The Scotts company makes Miracle-Gro plant food, which comes in granular and liquid forms. The original and most familiar form is a blue, granular plant food that gets mixed with water: Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food concentrate. The instructions on the box describe how to mix the food for houseplants, ornamentals, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Plants absorb Miracle-Gro through their leaves as well as their roots.
All-purpose Miracle-Gro has NPK amounts of 15 percent nitrogen, 30 percent phosphorus and 15 percent potassium. Scotts also manufactures formulas of Miracle-Gro specifically for roses, with an NPK of 9-18-9; tomatoes, NPK of 18-18-21; and other plants. A new formulation of its all-purpose product has an NPK of 24-8-16, but the mixing directions are the same.
The primary ingredient in Miracle-Gro is urea, which is high in nitrogen. The plant food also contains urea phosphate, potassium chloride, sodium molybdate, ammonium phosphate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, chlorine, boric acid, manganese EDTA and ferric sodium EDTA. Because it is a synthetic fertilizer, not an organic one, Miracle-Gro begins to work immediately. It’s important to mix the Miracle-Gro according to package directions, because overfertilizing or fertilizing a dry plant can burn the plant.
Flowers and Vegetables
For most plants, you should mix 1 tablespoon of Miracle-Gro with 1 gallon of water in a watering can. According to Scotts, exact measurements are not critical, so using a little less or a little more is not a concern. This amount of solution will feed 10 square feet of flowering plants or vegetables. Feed them every seven to 14 days during the growing season. For roses, feed each bush a 1/2 gallon of the mixture every seven to 14 days. If the rosebush is large, feed it the full gallon of solution.
A milder mix is required for houseplants. You should mix 1/2 teaspoon of Miracle-Gro per gallon of water. Feed indoor plants every two weeks. While outdoor plants can absorb the food through their leaves, the Scotts company does not recommend foliar feeding for houseplants. Feed slow-growing plants less frequently.
While the Scotts company says Miracle-Gro poses minimal risk to humans and animals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that even though the ingredients are of low toxicity, ingesting the product is likely to cause nausea and vomiting. Keep all fertilizers out of reach of children and pets. If the powder comes in contact with eyes, flush with water and seek medical advice.
- Scotts: Scotts Miracle-Gro
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Household Products Database
Since 1981 Janet Bayers has written on travel, real estate trends and gardening for “The Oregonian” newspaper in Portland. Her work also has appeared in “Better Homes & Gardens,” “Traditional Home,” “Outdoor Living” and other shelter magazines. She holds a Master of Arts in linguistics from Michigan State University.
Miracle-Gro Instructions. The Scotts company makes Miracle-Gro plant food, which comes in granular and liquid forms. The original and most familiar form is a blue, granular plant food that gets mixed with water: Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food concentrate. The instructions on the box describe how to mix the food …
The Reasons Why Synthetic Fertilizers like Miracle-Gro Are So Bad for Your Garden
I don’t mean to shame people for using Miracle-Gro, but it’s so hard to keep a straight face when I see scoops of methy blue crystals (a la Breaking Bad) being added to watering cans.
Blue crystals do not belong in our gardens, people!
In fact, anything with the Miracle Gro label should be avoided entirely: Bags of soil, Shake n Feed, that blue stuff, AND YES, EVEN “ORGANIC” MIRACLE-GRO PRODUCTS SHOULD BE AVOIDED.
Miracle-Gro will make gardening effortless for everyone, which I believe is part of the MG brand’s success. Even those with the blackest of thumbs that use MG will have a wildly successful garden season. But it isn’t healthy. It isn’t sustainable. It’s terrible for us and our planet Earth. So we need to stop buying Miracle-Gro.
Miracle-Gro provides an insane amount of nitrogen to plants so that they grow big, bushy, green, and really fast. The problem with MG is that the nitrogen is derived from synthetic ammonium and nitrates, producing off-chemicals that are harmful to soil microbes, worms, and all other forms of life in the soil. MG is so strong that if used incorrectly, the fertilizer will actually burn the leaves and roots of your plants. Imagine what it’s doing to the healthy bacteria, fungi and other soil microbes that are working so hard to provide the nutrients your plants need!
Soil life isn’t the only thing synthetic fertilizers destroy.
In heavy rains, fertilizers run off into streams, lakes and eventually make it to oceans. High nitrogen fertilizers are critically harmful to fish and other marine life, causing algae to grow in excess; large expanses of algae are known as “algae blooms.” Algae blooms grow so thick toward the ocean’s surface that they block sunlight required by other marine life to survive. The Gulf of Mexico literally has thousands of kilometers of “dead zone” caused by algae blooms, all caused by fertilizers used on conventional farms running off into streams that feed the Mississippi River.
If you’re thinking your garden doesn’t matter in all of this, you’re wrong! Your garden matters because of the dollars you spend. You can either choose to spend your money on companies that create products that are destroying our planet (such as Scotts, who make Miracle-Gro, among others), or companies that create products that nurture our environment and us, because they give a damn (such as Fox Farm, Neptunes Harvest, Plant Success Organics, and many others).
Do you give a damn?
If you do, then please, spend your money like you do! Feed your plants like you give a damn. Feed yourself and your family like you give a damn. You’re obviously reading this because you give a damn, right?
The greatest thing we can do is educate ourselves and share knowledge with others in a respectful way. I’ve written many other blog posts to help you garden healthfully – see some of the links below!
Also… blue crystals. How could something that looks so blatantly synthetic be healthy for a living, breathing, life-giving garden? It’s just not.
READ MORE TO LEARN HOW TO USE HEALTHY FERTILIZERS IN YOUR GARDEN:
Why is Miracle Gro bad? Should I use Miracle Gro on my plants? Here is a rudimentary explanation why synthetic fertilizers are so bad for our gardens, by Heirloom Soul Florals, Flower Farmer – Florist in Buffalo, NY WNY. Fertilizers for your garden are sometimes not the best options, learn why.