Growth enhancers provide many vital organic compounds and biological agents that are available to the plant in healthy soil but absent from hydroponic solutions. Hydroponic nutrient formulations have become very accurate and sophisticated over recent years but mineral nutrition is only part of what a plant needs to reach its full genetic potential. The first step is to make sure that these growth enhancers are added to the hydroponic solution or supplied to plants by foliar feeding. Many other important co-factors for plant performance are usually missing from soil as well as from hydroponic systems. These too can be added to maximize nutrient uptake and increase photosynthetic response. When properly used, these additives can bridge the gap between organic and mineral nutrition. They can help the grower achieve full plant potential at every stage of growth.
- Better seed germination,
- Stronger seedlings,
- Faster more vigorous cuttings,
- Massive root systems,
- Healthier vegetative growth,
- Better resistance to pests and disease and
- Bigger plants, higher yields.
Please be aware that many of the techniques utilised by these growth enhancers are new and much remains to be learned about the materials involved. The information is based on practical experience and on published results. It is by no means the last word. Please do not be afraid to experiment, we all have much to learn. For obvious reasons there can be no guarantee of results from any of the growth enhancers or associated techniques. The information is given in good faith and will be updated as new material becomes available.
The Latest Products
Growers all over the world are experimenting with new growth enhancers to accelerate biological processes. These materials have applications at all stages of plant growth and if applied correctly, can greatly increase plant performance and therefore yields. General guidelines have been outlined here that will suit most plant species. Please remember that these are very new applications, much more work needs to be done on growth enhancers and some plant species have not been tested at all with these materials. Use this information as a starting point, but do not be afraid to experiment with your particular crop. The golden rule with all treatments is to apply the growth enhancer to a small number of plants first as a test and wait a few days before treating the main crop. This is especially important with foliar feeding.
Nitrozyme – The Growth Enhancer
Nitrozyme Growth Enhancer is the centrepiece of the applications and this extraordinary plant extract is recommended to all growers. It has been used commercially for a number of years and has demonstrated the capacity to increase yields time and time again. It is the basis of growth enhancement and should be used in all early stages of plant growth, especially young cuttings. Nitrozyme Growth Enhancer should not be sprayed on plants in flower. Nitrozyme contains highly concentrated cytokinic hormones extracted from a North Atlantic sea plant called Ascophylum Nodosum. This plant lives in an environment of extreme temperature variation which helps explain the extraordinary level of hormones it produces. Cytokinins are hormones whose action may greatly reduce the plant’s ability to produce the hormones that it needs for the vital processes of nutrient uptake and distribution, cell division, root development and the production of flowers and fruit. This means that many plants in hydroponic systems are achieving much lower yields than they are capable of. Nitrozyme Growth Enhancer can be added to hydroponic nutrient solutions to restore the hormone levels in the plant. Nitrozyme Growth Enhancer can also be supplied to the plant through its foliage to increase the hormone availability still further. In many crops, and in many trials conducted, the application of Nitrozyme Growth Enhancer has increased yields by very significant percentages.
Soil grown plants are also subject to various levels of stress and in most cases are not performing to their best potential. Nitrozyme Growth Enhancer restores and enhances the interaction between soil and roots, increasing vigour and improving yields.
Nitrozyme Growth Enhancers also contain powerful natural growth enhancers, exotic micro nutrients and bio-stimulants. The high concentration of these biological agents will potentiate the growth process of the plant, with specific advantage to its current stage of growth. Nitrozyme Growth Enhancer is very highly concentrated and comes from natural sources. It is non toxic and poses no environmental hazards.
Superthrive – Growth Stimulant
Superthrive Growth Stimulant is manufactured in the USA. As above it is a centrepiece of the application, it contains a mix of 50 vitamins and hormones which are bio-usable, normal pure complexes, from carbon-hydrogen-oxygen natural organic crystals. This can be added to any fertilizer for growth enhancement through any stage of plant development. This is the number one growth stimulant in the USA and comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Oxy-Plus contains 17.5% Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) in a stabilised form. H2O2 is highly oxygenating in action. It is a chemical which is fundamental to life itself, participating in many of the metabolic processes in plants and animals. When added to the nutrient tank it will quickly break down into pure water, releasing the extra oxygen ion into the solution where it can be taken up by the roots in much the same way as nutrient ions.
In plants, the extra oxygen provided will massively stimulate protein production at the cellular level. This will greatly enhance the photosynthetic process, leading to bushier plants with larger leaves, thicker stems and shorter internodes. Plants will be stronger and leaves will be darker, thus collecting light with greater efficiency and further improving photosynthetic response.
Oxy-Plus has many applications in the greenhouse or growroom. It can be used to improve germination of seeds and to increase strike rates of cuttings. It can be added to the nutrient tank and also used as a foliar feed. Finally, it can be used at the end of the season to disinfect the system and to clear out decaying organic material from growing media.
These are used to monitor levels of Oxy-Plus in nutrient solutions. Strips are easy to use and show a wide range from 1-100 ppm H2O2. These readings will allow the easy monitoring and maintenance of effective levels of H2O2 in the nutrient tank. The optimum level for hydroponic systems is 30-100 ppm H2O2.
Power Gro A & B – Leaf and Flower
Power Gro Leaf or Flower is formulated with a mildly acidic composition. Phosphoric acid is still required, not only to reduce the pH of the nutrient solution (6.0-7.0) but also to provide the essential nutrient phosphorous. Power Gro will contribute to reducing pH and reduce the frequency of acidity testing and acid dosing. When using Power Gro, all pH adjustments will be in the same direction and towards easy to reach targets. That is, reducing pH by small additions of phosphoric acid.
Chelates are molecules of nutrients attached to a larger organic molecule. For years, scientists have known that when nutrient solutions are made with chelated nutrients, the nutrient molecules are kept available to the plant roots by preventing the formation of insoluble precipitates. What’s more, chelated nutrients remain available to the plant over a wide acidity (pH) range. With Power Gro Leaf or Flower, you do not need to keep the solution pH low or within tight limits. You should save on phosphoric acid and save time and money on pH tests.
GH Flora Range – Flora Gro, Flora Bloom, Flora Micro
Recognised world wide as the most advanced hydroponic nutrient line ever developed, the Flora series is used by NASA , Argon National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratories and has been specified for research using hydroponics by laboratories, universities, government agencies and scientists throughout the world. A combination of three unique liquid concentrates enable the grower to mix a huge range of different nutrient solutions to satisfy the needs of practically any type of plant and each different stage in its life cycle by varying the combinations and overall strength of the mix.
OGP [Organic Growth Promotant] – 100% Organic
Manufactured in New Zealand from concentrated extracts of bee’s wax and alfalfa, this contains high levels of gibberllins and tricontanol which assist in the process of cell division. OGP adds the missing organic co-factors to a mineral nutrient solution and gives dramatic improvement to plant performance in hydroponic systems. OGP is a specially formulated compound which contains nature’s ingredients for the rapid development and promotion of new plant growth. This mixture of natural hormones encourages dynamic response from the plant’s growth centre. Gibberllins have long been recognised as a very useful method of promoting rapid root development on new cuttings and seeds. They are particularly effective in promoting improved plant performance by strengthening and increasing growth rate of new plant cells.
This is the ultimate organic additive to hydroponic solutions and should be added to every tankful throughout the life of the plant. OGP is also a great tonic for soil grown plants and can be applied weekly throughout the growing cycle.
Earth Food – Plant Growth Catalyst – 100% Organic
This product is based on catalyst altered water. This is water with a different molecular structure which encourages attractions with free electrons, improving capability for transportation, cleansing and absorption with the plant’s circulatory system. Secondly, it contains activated carbon, amino acids, organic trace elements and lignite. Earth Food is a totally organic product and should be added to all hydroponic nutrient solutions where it will provide many essential co-factors for improved nutrient uptake.
This is a mineral nutrient solution formulated by a unique complexing process that locks the reactive ingredients together making it completely stable in a single liquid. It is used all over the world by growers who want an accurate source of mineral nutrition. Because it is pH buffered and very accurately formulated, it is an ideal mineral component for these applications.
A non-ionic wetting agent will greatly reduce the surface tension of water. When added to a foliar spray, as in “Rocket Fuel”, it will dramatically increase the ability of the solution to penetrate into leaf tissue and make the nutrients and growth enhancers available to the plant. It is also widely used for wetting and rewetting dry and compacted soils to allow improved passage of moisture into the root zone.