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Should I be adding *extra* PK additives or “finishers” to the FloraMax feeding schedule during bloom?

No, the PK levels (Phosphorous and Potassium) are optimized with Flowering Enhancer, Resin-XS (0-1-4) and the FloraMax base nutrient (VegaFlora AB or Veg-1).  During mid-to-late bloom, we generally recommend using Resin-XS at 3-4ml/L (11.5-15ml/Gal).  For heavy feeders, 4ml/L (15ml/Gal) generally provides significant improvements in mass yield and terpene profile.

Growth-XS usage when veg phase is shorter than 4-weeks?

Apply during veg week-1 if clones appears strong enough.  Also, best results may be obtained by limiting usage to 3-4 days.

The most effective way of treating nutrient deficiency symptoms?

Due to the way most nutrient ranges are “configured”, deficiencies symptoms in the youngest or most recent foliage growth are most likely due to a lack of either calcium, or the 6 essential trace elements (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Mo & B).  FloraMax Ca-Mg-Fe contains all 7 of these nutrient elements in abundance.  It is purpose built for this scenario and is therefore the fastest and most effective way of identifying and treating common deficiency symptoms.

Deposits in the reservoir?

“Sand-like” deposits on the bottom of the reservoir:  These are typically either due to high pH levels, or a result of mixing the nutrient or additives in too little water.  Specifically, pre-mixing A and B base nutrients will usually manifest as a “sand-like” deposit within a few minutes.  To avoid this, when making a nutrient batch always add the majority of the water to the reservoir before adding the nutrient and additives.  Also, ensure to stir the mixture well after each component is added, then immediately check and adjust pH once completed.

White slimes:  These will typically float in the nutrient solution, or clog filters and drippers.  This can be avoided by adding Pythoff PLUS or System Maintenance to the nutrient solution and by covering the nutrient reservoir to prevent light ingress.

White scale:  This issue is common with hard waters (high in calcium), high EC waters, or where excessive cal-mag additive is used.  White (calcium) scale often builds up in irrigation lines and drippers and causes blockages.  It also adheres to hard surfaces above the waterline on reservoirs and substrate (eg. on clay balls), however, this is generally only an aesthetic problem.  In many cases it can be minimized or prevented by using low EC waters including RO or rain, or by maintaining low pH’s (5.0-5.5), or by regularly treating the nutrient solution with Pythoff PLUS (contains a descaling agent).

Should liquid nutrients or additives be shaken immediately prior to use?

Generally no!  Unless the product is a slurry or emulsion, rarely the case, the bottle should NEVER be shaken immediately prior to use.  Shaking will mobilize then permit ‘insoluble’ deposits to be decanted into the nutrient reservoir.  Despite best hopes, these deposits will rarely dissolve once in the reservoir.  They will simply block drippers, lines and filters!

Common sources of insoluble deposits include impurities (e.g. clays/silicates), destabilized ingredients, or product stabilizers being naturally decomposed by exposure to atmospheric CO2 – this is common in additives with neutral to alkaline pH such as some silica based additives.

Should Silica be added first or last?
FloraMax Silica is highly concentrated and should always be pre-diluted least 10-fold with water before adding to the reservoir.  Failure to do this may cause white particles to form when it is added to the nutrient solution.  This problem is more pronounced at higher EC’s especially when using hard or salty waters.  Note, these “white particles” will normally dissolve if the nutrient is immediately stirred and is therefore typically only an aesthetic problem if treated correctly.    If you do NOT want to predilute Silica, then it should be added to the reservoir first, before the base nutrient and other additives – like many other brands. The problem with this is it increases the water’s pH – subsequent addition of pH sensitive elements will be potentially destabilized unless pH is quickly corrected. By adding Silica last, we only need to worry about pH right at the end.  If you add it first, you need to worry about pH the whole way through!
Will System Maintenance improve the effective working life of nutrient batches?

Yes, provided light ingress and evaporation are minimized, shade (or bury) the reservoir to minimize nutrient temperature, and avoid the use of sugary additives such as carbohydrates and molasses.  With a super-stable nutrient such as Veg-1 or VegaFlora and their associated additives, batches can be stored for several weeks or even months provided pH is set well below 6.5 on day 1.  By keeping everything clean – reservoir, drippers, feedlines, pump and filters – System Maintenance will help ensure all plants are being watered properly.

Can I use Growth-XS with “auto-flowers”?

Yes, however to prevent additional vegetative growth during early flower, it is important to cease usage of Growth-XS 14-days prior to the ‘expected’ switch to flower.  Therefore, generally begin usage 3-weeks PRIOR to flower and use for a maximum of 7-days.  The plant will continue to benefit for about 14-days *post* application.

Using Growth-XS with hungry strains?

To prevent deficiency symptoms during accelerated vegetative growth, it may be necessary to increase EC by 0.2-0.4mS while Growth-XS is being used, and in the week or two following.

Can Flowering Enhancer be used in veg (or flower) with OTHER nutrient ranges?

Yes.  In veg, many growers now use Flowering Enhancer to prevent purple stems and petioles, and to avoid calcium, magnesium and iron deficiencies.   In bloom, Flowering Enhancer integrates very well into other ranges along with Resin-XS as the stand-alone PK additives.  This combination prevents the need for a cal-mag additive, provides pH stability and prevents the need for messy resin enhancers, carbohydrates and finishing agents.

Nutrient deficiencies?

Over 90% of the “alleged” deficiency incidents that we have responded to (with FloraMax), the grower has not followed the chart. For example, the plants are in week-4 veg but are still being fed the week-2 veg schedule. Why? Sometimes growers are hesitant to advance the schedule to successive weeks. High pH and humidity, and under-watering are other common causes.  If this is not the case and the nutrient solution is in fact truly deficient under the given conditions, employ Ca-Mg-Fe at 0.5ml/L (2ml/Gal). If that fails to fix the problem within 1-week, increase its usage rate to 1ml/L (4ml/Gal). If that fails then the issue is probably not due to cal-mag or trace elements (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Mo or B).

NOTE: If the nutrient solution is deficient, Ca-Mg-Fe is the most effective way of rectifying the issue. Increasing EC by increasing the base nutrient dose is a common remedy, however, the most likely elements to be deficient in ‘most’ nutrient solutions are those contained within Ca-Mg-Fe – and is therefore why we recommend it for this purpose.

When using FloraMax, do I need a cal-mag?

No.  The FloraMax line is designed to eliminate the requirement for additional “cal-mag” additives as it is built into our base nutrients and Flowering Enhancer product.  Over hundreds of test grows during the development phase there was never any need for a dedicated cal-mag additive. Furthermore, use of additional “cal-mag” may result in excessive calcium precipitate leading to clogged lines or build-up.  In the unlikely event that deficiency symptoms occur, add FloraMax Ca-Mg-Fe at 0.5ml/L (0.14mS).  If that fails to fix the problem within 1-week, increase its usage rate to 1ml/L (0.28mS). If that fails then the issue is probably not due to cal-mag or trace elements (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Mo or B).

Should I use an air-stone? 

Generally no.  Claimed growth benefits from “super- oxygenated” nutrient have nil scientific merit.  For run-to-waste systems (soil and coco) an air-stone is not required and should be avoided as they can cause adverse reactions with organic additives and destabilize pH, especially if too much air is being injected.  If batches are being stored for more than a few days, Pythoff PLUS or System Maintenance should be used to prevent any build-ups in the reservoir especially if any light is able to enter.  Also, cover the reservoir, however, ensure the lid is raised to allow airflow – this will prevent the growth of mould on the hard surfaces inside the reservoir.

For recirculating systems, air-stones can be beneficial especially if the dump frequency is infrequent, however as mentioned above, minimize the air injection rate if using organics. This does not apply to DWC – the nutrient solution must be aerated.

Can I use chlorine or hydrogen peroxide with FloraMax?

No, Pythoff PLUS or System Maintenance should be used instead.  Growers must be made aware that many of the FloraMax products contain essential “purified extracted organics”. These appear more-or-less identical to synthetics or salts, and lack the typical characteristics of organic additive e.g. sludgy, sticky and stinky. The trouble is, grower’s can unwittingly assume FloraMax is a “synthetic-line” and employ chlorines or peroxide – which can destroy the organics!

Can cal-mag additives, root enhancers or base nutrients be used as foliar sprays?

These are NOT recommended for use as foliar sprays.  Firstly, the calcium in cal-mag additives (and base nutrients) will cause white staining on the surface of foliage.  During daylight (lights-on), this can hinder photosynthesis and cause burning of foliage (aka “necrosis”).  Also, the nutrient species used in cal-mags, regular root enhancer additives or base nutrients are not ideally suited for uptake via stomata.  For maximum uptake and efficacy, it is best to use a specialized foliar spray such as FloraMax Clone Spray.  This can be used for seedlings and clones, then throughout veg and in early bloom through to about week 3 or 4 – but generally not later than this.  The ingredients in Clone Spray are designed for maximum uptake via stomata and will impart the necessary benefits desired from a foliar spray e.g. improved foliage growth, increased number and quality of bud sites, improved plant structure and increased root mass.

What if the nutrient batch EC is higher or lower than expected?

The EC target can be verified by calculating the sum total of the EC contributed from each product in the nutrient solution.  For example, on the VegaFlora AB Dose Chart, the schedule for Veg Week-1 contains four components that contribute to the EC target: VegaFlora A contributes 0.67mS (at 2.4ml/L; 9ml/Gal)) + VegaFlora B, 0.58mS + Root-XS, 0.1mS and OrganaBud, 0.07mS.  The sum total of the EC is 1.42mS (i.e., 0.67+0.58+0.1+0.07=1.42mS).  Note, System Maintenance and Silica contribute negligible EC, hence their EC contribution is not specified.
Now, if the EC target is not achieved, the reasons might be as follows:

EC is lower than expected:

  1. Check the meter’s accuracy using a calibration standard (typically at 2.76mS).  This is by far the most common cause of EC discrepancies.
  2. You have under-dosed with one or more products.
  3. Reservoir is larger than specified i.e., need to calibrate the reservoir.
  4. Failed to add one or more products that contribute EC.
  5. Measuring devices are inaccurate and need calibrating.

EC is higher than expected: 

  1. Check the meter’s accuracy using a calibration standard (typically at 2.76mS).  This is by far the most common cause of EC discrepancies.
  2. Have over-dosed with one or more products.
  3. Reservoir is smaller than specified i.e., need to calibrate the reservoir.
  4. Failed to consider the EC contributed by the water and extra additives.  For example, if water has an EC of 0.3mS, then this needs to be added to the EC target (1.42+0.3 = 1.72mS).  Similarly, if Ca-Mg-Fe is added at 0.5ml/L, this will contribute 0.14mS, or 1ml/L will contribute 0.28mS.
  5. Measuring devices are inaccurate and need calibrating.
Should I run low EC/TDS, or even just water, in the last 7-14 days?

Although this is a common trend, our best testers – and we have them in many countries – find that it’s best to continue high EC until harvest.  Low final EC/TDS harms final quality and flavour.  Some common causes of bad flavour/quality are:

  1. Failure to dry the final product adequately causes a harsh taste.
  2. Nuisance chemicals in the nutrients and additives – metallic tastes are common.  Some nutrient brands have a “signature” taste…
  3. PGRs such as paclobutrazol and daminozide reduce flavour.
  4. Excess sugars/carbs have a similar affect as the above-mentioned PGRs.
  5. Poorly balanced nutrients (some elements run deficient, others run excessive i.e. toxic) can cause a harsh taste.
Are FloraMax products ‘organic’ or ‘inorganic’ (aka synthetic)?

It is foolish to think plant growth can be optimized using one solitary method.  For this reason the FloraMax range incorporates a sophisticated blend of both organics and inorganics – although government regulation prohibits the disclosure of the organic ingredients in most cases. Importantly FloraMax is free of harmful PGR’s such as paclobutrazol and daminozide.

“Purified extracted organics” explained

The chemists at FloraMax have been able to deconstruct popular organic ingredients such as kelp, fulvic acid and guano then isolate specific ‘beneficial’ organic molecules. These are then incorporated into our additives in a purified and potent form. Importantly, this enables their concentrations to be optimized for maximum nutrient effect, with no negative side-effects. The result is a range of products that produce unique and tangible results without causing blocked drippers, pH fluctuation, build-up, foaming or odors.

Is every FloraMax batch tested for quality?

Every batch of FloraMax is manufactured by our in-house chemist, then tested for quality before being bottled.  This ensures every bottle performs to specification. Growers can be confident of achieving consistent yields from crop-to-crop.

What is the expected shelf-life of a FloraMax product?

Product shelf-life is essential for ensuring every bottle performs to the manufacturer’s original specification.  Our range boasts extra long shelf-life, typically at least 3-5 years. Hence growers can be confident of achieving consistent yields from crop-to-crop.

How many bottles do I need to grow a crop using FloraMax?

The use of 1-part technology throughout our range ensures each product is multi-purpose. This means you require only 4-5 bottles (base nutrient included) to cover a multitude of issues and ensure outstanding yields.

Simplicity is further demonstrated with our base nutrients.  Growers only require a single nutrient for seed-to-harvest growth instead of a separate grow and bloom formulation.  Less bottles means less confusion!

Does FloraMax use high quality ingredients?

FloraMax utilizes the highest grade of ingredients available for plant nutrient products.   Further, these are carefully balanced to avoid any unnecessary excess. This ensures the nutrient solution “runs clean” without blocking drippers or emitters.

How much pH adjustment is required with FloraMax nutrients?

Our pH buffering control is 5x stronger than other leading brands.  This means pH adjustment is not required in coco coir or soil and is reduced significantly in recirculating hydroponic systems.  Also, when dosing with alkaline additives you are unlikely to ever see white deposits or “clouds” in the nutrient.

Does FloraMax prevent common nutrient issues?

In most cases, good product design will prevent nutrient problems.  FloraMax’s products contains the latest nutrient technology which helps avoid common issues such as nutrient deficiencies, large pH fluctuations, fruit rot, blocked drippers, disease and hot weather wilt.  This allows growers to focus on other important areas such as lighting and the grow room environment.