Is Miracle Gro Toxic?

If you're wondering if the components used in Miracle-Gro products are toxic, you've landed on the right page. We've researched this question to provide you with the answers that you need. With that said, let's begin!

Miracle-Gro products are made of chemicals specially formulated to provide plants and soil with the nutrients they need to be healthy and fruitful.

They contain urea nitrogen and copper sulfate and have a high salt concentration that some gardeners find concerning. However, manufacturers assure users that their products are safe to use on plants if used correctly.

Keep on reading to know more about the composition of Miracle-Gro products and whether they are safe. This article will also answer if you can put this product directly on the soil and how you can fix over-fertilization. Let's get right into it below!

Does Miracle-Gro Have Harmful Ingredients?

A view of several containers of Miracle-Gro all purpose plant food, on display at a local grocery store.

Miracle-Gro is one of the most popular brands of fertilizers. They have a wide range of products, from potting mixes to plant food and a separate organic product line.

They have products specifically formulated for orchids, flowers, flowering trees and shrubs, succulents, cacti, vegetables and fruits, and indoor and outdoor plants.

Find this product on Amazon.

Gardeners use fertilizers to get the most out of their beloved plants when they use these products. Their plants will have shiny and healthy leaves and flowers that bloom beautifully.

In addition, they can harvest vegetables and fruits a bit sooner to eat.

Miracle-Gro is a highly concentrated fertilizer that promises to deliver these benefits in the quickest time possible. Unlike organic fertilizers that take so long before the nutrients are released into the soil.

Therefore, synthetic or chemical fertilizers like Miracle-Gro may be the miracle you've been praying for.

You can expect improvements in days or weeks because the soil absorbs the nutrients in more or less 12 hours after the application. It's no wonder, then, that Miracle-Gro is a popular choice among gardeners.

But the more meticulous and conscientious ones aren't just after these benefits. They want to know the safety of using these products and their effects on our environment.

That's why many have closely examined the ingredients used in Miracle-Gro products to determine their toxicity, especially in humans, plants, and the soil.

To answer the question, yes, like other chemical fertilizers, Miracle-Gro contains ingredients that can potentially harm humans, plants, and the environment if not used correctly.

In particular, users should be wary of the following ingredients:

Urea Nitrogen

Miracle-Gro contains urea from ammonia which is toxic to consume at high levels. When you come into contact with this compound, it may irritate your eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

They may become itchy, or you may find it difficult to breathe.

But urea is only toxic to humans at elevated levels. However, they are highly toxic to animals, especially cattle and buffaloes, so it is still best to control the use of this product so as not to harm the animals around you.

Copper Sulfate

This fertilizer also uses copper sulfate, a chemical compound used in pesticides.

Depending on the copper content, this inorganic compound can be toxic to humans, with some studies saying it is linked to kidney cancer.

It is also a bactericide and fungicide that kill beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

High Salt Concentration

This fertilizer has a high salt concentration. This is responsible for removing certain nutrients in the soil. With continuous use of this product, you may experience lawn burn.

This is a condition wherein the soil won't absorb nutrients anymore, and, in the end, the plants won't be healthy and will eventually die since they aren't getting the nutrition they need.

These are the ingredients that many gardeners are concerned about when using Miracle-Gro products. That's why some still prefer using organic fertilizers even though they take a long time to work.

Is It Safe To Use Miracle-Gro On Vegetables?

Many gardeners plant vegetables so that they can grow their own food right in their backyard. And to make their harvest bountiful, they use fertilizers like Miracle-Gro.

Miracle-Gro manufacturers assure users that their products are safe to use on all plants and vegetables. They even have products specifically for herbs, tomatoes, fruits, and vegetables.

They guarantee that their products will work effectively and immediately as long as they are used correctly.

See this Miracle-Gro plant food on Amazon.

Follow the manufacturer's application instructions found on the packaging. Be mindful of the right amount of fertilizer to mix in proportion to the water when using a watering can.

 A bag of Miracle Gro potting mix on a deck, Is Miracle Gro Toxic?

Manufacturers recommend applying the plant food only once within 7 to 14 days and avoiding overusing the product.

As far as studies have shown, Miracle-Gro doesn't contain carcinogenic ingredients. This makes it safe for humans to consume vegetables and fruits treated with this fertilizer or plant food.

Do take note though of the following reminders:

  • The fertilizer has been applied more than two weeks before harvest. This will give the plant more than enough time to process the nutrients to be safe to consume fully. 
  • Miracle-Gro fertilizers have already run off into the soil by this time. This means that the chemicals are already gone from the plants' surface. But it is still recommended that you wash the vegetables completely to remove any chemical residue from their bodies.
  • When you eat or even touch an edible plant that has just recently been treated with this fertilizer, you may experience adverse symptoms such as mouth, throat, stomach, and skin irritation.

Can You Apply Miracle-Gro Directly On The Soil?

Opened bag of Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix on concrete patio.

Fertilizers are available in different forms. Some are in granules, powder, tablets, solutions, or food spikes. Miracle-Gro, having a wide range of products, is available in various forms, as indicated on its labels. The product form will determine the manner of application.

Miracle-Gro plant food in continuous-release granular form can be mixed directly with the soil.

This type of fertilizer releases nutrients slowly into the soil.  If you choose their plant food in liquid form, the fertilizer is first mixed with water and will be applied to the plant when you water it.

See this all-purpose continuous-release plant food on Amazon.

In other words, not all Miracle-Gro products can be applied directly to the soil.

It is best to refer to the application instructions on the packaging label to know how to use the particular plant food so your plant can benefit the most.

It is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid misuse and overapplication that can, in turn, lead to plant diseases, death, and degradation of the soil's quality.

Synthetic fertilizers are helpful; you can see the effects quickly, but with the wrong usage, they can also easily reverse those effects.

What Should You Do If You Apply Too Much Miracle-Gro To Plants?

A bag of Miracle Gro potting mix on a deck

We've advised you regarding the proper use of Miracle-Gro products on your soil and plants. You shouldn't put too much or too little of this product if you want to enjoy the benefits that it has to offer.

But we understand that there are times when it's too tempting to apply some more, thinking that you can get faster and better results.

But instead of healthier plants, you notice that the leaves have turned yellow or brown, and the roots are starting to turn brown or black.

These are telltale signs that you've used too much fertilizer on your plant.

Good thing there's a way to fix this to reverse the process and save your plant.  Here are the things that you should do.

  • Stop using Miracle-Gro on your plants.
  • If there are still some visible forms of fertilizer on the plant or soil, remove them carefully. But don't remove too much topsoil, as this might stress the plant.
  • Remove damaged leaves.
  • Place the plant away from direct sunlight to give it time to recover.
  • Water the plant continuously for about 30 minutes to flush the remaining food on its surface.

The last recommendation is best if your pot has numerous holes and good drainage. You can put it where water can drain properly as you're doing this.

If the pot doesn't have holes, experts suggest you transfer your plant to a pot with good drainage to water it continuously. It is important to flush out the excess fertilizer so it won't affect the plant's roots.

To Wrap Things Up

 Miracle gro plant food is on display in the garden section of a retail store

There are chemicals used in making Miracle-Gro products that can be toxic if not used properly. Use their plant food as directed to avoid overapplication and misuse so that you can optimize the benefits that their product offers.

Made it to the end? Check out these related articles:

How Fast Does Miracle-Gro Work? 

How To Use Miracle-Gro On Palm Trees 

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