To understand nutrient formulations in hydroponics, we must know the organic composition of plants and elements available in the atmosphere and soil.

90% of all organic matter on Earth comprises of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Our planet’s atmosphere contains 78% Nitrogen, 20% Oxygen and 2% Carbon dioxide, in addition to a small percentage of inert gases.

There are 16 elements which are considered to be essential for growth of higher plants. 3 of these elements -Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen are absorbed from the atmosphere. The remaining 13 elements are classified as macronutrients ( required in large quantities) and micronutrients ( required in small quantities)

Plants possess the ability to extract Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen from the atmosphere in the presence of macro and micronutrients to create food. Light provides the energy to make this possible. This process of creating food using light is called photosynthesis

Essential Elements for most higher plants and their function

The following table shows the various types of chemical elements needed by the plants and their functions for healthy growth.

Essential nutrient elements of plants

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