Easy Nutrients: General Hydroponics Flora Trio Guide

Updated Oct 31, 2020

For many cannabis growers, nutrients can be a pretty confusing topic. Not only are there tons of companies to wade through, but some companies have multiple nutrient lines, extra supplements, additives, etc. And once you’re through with that, you still have to figure out how much and how often to feed your plants.

Luckily, many of the major nutrient lines out today will grow great cannabis. However, some can empty your wallet and leave you with much more work than is needed.

Today, I’m going to show you the nutrients we use – General Hydroponics Flora Trio + (optionally) CaliMagic – and how we use them. This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to do plant nutrients while keeping the cost low. If you’ve been stuck at figuring out how to feed your plants, this is the answer!

Buds grown using the Flora trio

Important: Flora trio is a great nutrient system, but as long as your plant gets all necessary nutrients, the genetics, care, and growing environment affect bud quality more than the particular nutrient brand.

 

What Is General Hydroponics Flora Trio
The Flora Trio...wait...it looks like someone tampered with this one...

Note: Don’t let the name fool you, the Flora Trio is great for soil, coco coir, hydro, or almost any growing medium!

General Hydroponics is the name of a company that makes nutrients, potting mixes, and pH adjustment kits among many other things. They also produce a nutrient line called the Flora Trio and a supplement called CaliMagic.

The Flora Trio is three bottles (Grow, Micro and Bloom) which are combined in different ratios depending on your plant’s stage of maturity. CaliMagic is a Cal-Mag supplement, which supports optimal cannabis growth and prevents calcium deficiencies (most common when growing in coco or using filtered water).

General Hydroponics (like most if not all nutrient companies) try to sell their base nutrients with a bunch of other supplements, but using just the Flora trio’s three bottles (and optionally CaliMagic) will do everything you need in addition to saving money. We’re going to show you how to do it!

Why We Recommend GH Flora
Let me start off by saying we have no stake of any sort in General Hydroponics. We don’t get paid by them or their companies or receive free products or anything like that. We just think they just make awesome stuff. Now, on to why we recommend you give them a try if you haven’t already found a suitable nutrient line:

Cheap
GH Flora Trio tends to go for about $10-$14 per 32oz bottle, which comes out to $30-$42 for all three plus $20 for (optional) CaliMagic supplement. That doesn’t seem cheap until you factor in two things: you only use a small amount at a time, and the expiration date on the bottles is pretty far off. For a small personal garden, about $50 worth of nutrients can last for years. Just as importantly, the nutrients last for years even when opened as long as they’re properly stored.

It Works!
Many growers believe that the secret to getting medical-grade bud with the ‘magazine look’ is having the right nutrients. Believe it or not, all nutrient lines perform the same job: providing the basic elements your plant needs. The ways different nutrient lines provide these minerals can differ and the formulas they use can vary vastly, but these changes aren’t what makes that envy-inspiring bud…it’s the care, a good environment, and a lot of light! With that in mind, the Flora Trio works exactly like it should in that it just gives your plants the minerals they need.

Simplicity
If you ignore the extra add-ons frequently sold with the Flora Trio, it becomes a simple, long-lasting solution to a seemingly complicated problem. The simplicity of the formula they use (dissolved salts) makes it last 5+ years after being opened when stored correctly, and only using three bottles makes it simpler to use than a full nutrient and supplement line.

Widely Available

The Flora trio is one of the most common nutrient lines made for plants like cannabis and is easily found online and at hydro stores.

Buds grown with Flora trio

Alright, now let’s get to how to actually use the stuff!

How WE Use GH Flora Trio For Cannabis (Custom Schedule)
Here’s a chart demonstrating how we use the Flora Trio in drain-to-waste mediums like coco coir/perlite, vermiculite/perlite etc.:

Custom drain to waste schedule for General Hydroponics Flora Trio

Download the PDF

Supplemental Instructions:

  1. Add nutrients/supplements to water (Micro first)
  2. Adust pH to between 5.5-6.5 (using PH Up or PH Down)
  3. Give water to plants and remove runoff
  4. Adjust nutrient strength as needed…
    – Increase nutrients for pale plants with yellow lower leaves
    – Reduce nutrients for dark plants with nutrient burn

Notes:

  • Repeat Week 3 until plant is half final desired height
  • Initiate flowering stage with a 12/12 light schedule
  • Repeat Week 8 for a longer flowering stage
  • Always add CaliMagic for coco coir or RO water

Soil plants (autoflowering) grown with Flora trio

Example of Nebula's Microgrow - this mini grow tent was 2'x2'x3' with 4 autoflowering plants and used a HLG 100 LED grow light

Coco plants grown with Flora trio + CaliMagic

 

Recirculating Nutrient Schedule for Hydroponics/DWC

And here’s a chart demonstrating how we use the Flora Trio in recirculating systems like DWC/Bubbleponic, Ebb & Flow, etc.:

Custom recirculating schedule for General Hydroponics Flora Trio

Download the PDF

Supplemental Instructions:

  1. Add nutrients/supplements to water (Micro first)
  2. Adust pH to between 5.5-6.5 (using PH Up or PH Down)
  3. Add nutrient water to the reservoir (leave 1″ air gap below net pots)
  4. Adjust nutrient strength as needed…
    – Increase dosage for pale plants with yellow lower leaves
    – Lower dosage for dark plants with nutrient burn

Notes:

  • Repeat Week 3 until plant is half final desired height
  • Initiate flowering stage with a 12/12 light schedule
  • Repeat Week 8 for a longer flowering stage

Hydroponic cannabis grows with Flora trio + CaliMagic

Example of happy cannabis plants in a hydroponic DWC reservoir

White Rhino plant grown in a hydroponic setup

Cannabis plants just before harvest!

We recommend starting with the amounts listed above. If your plant shows signs of deficiencies, check the pH first as this is just as likely the issue.

Learn how to check pH to prevent nutrient deficiencies!

If you’ve confirmed your pH is in the correct range and you’re still seeing nutrient deficiencies, increase the amount of nutrients you’re giving your plants. Make sure to treat the amount recommended by General Hydroponics (see below) as an absolute maximum; giving full strength tends to end in nutrient burn.

Those using coco coir and/or reverse osmosis water will want to add a calcium/magnesium (cal-mag) supplement to make up for the lack of it in your water. Growers using tap water often have enough calcium/magnesium in their water already, but it’s a good idea to add it if you know you live in an area with soft (more pure) water.

As far as other supplements, you’ll see that the charts below from GH recommend a few of them. While we’re sure they have their merits, we don’t recommend using any of the ones listed unless you’ve tried this line already and want to experiment. From our experience, we’re sure you’ll get the results you’re looking for without having to add even more bottles to your nutrient line-up.

Now for the standard instructions!

How GH Tells You to Use It (with lots of supplements)​
Here’s the chart from General Hydroponics for mediums like coco coir, soil, perlite, etc.:

Official drain to waste schedule for General Hydroponics Flora Trio

And here’s their chart for recirculating systems like DWC, Ebb & Flow, etc.:

Official recirculating schedule for General Hydroponics Flora Trio

Personally, we’ve found the extra supplements and higher levels of nutrients recommended by General Hydroponics to be unnecessary. We get great results using the more simple and cannabis-specific nutrient levels recommended by our custom schedule!

Tips for Using the Flora Trio
Here are a few tips about this nutrient line that’ll save you some time and money!

  • You can make nutrient water in advance and store it for up to a week. Some people store nutrient water for longer, but a single week is considered safe by General Hydroponics. Nutrient water lasts longer if the container is completely full (since there is no oxygen for bad microorganisms). After a container is part empty, the water can get smelly if you seal it back up. Leave the top off in that case to get a little extra time.
  • Store your nutrient bottles in a darkened area (no direct sunlight) with cool (but not freezing) temperatures. When stored properly, these nutrients can last for over 5 years even after they’ve been opened
  • Try using a pipette to get Flora Micro out of the bottle. This way you avoid having to pour it, which can be a pain. Micro has a weird drippy consistency that makes it easy to spill while pouring. Another idea is to put Micro in a squeeze bottle.
  • Using small amounts of nutrients not only makes it so you save a bit of money, but it makes your nutrient-water a lighter color. This in turn makes it easier to use drop-type pH test kits which are super cheap! A drop-type pH test kit can also last years when stored and used properly!
  • I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but make sure you put down a towel before your pour nutrients! Two of the liquids are pretty tame, but Micro is wine-colored with an odd consistency!

Get the General Hydroponics Flora Trio Today!

General Hydroponics Flora Series is perfect for growing weed


 

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