HB-101 directions, dose and FAQs

You're holding 400 years of knowledge in your hands right now. That's the experience behind the formulation of HB-101 over 30 years ago in Japan. All natural.  No chemicals. OMRI Certified for use in organic production. I like to say it's made from 'trees and bananas' (of course there's more to it than that - and it's actually a type of banana called plantain). Find out more about the ingredients in HB-101 on each HB-101 product page. Below we go through correct dose, directions for use, and different way you can use and apply HB-101. 


Hb101 with velvet philodendron micans plant

Always dilute before use

First off, HB-101 is very concentrated, so you must dilute before use. To keep it stable for a long shelf life, it's in a acidic pH in the bottle (a common trick with plant tonics to keep them fresh). Don't burn your precious plants! Even the  raving reviews about HB-101 warn about making sure you don't overdo it and that a little goes a long way. Once diluted, it changes to an average pH 6.5 (depending on your water), which is an ideal level for nutrient absorption and happy soil.

HB-101 dilution rates 

A little really does goes a long way. The range is from 1,000x to 100,000x dilution. That's 1ml per litre, to 1ml per 10 litres. Around the 1:5,000 range is the level recommended for most indoor plants. 

Personally I find the 'how to use' a bit confusing on the label, so the easy way to remember it is 1 to 2 drops per 1 litre. for general maintenance, up to 3 drops per litre in times of stress. As it's so concentrated, I just keep it simple and use the 1 drop per 1 litre dose myself.

Dilution chart

The different dilution rates based on use follow below, and here's what each level works out as...

1 drop = 0.05ml  / 1 ml = 20 drops

1:1000 or 1000x = 1ml per 1 litre (20 drops per litre)

1:5,000 or 5000x = 1ml per 5 litres (4 drops per litre)

1:10,000 or 10,000x = 1ml per 10 litres (2 drops per litre)

1:100,000 or 100,000x = 1ml per 100 litres (1 drop per 5 litres)

You'll see a range of 1 drop to 3 drops per litre recommended on the label on some sizes (some bottle labels just give you the dilution rates above but without mls or drops given). 

HB101 sizes 6ml 50ml and 100ml bottles

HB-101 for general maintenance

Unless your plants have special needs at the time, go for 1 to 2 drops per 1 litre every time you water, applied to the soil or substrate. You can go up to 3 drops per litre for foliar spraying in your spray mister (more about foliar application below). Keep the same 1 to 2 drops per litre rate all year round, because watering so much less in winter will naturally decrease the dose.

HB-101 for transplant shock and repotting

Both transplanting and repotting count as special needs times, where plants require extra nurturing. Repotting is like surgery for us, requiring major recovery, which can be touch and go for some plants.

During times of stress, up your dose to 3 drops per litre until the plant's recovered. I'd stay at this dose at least one month after transplanting or repotting. Remember HB-101 doesn't replace your fertiliser.


HB-101 for hydroponics

Make up an HB-101 solution at a ratio between 1:10,000 and 1:50,000 for a reservoir. 
California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, reported the best results in their tests with the 1:10,000 solution (1ml per 10 litres) for tomatoes and basil, however it's always best to start with the more diluted 1:50,000 dose (1ml per 50 litres) and evaluate from there.


HB-101 for foliar spraying and aeroponics

HB-101 can be used as a foliar spray for more immediate uptake directly via the leaves, although foliar feeding should supplement rather than replace soil / substrate feeding. This same dose of HB-101 is used for aeroponics also. You can apply HB-101 via misting / spraying only, provided you also water the soil / substrate with a complete fertiliser (so roots don't miss out and to avoid deficiencies).

Mix 2ml to 3 gallons of water and spray on the leaves and fruits average once a week. 3 gallons is just over 11 litres, so if go for 2ml per 12 litres, or 3 drops per litre

How often should you apply HB101?

For our indoor plants, HB-101 is best used at a maintenance dose every time you water (typically weekly to fortnightly in warmer months, then 3 to 4 weekly in winter depending on your plant's water requirements).

Because I fertilise every time I water anyway, my plants are overall very healthy, so I use the low-maintenance 1 drop per 1 litre dose (unless I've repotted, a plant is under stress, or needs a growth boost). During higher-need times, go up to the 2 to 3 drops per litre dose.

How long does one bottle last?

Based on 1 to 3 drops per litre (1 drop being 0.05mls):

6ml starter size of HB-101 makes approx. 40 to 120 litres 

50ml of HB-101 makes approx. 330 to 1,000 litres 

100ml of HB-101 makes approx. 650 to 2,000 litres

HB-101 Mineral Analysis

⦁ Sodium 155.3mg/gallon
⦁ Calcium 125mg/gallon
⦁ Iron 6.8mg/gallon
⦁ Magnesium 12.5mg/gallon
⦁ Silicon 28mg/gallon
⦁ Cadmium 0
⦁ Arsenic 0


pH balance

⦁ HB-101 (concentrate) pH 4.0
⦁ HB-101 (1000X dilution) pH~6.5

HB-101 = 5 to 16 cents per litre

The price varies based on what size HB-101 you choose, but based on the current price (May '21) and best-selling size (50ml for $50), that's 5 to 16 cents per litre based 1 to 3 drops per litre.

It feels mean to compare products this way, as cost per litre doesn't tell you product quality or results, but based on the plant foods and growth boosters I stock, there's everything from 30 to 40+ cents per litre (Yates Thrive and Groconut are around this level), to under 20 cents a litre (Plant Runner's just below that), down to under 10 cents per litre (Dyna-Gro is down at that level), so HB-101 sits at the middle to lower end. Superb value for money in my books.

That just compares each product's 'general maintenance' level and the current (May '21) prices for their best selling sizes to make it (somewhat) simpler to do the math. Not 100% accurate, but close enough to help get your head around the costs. 

Not that I'm saying you should be pinching pennies when it comes to something as important as looking after our indoor plants health - not at all - but comparing various fertilisers, tonics and growth boosters based only on the price per bottle or pack can be misleading if you don't check the dose. If you did compare based on buy price alone - no-one would buy HB-101 - until you check the cost per litre. Then wow.

At the 30 to 40 cents per litre level, Thrive for example is a superb price. Cheap-as-chips to buy at around $15 for 500ml. Groconut too, around $19 for 45grams. Plant Runner's around $19 per 100ml, then Dyna-Gro is up a level again, around $25 for  their bigger 250ml - but that's nothing compared to HB-101 at around $50 for 50ml.

But it's quite a different kettle of fish when you look at the cost every time you water though huh?! Wow. 


Where to buy HB101 in NZ

From Love That Leaf, that's me!

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