How To Adjust the PH of a Hydroponic Solution

Ph is the most important measure in hydroponics. Use this guide to bring your hydroponic nutrient solution to the correct ph level.

The pH scale is a way to measure the Acid or Basic (alkaline) in nutrient solution. PH is the one of the way for measuring the alkalinity or acidity of any substance. The official meaning of pH is: "a unit of measure which describes the degree or level of alkalinity or acidity of a liquid solution". pH scale from 1 to 14. Acids are in a range from 0 to 7, with lower numbers being a stronger acid. Alkaline is in the range from 7 to 14, with the higher numbers being a stronger base. Water registers a completely neutral reading of seven. If you read is as seven, it means; Total number of acid ions is totally
equal to the number alkaline ions which presents in the your liquid hydroponics solution. If you are reading above seven, it number indicates that alkaline ions are totally greater than acidity ions. If you are reading below seven, that indicates that there are more acid ions. Each number below or above seven (7), it indicates a tenfold increase in either acidity or alkalinity. So a substance with a pH reading of five would be ten times more acidic than a substance with a reading of six. This is one of the important issue to remember for hydroponic growing, cos, even if the difference seems slight between your ideal pH and your actual pH, the ph difference should actually be a very very huge problem.!


Best and optimal pH level for a nutrient hydroponics solution is 5.6 (five point six). If you are growing your plants in soil, this should still be slightly acidic, but closer to neutral at 6.3. If your nutrient solution of your plant or your plant's growing medium is too alkaline or acidic, many of the vital nutrients will be precipitated into certain useless salts, which means nutrients will not be absorbed by your plant. For instance, a hydroponics solution which is too acidic would create a deficiency in calcium. This deficiency problem would probably hurt your plant's root system then causes roots to rot and fall off and making your leaves wilt and create DEAD SPOTS on the leave. If you look on other perspective, if the solution is too alkaline, your beautifull plants should not be able to absorb iron element. This problem may cause chlorosis, which disease that makes plants produce insufficient chlorophyll. This would then mean that it could not produce adequate carbohydrates through photosynthesis and it could die if the deficiency becomes too low.

The pH of the liquid solution you want to use for your hydroponic plants should be determined before any of the micro and macro nutrients are mixed into it. Nitrazine paper is inexpensive and also readily available, should be used to instantly test the pH levels. Also you can use pH kits which you test ph level of your swimming pool. If you need accuracy in your pH tests, you can get more advanced pH testing equipments.

How to decrease pH level?
To lower a high pH, most easily obtained ingredients is aspirin. Other cheap, easy and popular method is using little quantity of distilled white vinegar.

How to increase pH level?
Lower pH can be higher by adding either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide in to our water solution. We need very small amounts of one or the other. Because the hydroxides are very very dangerous chemical solutions, we should use it very carefully. Also please keep in mind that,  never touch hydroxides and eve your hands are wet !!!. In fact, you should do what you can to handle them as little as possible and use sturdy rubber gloves when handling.

To increase or decrease pH level, main problem with cheaper methods is that they are not precise and this may affect your hydroponics plants. It would be better to choice, purchasing a pharmaceutical grade pH adjuster, built specifically for hydroponic growing. That way you have a better chance of accurately adjusting your pH for best growing conditions. If you want to be more accurate you may use a electronic pH testing meter. These are electronic and it measures down to the decimal point. These pH testing meters can vary in price but usually you can find under $100.

If the pH level is not at the proper level our hydroponical plant will lose its absorb ability, so some essential macro and micro elements required for healthy growth will not be absorbed by roots. There is a particular pH level for all plants which will produce best results. These pH levels will be in wide range from plant to plant, but in general most of plants need a slightly acid growing media which is between pH 5.5 and pH 6.0. Also please note that most of our plants can still survive in an solution which has a pH of between 5.0 and 7.5.



Lets talk about what should be done when the pH rise and fall;
When pH rises under 6.5, that time some of the macro and micro nutrients begin to precipitate out of solution and can stick to the walls of the reservoir and growing chambers. For Example: Iron will be about half precipitated at the pH level of 7.3 and at about 8.0 pH levels there is virtually no iron left in solution at all. In order for your plants to use the nutrients they have to be dissolved in the solution. Once the nutrients have precipitated out of solution our hydroponic plants can't absorb nutrients and they will suffer deficiency and death if left uncorrected. Some nutrients will precipitate out of solution when the pH drops also. Below chart will give you an idea about what happens to availability some of the nutrients at different pH levels.

pH Values For Different Hydroponic Fruits

Below list you can find Fruit list and proper pH values.

Apple                  5.0 - 6.5
Apricot                6.0 - 7.0
Avocado             6.0 - 7.5
Banana               5.0 - 7.0
Blackberry          5.0 - 6.0
Cherry                 6.0 - 7.5
Cranberry            5.5 - 6.5
Currant, Black     6.0 - 8.0
Currant, Red        5.5 - 7.0
Currant, White      6.0 - 8.0

Damson               6.0 - 7.5
Gooseberry         5.0 - 6.5
Grapevine           6.0 - 7.0
Grapefruit            6.0 - 7.5
Hazelnut              6.0 - 7.0
Hop                      6.0 - 7.5
Lemon                 6.0 - 7.0
Lychee                 6.0 - 7.0
Mango                 5.0 - 6.0
Melon                  5.5 - 6.5
Mulberry              6.0 - 7.5
Nectarine             6.0 - 7.5
Papaw                 6.0 - 7.5
Peach                  6.0 - 7.5
Pear                    6.0 - 7.5
Pineapple            5.0 - 6.0
Plum                    6.0 - 7.5
Pomegranate       5.5 - 6.5
Quince                6.0 - 7.5
Raspberry           5.0 - 6.5
Rhubarb              5.5 - 7.0
Strawberry          5.0 - 7.5
Watermelon         5.5 - 6.

pH Values For Different Hydroponic Vegetables

Below list you can find Vegetable list and proper pH values.

Artichoke                  6.5 - 7.5
Asparagus                6.0 - 8.0
Basil                         5.5 - 6.5
Bean                         6.0 - 7.5
Beetroot                    6.0 - 7.5
Broccoli                    6.0 - 7.0
Brussels                   6.0 - 7.5
Cabbage                   6.0 - 7.5
Calabrese                 6.5 - 7.5
Carrot                       5.5 - 7.0


Cauliflower               5.5 - 7.5
Celery                       6.0 - 7.0
Chicory                     5.0 - 6.5
Chinese Cabbage     6.0 - 7.5
Chives                      6.0 - 7.0
Corn, Sweet             5.5 - 7.5
Cress                        6.0 - 7.0
Courgettes                5.5 - 7.0
Cucumber                 5.5 - 7.5
Fennel                       5.0 - 6.0
Garlic                        5.5 - 7.5
Ginger                       6.0 - 8.0
Horseradish              6.0 - 7.0
Kale                           6.0 - 7.5
Kohlrabi                    6.0 - 7.5
Leek                          6.0 - 8.0
Lentil                         5.5 - 7.0
Lettuce                      6.0 - 7.0
Marjoram                  6.0 - 8.0
Marrow                     6.0 - 7.5
Millet                        6.0 - 6.5
Mint                          7.0 - 8.0
Mushroom                6.5 - 7.5
Mustard                    6.0 - 7.5
Olive                        5.5 - 6.5
Onion                        6.0 - 7.0
Paprika                     7.0 - 8.5
Parsley                     5.0 - 7.0
Parsnip                     5.5 - 7.5
Pea                           6.0 - 7.5
Peanut                      5.0 - 6.5
Pepper                      5.5 - 7.0
Peppermint              6.0 - 7.5
Pistacio                   5.0 - 6.0
Potato, Sweet          4.5 - 6.0
Potato                      5.5 - 6.0
Pumpkin                  5.5 - 7.5
Radish                     6.0 - 7.0
Rice                         5.0 - 6.5
Rosemary                5.0 - 6.0
Sage                        5.5 - 6.5
Shallot                     5.5 - 7.0
Sorghum                 5.5 - 7.5
Soyabean                5.5 - 6.5
Spearmint               5.5 - 7.5
Spinach                  6.0 - 7.5
Swede                    5.5 - 7.0
Thyme                     5.5 - 7.0
Tomato                    5.5 - 7.5
Turnip                      5.5 - 7.0
Watercress             6.0 - 8.0

pH Values For Different Hydroponic Flowers

Below list you can find Flower list and proper pH values.

Abelia                        6.0 - 8.0
Acacia                       6.0 - 8.0
Acanthus                   6.0 - 7.0
Aconitum                   5.0 - 6.0
Adonis                       6.0 - 8.0
Ageratum                   6.0 - 7.5
Ailanthus                   6.0 - 7.5
Ajuga                        4.0 - 6.0
Althea                        6.0 - 7.5
Alyssum                    6.0 - 7.5
Amaranthus              6.0 - 6.5

Anchusa                    6.0 - 7.5
Androsace                5.0 - 6.0
Anemone                   6.0 - 7.5
Anthyllis                    5.0 - 6.0
Arbutus                      4.0 - 6.0
Arenaria                    6.0 - 8.0
Aristea                      6.0 - 7.5
Armeria                     6.0 - 7.5
Arnica                        5.0 - 6.5
Asperula                    6.0 - 8.0
Asphodoline              6.0 - 8.0
Aster                          5.5 - 7.5
Aubrieta                     6.0 - 7.5
Avena                        6.0 - 7.5
Azalea                       4.5 - 6.0
Beauty Bush              6.0 - 7.5
Bergenia                   6.0 - 7.5
Bluebell                     6.0 - 7.5
Broom                       5.0 - 6.0
Buddleia                    6.0 - 7.0
Buphthalum               6.0 - 8.0
Calendula                  5.5 - 7.0
Camassis                  6.0 - 8.0
Candytuft                   6.0 - 7.5
Canna                       6.0 - 8.0
Canterbury Bells      6.0 - 7.5
Carnation                  6.0 - 7.5
Catalpa                     6.0 - 8.0
Celosia                     6.0 - 7.0
Centaurea                5.0 - 6.5
Cerastium                6.0 - 7.0
Chrysanthemum       6.0 - 7.0
Cissus                      6.0 - 7.5
Cistus                       6.0 - 7.5
Clarkia                      6.0 - 6.5
Clianthus                  6.0 - 7.5
Clematis                   5.5 - 7.0
Colchicum                5.5 - 6.5
Columbine                6.0 - 7.0
Convolvulus            6.0 - 8.0
Coreopsis                5.0 - 6.0
Coronilla                  6.5 - 7.5
Corydalis                  6.0 - 8.0
Cosmos                    5.0 - 8.0
Cotoneaster             6.0 - 8.0
Crab Apple               6.0 - 7.5
Crocus                     6.0 - 8.0
Cynoglossum           6.0 - 7.5
Daffodil                    6.0 - 6.5
Dahlia                      6.0 - 7.5
Day Lily                    6.0 - 8.0
Delphinium              6.0 - 7.5
Deutzia                    6.0 - 7.5
Dianthus                  6.0 - 7.5
Dogwood                 5.0 - 7.0
Edelweiss               6.5 - 7.5
Elaeagnus               5.0 - 7.5
Enkianthus              5.0 - 6.0
Erica                        4.5 - 6.0
Euphorbia                6.0 - 7.0
Everlasting Flower 5.0 - 6.0
Firethorn                  6.0 - 8.0
Forget-me-not          6.0 - 8.0
Forsythia                 6.0 - 8.0
Foxglove                 6.0 - 7.5
Fritillaria                  6.0 - 7.5
Fuchsia                    5.5 - 6.5
Gaillardia                 6.0 - 7.5
Gazania                    5.5 - 7.0
Gentiana                  5.0 - 7.5
Geum                       6.0 - 7.5
Gladiolus                 6.0 - 7.0
Globularia                5.5 - 7.0
Godetia                    6.0 - 7.5
Golden Rod              5.0 - 7.0
Gourd                       6.0 - 7.0
Grass, Bent              5.5 - 6.5
Grass, Clover          6.0 - 7.0
Grass, Fescue         6.0 - 7.5
Grass, Meadow       6.0 - 7.5
Grass, Pampas        6.0 - 8.0
Grass, Rye               6.0 - 7.0
Gypsophila               6.0 - 7.5




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