Nutrient Deficiency Solutions

Each of the following deficiency solutions is a modification of Hoagland's solution. These recipes are for making either 6 or 18 liters of a 2X solution to grow a plant hydroponically. Each chemical in a recipe is either a 1/2 or 1 molar solution. For example, the calcium nitrate in the -Mg recipe is a 1 molar solution and 180 ml is added to 18 L of de-ionized water. The Micro solution recipe is at the end of this page.

We use 'Ace" tomato variety for our deficiency demostrations. The seed is planted in soil 51 days before we need to show deficiencies for nitrogen, calcium, or magnesium. The other deficiencies require an extra two weeks. In three weeks we move the young plants to a complete hydroponic solution of 1X Hoaglands. Ten days later we move them into the deficiency solutions. We always put a few into a complete solution for a comparison. In recent years have been using solutions at 1X instead of 2X as shown in the recipes below. Plants show better symptoms and stay smaller. Our hydroponic containers are one liter Nalgene bottles. Our growing conditions are in a greenhouse with supplimental light provided by high pressure sodium lamps and 15 hour photoperiod. The minimum temperature is 60' F and the maximum temperature is 80'-85'F.

Deficiency solution recipe -Mg -Ca -Fe


Deficiency solution recipe -Mn -S B -B


Deficiency solution recipe -N Complete -K -P


Micronutrient solution recipe

For a description of symptoms see:
Salisbury, Frank Boyer, and Cleon W. Ross. Plant Physiology. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth, 1978.