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Choosing the right plant nutrients with our simple icon guide

If you’re new to gardening, you are probably overwhelmed by the choices of plant nutrients. You might have questions about the nutrients you’re using. “What are base nutrients?”, “Is it mandatory to use additive nutrients?”, “How can I alter my pH?”, or “What is the best nutrient system for me?” As a more experienced grower, you just want to know what you’re buying.

Quick Video Explainer of our icons

Being growers ourselves, we get you. We know how hard it can be to find the right products for your growing situation. With our icon system, GreenPlanet Nutrients has made it super simple for you to figure out what you need.


GreenPlanet Nutrients includes many types of fertilizers in our lineup, including dry and liquid fertilizers. These fertilizers include base nutrients, additive nutrients and maintenance products. Whether it’s to provide a base level of nutrition, increase resin and aroma in flowers, and maintain your growing environment, each fertilizer is designed to optimize performance

GreenPlanet Nutrients has a product for you, no matter your style. We’re passionate about formulating the best, cleanest, and most highly bioavailable nutrients on the market. High quality nutes = happy and healthy plants.

You can learn about all our products by checking out our shop or reading our online nutrient booklet:

Fertilizer Type

Dry Fertilizer

This icon symbolizes dry fertilizer.

If you’re a “leave it and forget it” type of person, dry fertilizers are for you. Dry plant fertilizers consist of small beads or pellets that release nutrients into the soil. They also allow you to feed less often apart from watering. 

Dry fertilizers are excellent for potted plants and garden beds, as well as
large-scale outdoor grow operations such as farms.

Outdoors, potted plants, flower beds, and large-scale outdoor farms are ideal growing situations for using dry fertilizer. GreenPlant Nutrients’ Dry powder fertilizers and granular fertilizers come in base nutrients such as BackCountry Blend, and additive nutrients such as Horti rawK.

It is important to note that dry plant nutrients can cause nutrient toxicity and burning if used too often. In some cases, it is better to use less fertilizer, as warm and wet climates will accelerate nutrient release into the soil. Follow the recommended feed program and adjust your nutes to your climate to avoid this undesirable situation!

Liquid Fertilizer

This icon symbolizes liquid fertilizer.

If you’re all about indoor growing and hydroponics, liquid fertilizers are probably your go-to type of plant nutrient.

Measuring liquid fertilizer for a hydroponic system.
Liquid fertilizers are useful for most types of farming.

Liquid fertilizers have the most variety out of all our products, and are useful in all styles of gardening. GreenPlant Nutrients’ liquid fertilizers come in base nutrients such as GP3 and additive nutrients such as Massive Bloom Formulation.

Under no circumstances should you pour liquid nutrients directly from the bottle into your garden! Liquid nutrients are highly concentrated. Always mix your solution first.

Please check our feed programs to see how you can use our vast array of liquid plant nutrients.

Base Nutrients

This icon symbolizes base nutrient

NPK stands for Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).
Click here to read our Blog on what NPK is

Base nutrients are the most essential type of nutrient, as they encompass the foundation of your plant’s diet. Just like your diet consists of three basic food groups, plants have three basic elements they need to survive: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K).

You’ll notice “NPK numbers” on the front label of most fertilizers. Different stages of plant growth require these elements in varying amounts.

Circled in red is how we show the NPK numbers on our labels.

All in all, base nutrients are essential to plant growth, and you really can’t grow without them. As important as it is for you to eat in order to sustain yourself, your plants need to eat too. Although you can’t share a sandwich with your plants, you can give them a good base nutrient program that will supplement their growth.

Additive Nutrients

This icon symbolizes an additive nutrient.

Additive nutrients are performance boosters. They can enhance aroma, resin production, and even the size of blooms, when included in your feed program.

Some additives, like Massive, have PPM (parts per million) which is indicated by NPK numbers on the front label. To avoid overfeeding, you need to adjust your base nutrient system to keep your PPM in the ideal range.PPM can range anywhere between 100 ppm to 1350 ppm, depending on your base feed program, your style of gardening, and the stage of growth your plants are in.

That said, some additive nutrients do not have PPM. This is indicated by a lack of NPK on the front label. Rezin can be added on top of your base feed program. No need to adjust anything!

Whether you want bigger flowers or sweeter fruit, or just better vegetative growth, add some additive nutrients to your feed program. You’ll thank your plants, and they’ll thank you. Hey, maybe even your wallet will, too!

Maintenance Products

This icon symbolizes a maintenance product.

If you know someone who is high maintenance, chances are they and your plants might have a lot in common. Maintenance products maintain a certain aspect of your garden, and help you help your plants.

Things can go very wrong very fast if you don’t maintain your garden. The wrong pH, for example, can prevent ideal nutrient uptake, destroy root systems, and can even harm–or in the worst case scenario–kill your crop. For instance, if your plants prefer a higher pH, you can maintain an alkaline pH with pH Up. If you want the reverse, pH down will make your solution more acidic.

In conclusion, it is essential your plants have the right environment to grow. As refreshed as you might feel after a nice massage, your plants will also be happy after some maintenance. Maybe some music will help too. Hey, it’s science.

Like all living organisms, plants have life cycles. Their life cycles happen in three stages: seedling (or cutting), vegetative, flowering, and in some cases fruiting. 

A plant’s stages of growth have different requirements. For instance, indoor gardens need different lighting and nutrients for grow and bloom cycles. GreenPlanet Nutrients formulates fertilizers tailored to two specific growth stages: vegetative and flowering.

Vegetative Stage

This icon indicates this product is formulated for use during the vegetative stage of growth.

Tomato plants during the vegetative stage of growth.

The first stage of growth is the vegetative stage, which includes seedlings/cuttings and vegetative growth up to the start of pre-flower.

GreenPlanet Nutrients Hydro Fuel is our 4-Part feed program dedicated to these each growth stage. Hydro Fuel Grow is excellent at providing your plants with ideal vegetative growth! Additionally, adding Vitathrive and Root Builder to your vegetative feed program further supports plant development.

Vegetative growth builds the foundation to support flowers. Good and healthy vegetative growth is incredibly important in bloom production. Poor vegetative growth will result in smaller and fewer flowers.

In the event you’re growing to harvest leafy vegetables (or you’re growing a mother plant to use for cuttings), vegetative growth is equally important. Although vegetative plants will not bear flowers or fruits, you still want loads of growth. The larger your plant, the more you can harvest (or cut for clones!).

But, no matter what your goal is, having healthy and vigorous plant growth in the vegetative stage sets your plants up for success. The bigger your plants, the more weight they can bear. Bigger weight = bigger harvest.

Flowering Stage

This icon indicates this product is formulated for the flowering stage of growth, including fruiting.

Tomato plant with flowers and developing fruits.

The second stage of growth is the flowering stage, which involves pre-flower, flowering, and fruiting in some plant varieties.

Flowering is the reproductive stage of growth. Plants are more concerned about reproducing and less concerned about developing their vegetation. Due to this fact, base nutrients designed for flower have lower levels of Nitrogen and higher levels of Phosphorus and Potassium, which help support bloom development. For example, Hydro Fuel Bloom is the 2nd part of our 4-part feed program, which focuses solely on flower development.

Additive products can boost bloom development even further. In particular, products like PK Spike and Horti rawK boost available phosphorus and potassium to your plants. In fact, P and K help your plants grow denser and larger flowers, so supplementing this in Bloom is often a good idea!

Another key point is if you want more resin production, there are additive nutes that do just that. For instance, you can achieve larger and more aromatic flowers, or sweeter fruits, by including products like Massive and Rezin in your feed program.

Making sure your plants receive optimum support and nutrition throughout all growth stages is crucial in achieving a great harvest. Additives which support your plants throughout every growth stage is an excellent way to accomplish this. Ocean Magic, GPF Uptake or GPH Uptake, Pro Cal and Plant Guard help support your plants throughout their whole lives. Happy, healthy plants result in great yields.

You may be wondering how to use our products, or what kind of feed program is suitable for each product. Thankfully, we have a means of indicating that.

On the back side of our labels, we have icons that show how these products can be used.


Products with this icon can be used in hydroponic systems.

Hydroponic systems include anything from drip systems, nutrient film technique, water culture/deep water culture, aeroponics, and wick systems.


Products with this icon are great for use in coco mediums.

Coco mediums are any type of medium that is derived from coconut fibres. 


Products with this icon can be used in soil and soilless mediums.

Soilless mediums include perlite, peat moss, sand, gravel, pebbles, rock wool, vermiculite, rice hulls, sawdust, straw, etc.

Continuous Liquid Feed

Products with this icon are suitable for continuous liquid feed (CLF) programs.

CLF programs provide plants a constant feed of nutrients and recycles nutrient solution continuously. In other words, they are referred to as a “recirculating” system.

Understanding our Icon EXAMPLES

Here are a few examples to help you with to use our icon system

Base Nutrient Example

Medi One 1-Part Base Nutrient for the Organic Grower

Front Label Icons
Back Label Icons
Starting from left to right.

Medi One is a Liquid Fertilizer and is a Base Nutrient used throughout the Vegetative and Flowering Stages.

Starting from left to right.

Medi One is used in Continuous Liquid Feed Program, Coco and Soil/Soiless

Additive Nutrient Example

Bud Booster is a dry additive nutrient that helps promote heavy flowering.

Front Label Icons
Back Label Icons
Starting from left to right.

BudBooster is a Dry Fertilizer and is used as an Additive Nutrient throughout the Flowering Stage.

Starting from left to right.

BudBooster is useable in Continuous Liquid Feed Program, Hydro, Coco and Soil/Soilless

Maintenance Product Example

This is pH Up. pH Up is an alkaline base solution which increases the pH levels of your nutrient solution.

Front Label Icons
Back Label Icons
Starting from left to right.

Ph UP is a Liquid Product and is used as a Maintenance Product throughout the Vegetative and Flowering Stages.

Starting from left to right.

Ph UP can be used in Hydro, Coco and Soil/Soilless


Whatever style of growing you decide, we want to help you achieve the best results possible. Our icon system aims to aid you in choosing the right product to suit your individual growing needs. If you need to figure out which feed program is right for you, take a look at our predetermined feed programs:

Check out our Resource Centre for more product information

Read More

  • 5 Reasons to Switch to GreenPlanet’s 3-Part Base Nutrient System
    3-Part nutrient programs are among the most popular fertilizers in the industry. Made for the expert grower, 3-Part systems offer plants everything they need in 3 bottles. From essential micronutrients like copper, boron, and zinc, to balanced levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, 3-Part nutrients are fed to plants in varying ratios throughout stages
  • How to Prevent and Treat Root Rot in Your Hydroponic Garden
    Root rot is the archnemesis of the hydroponic gardener. If left untreated, root rot (pythium) can spread like wildfire and quickly disrupt natural patterns of growth. At the extreme, rot even has the potential to devastate a crop and leave nothing but the withered and maimed structure of once happily growing plants. But how
  • Massive vs PK Spike: Which One is the Right Choice for Your Grow?
    Contrary to popular opinion, there are no supplements that magically enhance the quality or quantity of a harvest. Fertilizers do play an important role in cultivation, but to get the most out of a garden, growers must equally rely on genetics, environmental controls, stable systems and careful management. If these controls are forgotten and
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2 thoughts on “Choosing the right plant nutrients with our simple icon guide

  1. I have been mixing the General Hydroponic Nutrient for three or four years and was looking for something less complicated. But the more I read about your Product the more confused I get about how to proceed from start to finish of growing my plants with your products.

  2. Brix +

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