5 Reasons Why Miracle Gro Is Bad for Your Plants


Finding the proper nutrients for your plants can seem like a trying task. There are many fertilizers and additives on the market that are well-rated and popular, but not all of them are well-recommended for plants. One of those is called Miracle-Gro. 

Here are a few reasons why Miracle-Gro is bad for your plants: 

  1. Provides large amounts of nitrogen. 
  2. Contains high amounts of salt.
  3. Releases extensive greenhouse gas.
  4. Emits strong chemicals resulting in over-fertilization
  5. Lacks balanced nutrients 

Miracle-Gro is a fertilizer that contains nutrients for plants, but it is not the best option on the market. Continue reading this article to hear more about why Miracle-Gro is bad for plants in greater detail. 

1. Provides Large Amounts of Nitrogen 

Every organic and synthetic plant fertilizer aims to provide plants with the ingredients they need. If a plant receives the proper dosage of fertilizer, it will bloom quickly and become very vibrant. One ingredient in all fertilizers that helps make that happen is nitrogen. 

Miracle-Gro provides plants with a hefty amount of nitrogen. This has its benefits and disadvantages, but the disadvantages might outweigh the benefits in the long term. 

Plants that are fed Miracle-Gro will blossom very quickly, and they will appear bright green, strong, and vibrant. However, large amounts of nitrogen tend to provide a chemical reaction in soil that dehydrates plants. 

This process can lead to overfertilization and deficiencies in soil, primarily if gardeners feed Miracle-Gro to their plants consistently. 

The Nitrogen in Miracle Gro Is Harmful to Plants

It can seem peculiar to think that the nitrogen in Miracle-Gro might be harmful to plants when most, if not all, fertilizers contain hefty amounts of nitrogen. Luckily, there is a great reason why you may think that. 

Nitrogen in Miracle-Gro is harmful to plants because it is not as clean as the nitrogen that other fertilizers use. 

The nitrogen in Miracle-Gro comes from synthetic ammonium and nitrates, which produces harmful chemicals that create soil deficiencies. The soil deficiencies tend to occur because it harms essential aspects of the soil: 

  • Microbes 
  • Worms 
  • Positive bacteria 
  • Nutrients  

If the soil lacks nutrition and positive elements, it may not have the capability to provide for a garden or a single plant. This might not be an issue at first but will become an issue after a couple of times fertilizing your plants or through a few seasons. 

2. Contains High Amounts of Salt 

Gardeners and plant fanatics everywhere know how popular Miracle-Gro is due to advertisements. However, it has gained a negative reputation because many have had negative experiences using it. One of the reasons you might not have the best experience with Miracle-Gro is because of salt. 

Miracle-Gro contains high amounts of salt, and high amounts of salt can dehydrate plants and soil. Nitrogen also has salt, and Miracle-Gro includes a lot of nitrogen. 

If plants are dehydrated, they are many negative symptoms that may occur: 

  • Your plants may begin to wither away and die. Salt, as many know, dehydrates plants, and plants cannot grow without nutrients and water. Plants may begin to show signs of yellow or browning leaves as well as crisping.
  • Your plants may stop growing. Salt can halt the fertilization process that gardeners are applying to their gardens. If plants do not have the nutrients they need, they might stop growing. 
  • Your soil may begin to dry out. Soil is crucial for the growth of a plant. If soil is not hydrated, it can make the growth process for a plant a whole lot worse. Plants gain their hydration and nutrition from the ground or potting mix that they are rooted in. 

3. Releases Extensive Greenhouse Gas

Fertilizers of all kinds work in specific ways. Both organic and synthetic options interact with moisture and water, and they also release greenhouse gasses. The release of greenhouse gasses is not bad, but it can be harmful if it releases quickly. 

Greenhouse gasses are released when fertilizer begins to interact with the soil and plants. Miracle-Gro, however, works relatively fast, and those gasses are released at a rapid rate all at once. 

Most, if not all, synthetic fertilizers give plants quick access to nutrients and have an immediate release of gas, but they are not as high in certain ingredients. Organic fertilizers also release greenhouse gasses but at a slower rate. 

The slow-release rate helps monitor and balance the gas properly, so it is not a problem for plants, animals, or people. The release of nitrous oxide can be a disadvantage for plants. 

4. Emits Strong Chemicals Resulting in Over-Fertilization

Miracle-Gro is known for the rapid results that it provides to plants. They become aesthetically pleasing for many but can, unfortunately, harm many plants in a wide variety of ways as well.  

Miracle-Gro has high amounts of chemicals and is a synthetic fertilizer, as many know. Due to this, it is easy for those who use Miracle-Gro to over-fertilize. 

With organic and synthetic options that are high in quality, over-fertilization can happen by accident. While this doesn’t happen as frequently as people would think, with Miracle-Gro, over-fertilization and fertilizer burn can occur quickly. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Miracle-Gro has ingredients that are not high in quality. These ingredients are derived from chemicals and can make plants weak and susceptible to damage. When your plants are vulnerable, they can catch plant diseases and have infestations easily. 
  • Miracle-Gro is high in nitrogen. Although Miracle-Gro has significant ingredient dosages, it is specifically known for being high in nitrogen. The smallest amount of extra fertilizer can lead to fertilizer burn, which harms plants. 
  • Miracle Gro’s ingredients can destroy the chemical balance of your soil. Unfortunately, this fertilizer is potent and chemically inducing. Your soil will react to it, as will your plants. This might sound terrific at first, but it can create more significant issues in the long run.

5. Lacks Balanced Nutrients

Regardless of which fertilizer you use, plants need balanced nutrients to blossom. Sometimes, fertilizer provides excellent results in the beginning but does not provide quality nutrition in the long term. 

Plants of all kinds require sixteen essential nutrients. Most, if not all, fertilizers contain hefty amounts of the three main ingredients that plants rely on: 

  • Nitrogen 
  • Phosphorus 
  • Potassium 

These ingredients help plants thrive and remain balanced. Unfortunately, not all fertilizers provide quality ingredients in their formulas, and some synthetic options tend to have more chemicals than needed. 

Using Miracle-Gro fertilizer sparingly can be helpful and highly beneficial to plants. However, it tends to dry out plants and cannot balance the nutrients properly if subjected to long-term exposure.

Finding the Right Nutrients for Your Plants

All plants can benefit from fertilizers of some kind. Fertilizers can help supply nutrients to a plant so it remains hydrated and nourished. However, it can also harm a plant if they are given the wrong nutrients, and finding the correct balance is essential if you want your plants to thrive in the long term. 

Every plant, indoor and outdoor, varies. One plant might do great with certain fertilizations and dosages, while another may not. 

Gardeners should research their plants and test their soil before using Miracle-Gro or any other fertilizer. What matters most is the health of your plant. 

As we now know, all plants require sixteen essential nutrients. The significant three ingredients are most important, but the other thirteen are also necessary for growth: 

  • Carbon 
  • Hydrogen 
  • Oxygen 
  • Nitrogen 
  • Phosphorus 
  • Potassium 
  • Calcium 
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfur
  • Boron
  • Chlorine 
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Molybdenum 

When choosing a fertilizer formula, it is best to find one that is high in quality, has the necessary ingredients for your specific plants, and has had great results. If you are unsure about Miracle-Gro or any other fertilizers, visit your local garden store to speak with an expert. You can also search online for recommendations and reviews of products that you might be unsure about.

You Can Make Your Own Miracle-Gro With Clean Ingredients

It’s not a secret that Miracle-Gro does not provide the highest quality of fertilizer to plants. However, it does provide an outstanding formula that gives quick access to nutrients, and that is why so many are drawn to using this fertilizer. 

Luckily, there are homemade options that one can make to replace Miracle-Gro. This can mitigate the risk of fertilizer burn and other negative reactions that may occur in your plants. The other option is to consider finding a different synthetic fertilizer. 

If you are interested in creating your own homemade Miracle-Gro, you will need the following ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 gallon of water
  • ½ tablespoon of ammonia

With these ingredients mixed together, you will have a healthier option than the typical Miracle-Gro. You can dilute this formula just as you would with other fertilizers, and apply to your plants that need fertilizer each month. Always keep a close eye on your plants to ensure that there aren’t any signs of damage. 

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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