Are Hydroponic Nutrients Organic?

In the hydroponic world, there’s a lot of discussion about organic vs. synthetic nutrients. 

It can get confusing and frustrating to try to sort through all the information out there, so I wanted to put together a guide that breaks down everything you need to know about using organic nutrients in your hydroponic garden.

Hydroponics Safety: Conventional vs. Organic Hydroponics
Organic hydroponics is a viable option for growing plants using natural methods and nutrients
Compost tea, fish emulsion, and kelp meal are some examples of organic hydroponic nutrients
Organic hydroponic systems can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional hydroponic systems
Plants grown hydroponically can be certified as organic if they meet USDA standards
Organic hydroponics can lead to healthier plants and better-tasting produce

What Are Hydroponic Nutrients?

You may have heard of hydroponic nutrients, but what exactly are they?

Hydroponic nutrients are a special formula of nutrients that are used to feed plants in a hydroponic system. The nutrients are dissolved in water and fed to the plant through the roots. They provide all the nutrition needed for optimal growth and development. 

The most common types of hydroponics include air layering, deep water culture (DWC), ebb and flow, drain to waste and flood & drain (NFT).

When it comes to hydroponic nutrients, safety should be a top priority. Our article on are hydroponic nutrients safe explains why it’s important to choose the right nutrients for your plants to ensure healthy growth and avoid potential hazards.

Is Organic Soil The Only Option?

No, you don’t have to use organic soil for your hydroponic system. Many people have a hard time understanding what hydroponic nutrients are and how they work. 

In short, they are an easy-to-use product that provides all the essentials for the healthy growth of plants, including minerals and vitamins. This can be added directly to a reservoir or used with an automatic feeder system (AFC).

If you’re not sure what I mean by “organic soil,” think about growing your tomatoes in a pot on your patio: 

You add some dirt and plant seeds in it, give them plenty of water, then wait until they grow into big red tomatoes ripe for eating! Hydroponics is the same thing but with just two ingredients: water and nutrients (plus maybe some seeds).

There are many reasons why using hydroponic nutrients is better than using organic soil when growing plants indoors:

Comparison of Organic and Synthetic Hydroponic Nutrients

Nutrient TypeProsCons
OrganicDerived from natural sources, can improve plant health and flavor, more sustainableCan be slower-acting, more expensive
SyntheticFaster-acting, more affordableMay contain harmful chemicals, less sustainable, may not provide plants with a full range of nutrients

What Is An Organic Fertilizer?

Let’s talk about what an organic fertilizer is.

A fertilizer is any substance used to supply nutrients for plants, including the soil in which they grow. Organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients, including animal manures and plant materials such as bark, leaves, and seaweed. 

They’re safe for the environment because they don’t contain any harmful chemicals or fertilizers that can harm humans or animals. 

Organic fertilizers also do not pollute groundwater supplies or leave behind toxic residues when they’re used in your garden. Finally, organic fertilizers won’t harm the soil that you use them on either in fact, they’ll improve it!

If you’re wondering whether hydroponic nutrients can be considered organic, our article on are hydroponic nutrients organic breaks down the key differences between organic and synthetic nutrients and provides insight into the certification process.

Examples of Organic Hydroponic Nutrients

NutrientSourceNutrients Provided
Compost teaComposted organic matterNitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients
Fish emulsionFish wasteNitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, micronutrients
Kelp mealSeaweedPotassium, micronutrients
Bone mealGround bonesPhosphorus, calcium
Blood mealDried animal bloodNitrogen, iron

Why Is An Organic Fertilizer Better Than Synthetic Ones?

It is safer for the environment. The use of synthetic fertilizers leads to groundwater contamination and toxic runoff into our waterways. These chemical substances can also be harmful to plants, animals, and humans.

It is better for the soil. Many of the nutrients (especially phosphorous) found in conventional fertilizers are not bioavailable or available to plant roots, resulting in poor soil fertility over time as well as increased erosion due to poor root structure.

It is better for plants because organic inputs are typically used (like compost tea) which contain microbes that help break down organic matter into its parts such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide/

Two essential components of photosynthesis — while suppressing other organisms that compete with your crops (such as pathogens). 

This results in healthier plants with less susceptibility to diseases or pests! In addition, small amounts of organic material left behind after harvesting will provide food sources for beneficial insects like ladybugs which prey on aphids so they don’t need any pesticides at all :)! 

This also reduces our dependence on petroleum-based products like plastic containers/bags because they use up our finite resources faster than we can replenish them!”

Why Should You Use Organic Hydroponic Fertilizers?

Why should you use organic fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers? If you’re growing plants in soil, the answer is simple: natural is better than synthetic. But what about hydroponics? Here are a few reasons to choose organic hydroponic nutrients:

Organic fertilizer is more natural and less toxic. Synthetic chemicals can harm your plants, but organic sources are safe for them and for you too! 

Many hydroponic nutrients are made from a fish emulsion or plant extracts, so they’re completely non-toxic and easy on the environment as well.

Organic fertilizer is better for your plants’ health than synthetic chemicals. The main reason why people use chemical solutions in their gardens is that they think they will give great results quickly. 

However, these solutions often cause root burn and sometimes even kill the roots themselves! To avoid this problem entirely (and keep those buds from tasting like dirt), stick to an all-natural solution instead.*Organic fertilizers are good for both your wallet AND taste buds! 

Chemicals don’t just cost money; they also make food less flavorful by masking flavors with artificial flavors (like MSG). 

This means that if you want something that tastes good AND works well without harming anyone else’s health or hurting the environment too much then using an organic solvent may be worth considering after all!”

How To Know If A Fertilizer Is Organic Or Not?

It’s not always easy to tell whether an item is organic or not, but there are some simple ways you can check. 

First, read the label. If it says “organic” on there (or any other word indicating its use), then chances are it was made with natural ingredients and therefore qualifies as organic. If it doesn’t say anything about being organic, look for words like “natural” or “contains no chemicals.”

Next up: the ingredients list on the product itself! This will give you a good idea of what types of compounds make up this particular fertilizer. Look for things like nitrogen-based compounds (like ammonium bicarbonate) rather than phosphorous-based compounds (like potassium sulfate). 

Lastly, pay attention to how much your product costs compared to others in its category: if everyone knows that certain brands tend toward higher prices than others because they contain more effective ingredients and those effective ingredients happen to be artificial.

Then buying something more expensive probably won’t help your plants grow better anyway! 

Narrowing down this process will make sure that nothing goes wrong during growth cycles either; remember that these guys need plenty of nutrients throughout their lifespans so there’s no point wasting money trying something new every time just because someone told us to!

Are hydroponic plants as nutritious as those grown in soil? Find out in our article on hydroponic plants’ nutrition where we explore the science behind nutrient uptake in hydroponic systems and the impact on plant nutrition.

Are Fish Emulsion And Seaweed Concentrates Useful In Hydroponics?

If you’re wondering whether fish emulsion is useful in hydroponics, the answer is yes. Fish emulsion is a byproduct of fish processing that’s been recovered and concentrated. It contains a lot of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

All three are important nutrients for plant growth, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, which plants can’t absorb without some help from bacteria in the soil or water supply (more on this later).

But while fish emulsion may be useful in hydroponics, it’s not always necessary: there are other sources of these important nutrients available to your plants that don’t require messy handling or disposal at all stages in their life cycle.

Why Do People Say That Using Inorganic Nutrients Are Bad For The Environment?

Although inorganic fertilizers are often considered an economical alternative to organic ones, it’s important to consider their impact on the environment before choosing a method of fertilizer.

Inorganic Fertilizers:

Are synthetic and manufactured using petroleum products or other chemicals as ingredients, so they may have high levels of heavy metals and other toxins that can affect your plants. 

This is especially true if you’re using a high-nitrogen, low-phosphorus (NPK) formula that contains ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate as the primary nitrogen source.

Two common inorganic fertilizers. NPK fertilizers also contain potassium chloride, which can burn roots if overused and isn’t very effective at raising pH levels because it’s not buffered by calcium carbonate like natural calcium-based amendments like dolomite lime or calcitic limestone are.

Are usually less expensive than organic brands because they’re made from large quantities of raw materials from fossil fuel extraction operations; however, this doesn’t mean they’re less effective than more expensive but safe options like peat moss or compost teas!

Concerned about the safety of hydroponic vegetables? Our article on are hydroponic vegetables organic covers the certification process for organic hydroponic produce and provides tips for choosing safe and healthy options for your family

Organic Fertilizers For Your Plants Will Give You A Healthier Plant And Will Not Harm The Environment

Organic fertilizers are better for the environment, your plants, and yourself. The effects of using organic fertilizers are many.

  • Organic fertilizers are better for the environment.
  • Organic fertilizers will help to build healthy soil that is rich in nutrients, which can only be achieved by growing organically or naturally. 

You will not need any toxic chemicals like herbicides or pesticides on your crops since they do not want any harm to come to the soil or water table underneath them.


While synthetic chemicals may be convenient, they are best avoided when it comes to growing plants. Organic fertilizers are the best way to grow plants and keep them healthy. You will notice the difference in taste and quality of your food if you use only organic ingredients!

For a comprehensive guide on the safety and nutritional benefits of hydroponic vegetables, check out our article on are hydroponic vegetables safe to eat. From debunking common myths to outlining the advantages of hydroponic produce, we’ve got you covered.

Further Reading

For more information on the topic of organic hydroponics and using organic nutrients in hydroponic systems, check out these additional resources:

Is Organic Hydroponics Possible? Yes, and Here’s How to Use Organic Nutrients in Hydroponics: This article from Gardening Chores provides a step-by-step guide for implementing organic hydroponics, including recommended organic nutrients and tips for maintaining a healthy hydroponic system.

Organic Hydroponic Nutrients: What Are They And How Do They Work?: The Green Garden Life offers insights into organic hydroponic nutrients, including their benefits and how they differ from traditional hydroponic nutrients.

Are Plants Grown Hydroponically Organic?: This article from Home Guides by SFGate explores the question of whether plants grown hydroponically can be considered organic, covering certification requirements and other factors.


What are organic hydroponics?

Organic hydroponics refers to the practice of growing plants hydroponically using organic nutrients and methods. This typically involves using natural substances like compost, fish emulsion, and seaweed extracts to provide plants with the necessary nutrients for growth.

How do organic hydroponic nutrients differ from traditional hydroponic nutrients?

Organic hydroponic nutrients are derived from natural sources and do not contain synthetic chemicals or additives. They tend to be slower-acting than traditional hydroponic nutrients, but provide plants with a broader range of nutrients and can lead to healthier and more flavorful produce.

Can plants grown hydroponically be considered organic?

Yes, plants grown hydroponically can be considered organic if they meet the USDA’s organic certification requirements. This includes using organic nutrients and avoiding the use of synthetic pesticides or other chemicals.

What are some common organic hydroponic nutrients?

Common organic hydroponic nutrients include compost tea, fish emulsion, kelp meal, bone meal, and blood meal. These natural substances provide plants with essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

What are the benefits of using organic nutrients in hydroponics?

Using organic nutrients in hydroponics can lead to healthier plants and better-tasting produce, while also reducing the environmental impact of traditional hydroponic systems. Organic hydroponic systems can also be more sustainable over the long term, as they can rely on renewable resources and avoid the use of synthetic chemicals.