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The Lawn Review: Home » Why We Stopped Using Miracle-Gro

Why We Stopped Using Miracle-Gro

As a gardener, it is natural to constantly look for a way to make your plants grow stronger, taller, healthier, and happier. For a long time, people have used Miracle-Gro as the best way to make the most out of their plants. 

However, as with anything else in life, Miracle-Gro has its ups and downs. If you have been using Miracle-Gro without any sense that it isn’t the best thing for your plants, then this may be an important life lesson.

Composting means focusing on the quality of your soil. You can organically do this without turning to chemical additives as a solution. 

The organic way is always environmentally friendly, cheaper, and can be way easier. But, if you have your heart set on using plant nutrition from the store, make sure you understand its pros and cons.

Jump ahead:

Why We Started The Lawn Review

The reason we started this website in the first place was because we had so much trouble trying to find reasonable, understandable, honest reviews for lawn equipment. And it’s not cheap! After hours and hours of research, trying products and returning them, and messing up our yards – we started this site. 

flower maintenance
We roll up our sleeves and take this seriously!

As people who had to learn the hard way, we want you to know exactly what you are signing up for before you purchase a piece of equipment. That’s why we are committed to providing honest, easy-to-understand reviews that mean some

Fertilizers 101

You can choose between an organic or chemical fertilizer to use in your garden. There is a difference between the two – just like when you get produce at Whole Paycheck.

Some other types of commercial fertilizers

Organic plant foods are created from manure (yum) or compost – any type of animal or plant source. On the other hand, chemical plant foods undergo a certain process where there is a manufactured formula, and ingredients are added to the soil conditioner you love and buy. Think science dorks in a lab.

There are always some pros and cons whenever we talk about organic or chemical plant additives. 

Pros to organic fertilizers

The organic one is excellent in the long run. It is safe for children and pets, and it does not have a salt buildup. It contributes to the environment and is overall a good choice. Organic fertilizers are focused on the health and longevity of the plant, not so much the immediate results

Organic vs Chemical fertilizers

But organic fertilizers work slowly, so you would need a lot more time to see some results. On the contrary, chemical plant foods act much faster, and they are easy to apply to the soil. They are filled with essential nutrients that your garden needs.

On the other hand, these soil conditioners create salt buildup. The nutrients you add to the soil can diminish very quickly, and you may even end up having some burnt plants on your hands. Also, they are a little more expensive.

So Is Miracle-Gro Bad?

Are you using Miracle-Gro already? Some conditioners have an increased salt rate, and over time, this can result in stripping the soil from essential nutrients, leaving your plants with nothing more than an empty patch of land.

And here’s a note for all those new gardeners – don’t think that more is better! Adding more fertilizer to your soil can lead to some terrible results and can put your plants in grave danger.

miracle gro as spongebob
My plants after taking Miracle-Gro.

Miracle-Gro is kind of like taking steroids. Looks good but has major side effects to your health.

What to consider before using Miracle-Gro

When it comes to Miracle-Gro, there are a few things you should consider:

  • If you put too much soil conditioner on your plants, you may make your plants sick. This means they will be more prone to cold and hot weather and diseases too.
  • If you apply the fertilizer when the weather is rainy, the rain may wash it away, leaving almost nothing for the plants.
  • Make sure to carefully follow the instructions when you are applying chemical plant food. Once you apply too much of it, it may result in killing or burning your plants.
  • Think about the environment too. It is, after all, a chemical soil amendment, meaning that it can do a lot of damage to the environment. Even though the organic options can’t give some swift results, they may be the better option for your lovely patch of land.

Using Miracle-Gro safely

As we already mentioned, Miracle-Gro can be an excellent fertilizer if you know how to use it in moderation. In these cases, it is bound to help the plants in their growth process and keep them happy and healthy by dumping nitrogen straight into their veins.

Remember these?

However, it is still a very concentrated growth enhancer. This means that you can easily kill a plant while using it if you overdo it. The main issue with this fertilizer is that it contains a lot of nitrogen. This component comes from synthetic materials, which produce chemicals potentially harmful to the soil and the plants that aren’t listed as active ingredients. Fillers, if you will.

This is why there is a general rule that too much of anything is not good. The same applies here. Too much Miracle-Gro can hurt the plants, and it can result in the death of the plant. All you need to do is know how to properly apply this growth enhancer, and you are golden. Your plants will thrive and get the proper, balanced amount of all the right nutrients.

How to know if you’ve overused Miracle-Gro

If you are looking for signs of overfertilization, watch for the following:

  •  Wilted foliage
  • Not enough leaves
  • Smaller leaves
  • Developing leaves in a different color (yellowish)
  • Dead branch tips
prune wilted
Make sure to prune the wilted ones.

Organic alternatives to Miracle-Gro

Think about how you can use something that you already have. If you have been lucky enough to have a large garden filled with trees, then the answer to all your worries is probably staring you in the face.

Wanting to move away from Miracle-Gro and turning to something more organic is a good choice – probably the best one you can make. No need to dwell on it – you can use leaf mulch! The perfect growth enhancer tool! When decomposing, leaves release micronutrients and nutrients not normally found in commercial fertilizers. 

mulched leaves as fertilizer
Just drop them in and let it whirl!

Potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other essential nutrients are only the beginning of the list. Considered a true gift to gardeners worldwide, the leaves are a great addition to your landscape. There is a way to use them rather than throwing them away.

All you need to do is take a look at a leaf mulcher, like this mulcher from Worx we reviewed, and see if this is something you could use. We consider it a necessity when it comes to the health of the soil and plants in our gardens.

Final words about Miracle-Gro and plant sustainability

Growing your fruits and vegetables has never been easier than it is today. Opt for the right material that can help you get there. You can choose between the non-organic option that includes products such as Miracle-Gro. You can also opt for an organic option, such as compost or leaf mulch. The decision is yours to make.


Alex K

Alex is a lawn tool enthusiast who cut his teeth as a normal Joe lawn dad. After burning through expensive, fancy tools, Alex became dedicated to finding the best tools on the planet. He is now a leading expert on electric lawn tools, quoted in the Washington Post among other publications.