FAQs & Advice: What is Hydroponics?

This is a page for all of your frequently asked questions about Plant Magic Plus products, indoor growing and hydroponics as well as horticulture in general.

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a convenient way to grow plants indoors, using nutrients and liquid rather than soil. It is a tried and tested way of getting healthy crops to grow quickly.

I'm using soil, should I be measuring and adjusting the pH?

In a word, NO! Soil is completely different to coir and other inert media in that it regulates the nutrient content and pH by itself. There's a tendency to over-complicate things with soil and spend time adjusting pH, but over a single grow/bloom cycle, Plant Magic Soil Supreme when used in conjunction with our feeding schedule has the ability to provide a full balance of nutrients to the plant, so long as the soil is not over/under watered and has not become too cold.

The run-off from soil does not represent the true pH at the rootzone. Many growers make the mistake of measuring the run-off which is not an accurate reading for what is happening around the roots.

How do I know if I have hard or soft water?

The general rule of thumb is that anything below an E.C. of 0.4 is considered soft water. The pH can be less accurate in determining hardness as different metals in the water can raise or lower the pH more than others. An easy way to help judge if you don’t have access to an EC meter is to check your kettle for limescale, the more limescale the harder the water! Alternatively you can take a sample of a few hundred millilitres to your local grow shop and ask them to test it for you.

HOWEVER, the supply of water delivered through your tap can be different to your neighbours tap, and can even vary from day to day depending on which water source the water company is getting its supply. We advise all growers to check their water hardness every month to avoid deficiencies.

How much is 'a healthy dose' when it comes to using granules?

The amount varies depending on the amount of roots and the size of the potting hole. We recommend using approximately 20g when potting up into a 10ltr pot. This should provide the potting hole with granules all around it, allowing maximum contact between the granules and the roots to get them to work.

When potting up from a 10ltr to a 25ltr pot, the potting hole is larger so you will need more granules to coat the inside of it. The key thing to remember is you can’t overdose with granules, using more can only gives better results.

Why is your Bloom Boost PK booster not a 13/14?

On our original label we had Bloom Boost listed as a 13/14 booster, but this was a reference to the ratio of Phosphorus to Potassium. However, we thought this was confusing and have since printed a guaranteed analysis on the label.

The reason for Bloom Boost not being 13% Phosphorus and 14% Potassium, is the high strength would mean it has to be used on mature plants only. We are aware that the plants need for P & K increases over the weeks, so this window of opportunity for your plants to take up these vital elements can be rather broad, this is why we recommend using Bloom Boost over a four week period as opposed to a 7 day cycle. Bloom Boost’s unique concentration levels allow for a gradual increase in P and K with a greater level of control.

How long can I leave diluted Oldtimer feed before it has to be used?

Due to the organic nature of the Oldtimer feeds, we recommend that they are used within 24 hours of dilution in water. However, the sooner they can be applied the better!

How many millilitres of Hydro feed should I use, your labels only give an EC value?

With all hydroponic systems you need to control the amount of nutrient you add. If you are using tap water, the background nutrients it provides will vary slightly, sometimes on a daily basis (see the water hardness FAQ). As such we suggest measuring the EC of the diluted feed solution to get the final value of nutrient you are adding.

This can mean you’re adding a different amount when growing in winter to growing in summer. Also, some growers like to use different additives and supplements from different companies, and by providing a guideline EC on our feed charts (available from our downloads section) it stops over feeding when mixing and matching products. The EC should be measured after both parts (A and B) have been added separately and thoroughly mixed in.

I think I have a magnesium deficiency, when and how should I use Magne-Cal+?

The first thing to do is to make sure that your plant is short of magnesium. A lot of deficiencies can look similar, with magnesium your plant will show signs of yellowing between the veins of older leaves and reduced vigour.

However, the deficiency may be down to several factors:

  • A cold root zone leading to poor uptake.
  • Over fertilisation leading to nutrient lock-out.
  • Low pH making magnesium unavailable.
  • Using hardwater feed in a softwater area or any feed short in Mg.

Magne-Cal+ can be used in several ways depending on your needs. You can use it to add background hardness when using Reverse Osmosis (RO) or very soft water. You can also use it to supplement a heavy PK booster as this increases more nutrient uptake across many major nutrients. Finally, it can be used as a foliar to rectify a deficiency quickly. Use at 3ml/ltr along with 2ml/ltr of BioWetter.


Do you have a PK booster to use with your Oldtimer Organic feed?

Bloom Boost is fine to use alongside the Oldtimer range. Although this is NOT organic, some growers like the Oldtimer products but would still like to use a PK Booster. Currently we do not sell an organic PK booster.

I have a bottle of Oldtimer that has settled out, can I still use it?

Yes, the settlement in the Oldtimer bottle is only part of the molasses which can show as a paler area at the bottom of the bottle.

Due to the organic nature of the product this can vary from batch to batch, but it is nothing to worry about, just shake the bottle before use. At Plant Magic we use transparent bottles where we can, so you can see what you are buying.

I think my Root Stimulant has gone off, is it ok to use?

The pungent smell from the Root Stimulant is normal and shows it is ready to be used. The product is made using a unique fermentation process that breaks down some of the ingredients into simple nutrients that are easier for plants to uptake and use.

This process can lead to small amount of gas being produced which can cause the bottle to swell slightly. This is a natural by-product of the fermentation (like champagne) and so long as care is taken when opening, there is no cause for alarm.

Can I buy products directly from you?

No, visit our stockists page to find your nearest stockist, or buy from one of our top online stockists.

My plants don't look healthy, have you changed the formula?

At Plant Magic we strive to be as consistent as possible with every product we sell, and our tried and tested formulas have remained the same for years. Nearly every product we sell has an organic ingredient which can vary from time to time, however all products are true to the label analysis.

Each batch we make has a batch number (a small white price-tag sticker on the back/bottom) which allows us to track each product back from when it was made all the way back to where each ingredient came from, and when they were made. Each batch goes through quality control to make sure it meets our high standards, which are above the required industry standard.

On rare occasions we are sometimes forced to change supplier of a raw material. When this happens it is tested thoroughly to make sure its performance is equal to our current product. Therefore, any change to your plants health is much more likely to be due to factors such as the environment, pests and diseases or tap water variation.

Every batch that is made has a sample sent off to an independent laboratory for analysis. Once we are happy that the nutrient is true to the Guaranteed Analysis on the label then we will continue to put this liquid into bottles.

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Feel free to contact us for any advice you may need.

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