look at common nutrient related disorders found in hydroponic tomatoes, why they happen and what you can do to prevent them. At the end, you’ll find a list of water-soluble fertilizer options from Plant-Prod.

What Are Common Nutrient Related Disorders in Hydroponic Tomatoes

Blossom End Rot

Characterized by the first appearance of light tan, water-soak lesions on the blossom end of fruit. These lesions enlarge, turning black and leathery. The cause is generally attributed to a lack of calcium in the developing fruit. This disorder can still occur when calcium is supplied at adequate levels. Cold temperatures or excessive heat during blossom set, fluctuation in water supply, and excessive ammoniacal nitrogen, potassium or magnesium fertilization can result in calcium unavailable to the plant, increasing the risk of blossom end rot developing. 

Blossom Drop

Yield can be greatly reduced when blossoms abort and drop off the plant instead of setting fruit. A number of nutritional stressors can cause this, including too much nitrogen which can lead to excessive vegetative growth, salt stress caused by high fertigation EC, and infrequent irrigation leading to drought stress.  

Yellowing or Chlorosis of Leaves

 A number of diseases and disorders can first manifest as chlorosis. It is important to notice and take action early to prevent further damage to the plant. Nutritional deficiencies that can cause chlorosis include:

Low nitrogen – appears a general yellowing of entire plant, including old and new growth
Low potassium – appears as bright yellow leaf margins and edges, mostly on old growth leaves
Low magnesium – appears as interveinal yellowing on old growth leaves.

How to Prevent Nutrient Related Disorders and Deficiencies

It is important to understand that specific nutrient requirements for greenhouse tomatoes are related to the developmental stage of the plant and seasonal conditions. It is recommended to breakdown a tomato fertilizer program into three stages:

  • Transplant to 4-6 leaves
  • Normal feed
  • Heavy fruiting

Following these nutritional needs along with the below suggestions will help to prevent nutrient related disorders and deficiencies: 

  1. K:N Ratio Based on growth stage – the ratio between these two macronutrients will steer the plant from vegetative to reproductive growth. As nutritional demands increase with plant age, potassium should be increased. 
  2. Irrigate appropriately – water volume should also be adjusted with plant age, nutrient demand, and environmental conditions to meet the plant’s needs. 
  3. Foliar nutrient testing – a tissue analysis is always recommended to confirm all suspected nutritional problems before taking action.

Fertilizers to Treat Nutrient Deficiencies in Hydroponic Tomatoes

Plantex 4-18-37 Tomato Hydroponic No Dye Water Soluble Fertilizer

Plantex Hydroponic Tomato 4-18-37 water-soluble fertilizer is specially formulated with elevated levels of phosphorus and potassium, making it ideal for promoting tomato fruit production. To ensure a well-rounded nutritional regimen, it should be used alongside a source of calcium and magnesium.

Plant-Prod 6-11-31 Hydroponic Water Soluble Fertilizer

Plant-Prod 6-11-31 is specifically designed for fertilizing vegetables grown in greenhouses using the nutrient film technique (NFT) or any other hydroponic cultivation medium like stone wool. When used as part of a comprehensive fertilization program, it is typically paired with calcium nitrate.

4-18-37 Water Soluble Fertilizer

References and Resources: 

What’s The Best Fertilizer For Orchids?  

What’s The Best Fertilizer For Orchids? 

Orchids are unique plants that have specific nutritional needs. So, it’s essential to find the appropriate fertilizer to promote optimal plant growth. Below, we discuss the unique fertilizer needs of orchids and some of the best orchid fertilizer options.

Orchids Are Unique and Require Specific Fertilizer

Tropical orchids, being epiphytic, thrive by growing on the surfaces of other plants in their native environments. In the greenhouse, they are particularly sensitive to light, temperature, and fertilization. Orchid production requires a high attention to environmental conditions, with 3 distinct phases – Vegetative, Cooling/Spike Induction and Finishing. Fertilization throughout these phases should adjust with the plant’s growth, making nutrient runoff monitoring very important.

4 Orchid Fertilizer Tips

Since orchids are vulnerable to salt build-up, using a pure fertilizer, low in Cl is very important.

As we’ve stated before in our Orchid Production Program, to prevent salt buildup, water your plants until approximately 20% of the applied water drains from the bottom of the pots. The suggested electrical conductivity (EC) level for the water used on plants is 0.5 mmhos, while the EC level of the drained water (leachate) should ideally fall within the range of 1-1.5 mmhos. If the leachate exceeds 2 mmhos, it’s advisable to flush the plants with clear water.

For fertilization, apply fertilizer with every watering at a rate of 200 ppm N, ensuring sufficient levels of calcium and magnesium. It is recommended to continue fertilization as new spikes emerge.

Get more orchid fertilization tips.

What Is The Best Fertilizer For Orchids?

We recommend the following fertilizers for orchids:

Plant-Prod 12-2-14 Optimum Water Soluble Fertilizer

This fertilizer contains 6% calcium and 3% magnesium, as well as a complete micronutrient package.

Plant-Prod® 24-8-16 Foliage Water Soluble Fertilizer

This fertilizer contains forms of nitrogen most readily absorbed and used by plants for vegetative growth. It also contains a full micronutrient package.Alternating between Plant-Prod® 12-2-14 Optimum and Plant-Prod 24-8-16 Foliage will ensure high flower count and maximum flower size.

Plant-Prod is a manufacturer of water-soluble fertilizers and water-soluble cannabis fertilizers. The choice of growers from California to Maine for over 70 years, we formulate with everything from chelated iron to calcium nitrate and zinc fertilizer in order to help you improve yields while cutting fertilizer costs.

Click here to find a Plant-Prod fertilizer supplier near you.

how much calcium fertilizer to feed plants

Do My Plants Need Calcium? How Much Calcium To Feed Your Plants

If you’re familiar with the classic milk advertisements praising calcium as a great way to build strong teeth and bones, then you shouldn’t be surprised to know that calcium is also essential for the “bones” of your plants (cell walls). 

The problem is, that knowing how much calcium to feed your plant is not always clear. Luckily Plant-Prod has over 75+ years of experience formulating water soluble fertilizers like Plant-Prod 15-0-15 Cal-Plus and Plant-Prod MJ Cal Kick

In this post, we’ll explain how much calcium you should be feeding your plant for the best results.

How Do I Know If My Plants Need Calcium?

All plants require a calcium source. Whether it’s coming from your water source or your
fertilizer program, calcium is an essential secondary nutrient. When it is lacking, there are some
tell-tale signs that are specific to calcium:

  • Low growth rate
  • Variable patterns of chlorosis on young leaves
  • Upward curling of leaves
  • Browning/necrosis of apical meristems (growing points)

There are also other plant-specific signs of calcium deficiency like blossom end rot in peppers and tomatoes.

calcium deficiency in plant


How Much Calcium To Feed?

How much calcium to apply and when you apply it is difficult to generalize for all types of
plants. Depending on the crops you are growing, you might need to seek further information by
contacting us here, or visiting our crops section for specific recommendations. As a general
rule, the amount of calcium in your water source and your crop will be the main
determining factors dictating how much calcium to feed.

Depending on the demands of your crop and the growth stage that it is at, calcium can be fed
between 50-200 ppm Ca. The initial amount in your water source can contribute to this over all
ppm level and should be taken into consideration when determining fertilizer rates.

Calcium based fertilizers should be fed as part of a balanced fertilizer program. This means
alternating feedings with a traditional NPK fertilizer, such as Plant-Prod 20-10-20 High Nitrate
or Plant-Prod 20-20-20 Classic.

The quality of the water soluble calcium fertilizer you use can also affect the growth of your
plants. Be sure you’re getting what you paid for when purchasing a water soluble calcium
fertilizer and that it’s dissolving completely. (Plant-Prod water soluble fertilizers won’t end up at
the bottom of your tanks or undissolved in spray bottles).

For more information on water-soluble fertilizers and adjusting your pH levels, check out some of our other publications below:


Master Plant-Prod Inc. has an extensive product line of 100% water soluble fertilizers and water soluble cannabis fertilizers. Cut your costs, and increase yields. For more information about chelated iron for plants, zinc fertilizer, and more, please contact us here.

Introducing the Plant-Prod Duo-ToteTM

The new way to tote

Plant-Prod® provides soluble fertilizers to customers both in bags and in bulk. Customized formulations that are delivered in bulk simplify and speed up the preparation of large tanks of fertilizer solution. However, material compatibility limited the range of formulations available. This limitation is now behind us.

Our new Duo-ToteTM has two compartments which keep incompatible ingredients apart, avoiding caking and melting, and allowing the delivery of all formulations. The contents of the Duo-Tote can be released at the same time where they dissolve quickly and without precipitating. Suitable for larger growers, the benefits of the Duo-ToteTM are many:

One tote per tank – faster & easier

  • Formulated specifically for your size of tank and plant nutrition needs.
  • You need just one Duo-ToteTM per tank, which is simple to use and minimizes the possibility of operator error.
  • The Duo-ToteTM can be lifted over the tank using a hoist or forklift. The drawstring on the bottom releases the fertilizer into the tank.
  • No need to take delivery of numerous bags, each requiring time to open, lift and empty.
  • Speed up operations. Our customers report time savings of 75%.

For further details please go here.

Plant-Prod stays ahead of regulatory requirements

We take pride in staying on top of the industry innovations and regulations. We have been updating our labels to comply with the new Hazardous Products Regulations and we are taking part in an initiative to update the Fertilizers Regulations. …Read more

See the new Duo-Tote at Cultivate’17

On July 15-18 we will be in Columbus, Ohio for the Cultivate’17 trade show. We will be showing the new Plantex by Plant-Prod Duo-Tote™ which is a new bulk packaging format for pre-mixed plant nutrition formulations. It is suitable for larger growers and is quicker and easier to use than bags, giving time-savings for mixing a large tank of around 70%.

Nutrients in the correct proportions can be customized to the specific requirements of each grower and their water conditions.  Incompatible ingredients co-exist in separate compartments. This new delivery format makes it quicker and more reliable for greenhouse staff to prepare the optimal concentration in the solution tanks.

Visit us at booth 2211 and 2213. We have coffee and chocolates waiting for you.

What is Cultivate?

Cultivate is the industry’s preeminent event for business, networking, professional development, trends, industry research, and business growth. It’s where the entire green industry gathers for an event that’s unparalleled in quality of education, variety of exhibitors, and cross-channel networking and learning. Visit their website here.

Plant Products will be at Expo-FIHOQ in Drummondville, Quebec

Come and see Plant Products on November 16, 17 and 18, 2016 at Expo-FIHOQ in the Centrexpo Cogéco – a new location in Drummondville. 

PM-ExpoFIHOQ2015-036_r1-0d89ee0128The premier show in Quebec for ornamental horticulture, green space and municipal professionals is at a new location in Drummondville. Representatives from Plant Products will be happy to answer your questions about high productivity plant nutrition. The booth will be in hall D2 on the bridge that connects the hotel to the convention centre. There will be product demonstration and more details on Master Plant-Prod as well as a contest!


Venez nous rencontrer à l’Expo FIHOQ au Centrexpo Cogéco à Drummondville. Par contre, ne nous cherchez pas sur le plancher des exposants. Notre kiosque sera dans la salle D2 sur la passerelle qui relie l’hôtel au centre des congrès.

Il y aura:

  • des nouveautés
  • des démonstrations
  • un concours
  • un 5 @ 7
  • et bien plus!


Thank you for visiting us at Canadian Greenhouse Conference


Thank you to everyone who stopped by at Canadian Greenhouse Conference in the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Canada on October 5th and 6th, 2016. It was a great success and we had a great show.

We were pleased to answer questions relating to high productivity plant nutrition, provided advice and bounced around some ideas. We were also giving away gardening gloves to anyone who stoped by our booth.

If you are a licensed grower of medical marijuana we can help you increase the quality and productivity of your operation and explain the purity and solubility of Plantex MJ Bloom, a formulation for the budding stage of growth.

About CGC

The CGC has two days of sessions devoted to Garden Centres and the trade show is expanding to include nurseries. Valuable information and experts in the industry help you grow your business business. You will find people who know your business challenges. It is all about establishing relationships with others in the horticultural industry-relationships that can benefit you professionally and personally.

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