An Interview with Mark Benson of Plant Magic
Plant Magic has been a One Stop staple for years now! We managed to catch up with Mark, one of the minds behind the range to get some valuable information on their brand and give you some tips & tricks when using it!
So as I've mentioned already, Plant Magic is a fan favourite at One Stop, can you tell us more about where it all started?
Plant Magic started was started off by Steve Webb and some colleagues who were interested in plant vitality and health. He was running a garden centre and was purchasing a lot of expensive nutrients and additives from abroad. They decided to start off their own range to cut out the middlemen. After a lot of research and growing trials in 2008 Plant Magic was born. In the beginning the range comprised of beneficial microorganisms, fungi and bio-stimulants. This went on to become the beneficials range. Root stim, granules and essence being the first 3 products. The initial success of those products led him to bring out the Oldtimer Organic nutrients, which he named after a contact who was well known as the nickname Oldtimer. This was followed by his own growing media. The range now has 41 products and counting and Plant Magic is sold in over 450 shops in the UK, Spain and Sweden!
Plant Magic has always been about working with nature to enhance the growth development and health of plants. The approach is also one of honesty, from direct and clear labelling, to the use of clear bottle so you can see what you’re buying.
We are a proud UK company, originally based in Bristol now based in Lancashire whose products are designed to suit the UK water supply. This is done with a balanced nutrient profile and two different variants of ‘base’ nutrients to allow for the variety of water hardness around the UK. This means that growers everywhere will be able to grow healthy plants with minimal adjustment to their pH. Steve decided to sell the company in 2016 to devote more time to his other interests, racing fast cars being one of them!!! Nutriculture/DGS who were already Plant Magics distributor bought the range. As one of the oldest UK hydroponic wholesalers est 1976 they continue to manufacture and develop the range.
Awesome, so what kind of grower would you recommend to use Plant Magic?
Any grower could use Plant Magic. We try to keep the range as broad as possible to give everyone some choice. We offer various PK Boosts for different levels of grower. PK Bloom boost 13/14 for a standard grower or Platinum 9/18 for a more experienced grower, very small dose but powerful product. We do various sized bottles from 250ml of some products up to 10L and even larger upon request. This gives customers an option to try out our products. We brought out a Try pack of 3 products Ignition, Root Stim and Magne cal to get customers to try some of our most popular products at a good price.
It has always had a good reputation for a number of years. The Oldtimer name came from a friend of one of the founders of Plant Magic. He gave some advice on an Organic range and they put his name to it. It is such an easy range to use and you only really need 3 products. Oldtimer Grow, Oldtimer Bloom and Oldtimer PK 4-8. They do exactly what they say on the bottle!! Plus root stim is organic and the Oldtimer granules are one of the best value Microaize strains around. These are other options and can also be added for extra results but the main ethos of the range is a simple no fuss range to give crops unbeatable taste and aroma at a good price.
Awesome, so what are the other benefits of using plant magic as oppose to other similar nutrient ranges?
It is UK made at our manufacturing Plant In Lancashire. So there aren’t any issues with production (during uncertain times). We are really a direct nutrient brand as we are owned by Nutriculture and sold by Nutriculture so you are getting it direct from the manufacturer. This enables us to make the products in bulk and keep our prices competitive. No middle men involved. We try not to be gimmicky, we don’t splash out lots of money on marketing and sponsorship's we just invest in our r&d/production and keeping good quality products available at a good affordable price. This helps small or medium shops compete with larger outlets which leads to end users having more choice.
That sounds great, so if you wanted somebody to make the switch to Plant Magic, what product would get them hooked and wanting more?
Oooh that’s like picking a favourite child ha!! I would have to say Evolution foliar spray. If people are not familiar with Plant Magic I would urge them to try Evolution. I normally say to customers. Pick 1 or 2 plants (so you can compare with the rest) Use it once per week during veg just before lights go out or when lights are out and after a day or so you will see a big difference in the plants sprayed. A lot more vegetation, a lot more new shoots so ideal if you want to take cuttings and all round healthier and stronger plants. The product improves photosynthesis to promote growth. Evolution is a real eye opener for people and as soon as they see the results the will be asking “what other Plant Magic products can I use”.
A good choice! The organic Tri-Packs look perfect for beginners looking to get into organic growing too, can you tell us a little bit about them?
We see Organic growing as something that customers are looking towards. For improving natural taste, aromas and knowing exactly what is being used to grow their plants. There is such a wide range of options on the market when it comes to nutrients. The Oldtimer tri pack is an ideal pack if you are starting an organic grow and cant decide on a range. Everything you need for up to 4 plants all the way through a grow cycle for less than £40.00 which is an excellent price as its approx. £10 saving on buying the products individually.
What's your number one tip for using the range to get amazing results?
Put some Magic in your grow ha!
Make sure your environment is correct at first. This will give you the best possible basis to judge your results.
I would say keep things simple. Don’t over complicate things to start with. We offer various grow guides if your are a Hydro, Soil, Coco, DWC or Organic grower. These have all our products on them but I would say start with the basics and then see what suits you best. If you get any issues then Magne Cal could become your new best friend!!
Nice and simple! Do you guys have much in the pipeline at the moment in terms of new projects/products and other plans?
We have a number of new improvements in the pipeline. We are increasing capacity in our production facility to keep up with demand. We also have a number of new and improved products. These may take some time to launch during these uncertain times though. We do have plans pretty soon to launch a 60/40 coco/pebbles product and a 70/30 coco perlite product. These will sit well alongside our popular Plant Magic soil supreme and Coco coir products we currently have.
Awesome, we're excited to see those! We've one last question, if there was one product in your range that you'd want to give growers more information on, what would it be?
Plant Magic Ignition. It is our flowering boost product. A product used to trigger the plant to produce flowering sites for increased yield. It is used from week 1 -8 of the bloom cycle. 2ml per L. It increases the number of flowering sites and increases production of plant sugars and oils. It is similar to other leading flowering boosts on the market as it contains Triacontinol and quality seaweed extracts. Ours contains 2 different types of seaweed so it gives the plants a better range of nutrients available to them. In our testing against a leading competitors flowering boost. We found ours slightly increased the plants yield but the main benefit was that all the plants grown harvested at the same time. The competitor product grown plants were a lot more spread out in their harvesting. Plus Ignition is around the £150 for a 5L version and half the dose of some competitor products. Win Win!!!
Awesome man, thanks so much for the time with this Q&A!