The effects of miracle gro on plants

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The effects of miracle gro on plants
Miracle Gro only provides short-term results. (Plants image by Degitail Imaging from Fotolia.com)

Miracle Gro is a popular line of chemical plant and lawn food manufactured by the Scotts Company. Miracle Gro is water soluble and comes in liquid, tablet, spike, and dry forms. It seeps into the ground quickly and acts like a steroid for plants and grass. Plants can grow up to two times their normal size. While plants at first seem larger, greener, and more productive, and grass seems more green and lush, Miracle Gro is a temporary fix that can actually do more harm than good to plants, lawn, and the general environment.

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Health of Plants

Although Miracle Gro can provide a boost for sick or wilting plants, this is a short-term fix. The high nitrogen content found in Miracle Gro that results in extra-green, large plants also can make the plant produce less fruit and fewer blooms. This overabundance of nitrogen, as opposed to the normal amount from natural sources like worm waste, causes the plant to focus all its energy on leaf production. Synthetic fertilisers like Miracle Gro can also cause thatching in lawns. Thatching results from quick lawn growth and prevents sunlight and water from reaching the grass. Over-application or improper dilution of Miracle Gro can burn plants due to the fertiliser's high nitrogen content as well as its potassium and phosphate content.

The effects of miracle gro on plants
Miracle Gro only provides short-term results. (Plants image by Degitail Imaging from Fotolia.com)

Damage to Soil

Even though plants and grass can immediately soak up Miracle Gro's quick-release nutrients, the salt and chemicals in Miracle Gro are not absorbed by the soil. This can cause damage to worms, fungi, and other microorganisms present in the soil. Worms and other organisms work to maintain soil health, and using Miracle Gro can seriously upset the soil balance. Plants rely on the rich, natural source of nitrogen from worm waste, or castings, as well as other nutrients; thus, soil damage from Miracle Gro harms plant health and growth.

Chlorine and Salt

Miracle Gro, like most synthetic fertilisers, contains chlorine, which can stunt plant growth and burn the roots. It also interferes with the plant's natural intake of nitrogen. Too much chlorine can stop the plant from producing chlorophyll, which causes its leaves to turn brown and subsequently fall off. Chlorine can also bleach plant leaves. While healthy plants can recover from chlorine absorption, they may never grow the same way again. Chemical fertilisers like Miracle Gro also cause salt build-up in the soil, which hurts a plant's ability to absorb nutrients. High levels of salt will affect a plant's ability to produce seeds and absorb water.

The effects of miracle gro on plants
Salt interferes with a plant's absorption of nutrients. (salt image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com)

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