Does Miracle-Gro Go Bad? The Facts

After researching whether Miracle-Gro goes bad, I realized this is probably a popular question among gardeners. So I decided to put my findings into this detailed article.

Miracle-Gro has a relatively long shelf life but will eventually go bad. Usually, at around the three-year mark, it will not be at its best original state anymore. Its vitality as a fertilizer is also affected by other factors, such as how the Miracle-Gro is stored and external factors.

In the following few sections, we shall discuss the different variants of Miracle-Gro and the steps to ensure proper storage to make their shell’s lives last.

What is Miracle-Gro?

From their website, Miracle-Gro is stated to be a company; specifically, the Scotts Company is renowned for making quality gardening products—their product ranges from fertilizers, soils, tools, and even plants.

The aim of Miracle-Gro, especially their potting mixes, is to provide plants with the necessary nutrients and ingredients to thrive indoors.

The miracle-gro stated for the rest of this article will be their ‘plant food’ variant fertilizer. Most are water-soluble and created to target and foster specific plant types like vegetables, lawns, flowers, and weed protection.

Many have been utilizing this for all-around garden care, so today, we will tackle how long these products’ staying power and vitality are before going bad.

Things that impact whether a Miracle-Gro goes bad

This section will examine the various factors determining whether Miracle-Gro is still okay to use or no longer fit for purpose.

How the Miracle-Gro has been stored affects its lasting power

The most significant deciding factor is how the Miracle-Gro has been held since its manufacture. If it has been kept in cool and dry conditions and is unopened, there’s a good chance it’s as usable as the first day it was mixed.

The Miracle-Gro will be good for a much shorter if exposed to heat.

If the bag has been opened, this is likely to allow moisture to get in. This results in the slow-release fertilizer deteriorating and eventually dissolving. If plants don’t use the nutrients from the fertilizer, they will dissipate into the atmosphere.

As there’s no way of telling how the Miracle-Gro was stored before it came into your possession, it’s best to be cautious and use it within a year or two.

Different Miracle-Gro variants also have differing shelf lives

Another impacting variable is the type of Miracle-Gro you have. Potting mix with fertilizer added will likely stay good for years, provided it has been stored correctly, and the bag is left unopened.

If you have liquid Miracle-Gro, it runs the risk of crystallizing over time, as these products generally have a shelf life of 3 years.

Again, this all depends on how they’ve been stored. More about the storage considerations and how best to do it will be in the following few sections.

Different Miracle-Gro variants

As seen on their website, the plant food options for Miracle-gro target specific problems and plant types, and in the following few sections, we will discuss how to deal with said variants.

Miracle-Gro liquid and rectifying when it crystallizes

If liquid Miracle-Gro has started to crystallize, the tried and tested method when fixing this problem.

Because fertilizer salts increase in solubility as the temperature increases, you can heat the liquid fertilizer container by submerging it in hot water, which should cause the crystals to dissolve.

A gradual loss of the compound ammonia causes the degradation process of nitrogen-based Miracle-Gro. These are used as nitrogen but break down gradually if not mixed with alkaline substances.

Does Miracle-Gro potting soil go bad?

To definitively answer whether Miracle-Gro potting soil goes terribly, we need to look at the ingredients it contains.

Some Miracle-Gro potting mix variations may contain additives to benefit certain plants. On the whole, though, the following are the most common ingredients in Miracle-Gro potting soils.

Sphagnum MossAmmonium Nitrate
PerlitePotassium Sulfate
CompostAmmonium Phosphate
Calcium Phosphate

More about them will be described in detail in the following few sections.

Sphagnum Moss in the Miracle-Gro potting Soil

This moss originates in boggy conditions, thanks to its absorbent nature and shallow roots. In appearance, it is a light green color and has a complex system made up of capillaries.

These porous capillary tubes give the Sphagnum Moss its water-holding ability.

Sphagnum moss is commonly used for gardening purposes, notably for improving the moisture levels in the soil.

It is beneficial for preventing soil from drying out when indoor gardening. Another benefit of this Miracle-Gro ingredient is that it contains a chemical known as a signal, which stops bacteria from growing e to its antiseptic makeup,

Perlite in the Miracle-Gro potting Soil

Another common addition to Miracle-Gro potting mixes, Perlite is a form of glass naturally produced in volcanoes. Remarkably, it can expand in volume by up to 20 times.

Perlite is brilliant for aerating the soil and retaining moisture for gardening purposes, especially indoor gardening. Another great thing about Perlite is that it is void of weeds and has a neutral pH level that plants love.

Compost in the Miracle-Gro potting Soil

A prominent ingredient in Miracle-Gro potting mix is every gardener’s best friend, compost.

This mixture of decomposing organic matter, which is compost and is a vital part of Miracle-Gro, gives nutrients to plants in a slow-release manner.

It also increases the number of helpful organisms in the soil, making it better at holding moisture. Plants thrive in good quality compost due to the long-term supply of nutrients it provides them with.

Calcium Phosphate in the Miracle-Gro Potting Soil

Calcium phosphate is frequently added into potting mixes because plants need ample calcium for their chromosomes to develop appropriately and for cell division.

It is also helpful in staving off numerous diseases.

Ammonium Nitrate in the Miracle-Gro Potting Soil

Ammonium nitrate is an excellent nitrogen source, another commonly found ingredient in Miracle-Gro potting soils.

Nitrogen is invaluable to plants because it produces and develops vital amino acids.

Nitrogen is one of the most critical nutrients for plant growth, as further expounded in my recent article on essential plant nutrients.

The report covers the differing nutrients one should look into for plant growth, how to look at the nutrient ratios when buying fertilizers, and it also covers how nitrogen, in particular, can be challenging to give to plants due to how difficult it is for plants to access it naturally through nature.

Nitrogen considerations for plants

Due to this, more gardeners have opted to buy organic nitrogen to supplement plant growth. However, in large doses, nitrogen can be harmful due to the rapid rate it encourages plants to grow, so not much ammonium nitrate is usually included in Miracle-Gro. 

Potassium Sulfate in the Miracle-Gro potting Soil

Potassium is a macronutrient vital to plants (plants need this a bit more than other nutrients).

Potassium is found in Miracle-Gro because it regulates a plant’s cellular activity and reinforces the walls of the cells.

This essentially makes them more resistant to disease or damage. Potassium Sulfate doesn’t become part of the plant’s cells, but it works to move through them and helps to regulate nutrient intake.

Ammonium Phosphate in the Miracle-Gro Potting Soil

Another essential addition to most Miracle-Gro products is Ammonium Phosphate. This is because plants rely on phosphorus for cell division purposes, and it helps them process carbohydrates for proper nutrition.

Phosphorus supplies also impact root growth, as is seed development, but it’s worth noting that too much phosphorus can put a plant more at risk of certain diseases.

Are any of these ingredients from the Miracle-Gro potting mix likely to go bad?

Overall, the ingredients in Miracle-Gro have been specifically formulated to have the most extended life possible. Most elements are naturally occurring and chosen because they resemble a perfect plant growing condition.

Miracle-Gro Peat Free Use and Storage

Miracle-gro also has a full range of peat-free composts that follow the guidelines within this article. The video below shows where I planted a load of containers and baskets ready for a well-being garden I created using miracle-gro peat-free composts.

Storage Considerations for Miracle-Gro

However, even though many Miracle-Gro potting mixes don’t have expiry dates, they will lose their effectiveness if not kept in the proper conditions.

A sealed fertilizer bag will last much longer, and the fertilizer’s nutrients are less likely to have escaped gradually.

Providing the Miracle-Gro has been kept in excellent, dry conditions, hasn’t been left unsealed for a long time, and doesn’t look or smell like something is amiss – there’s no reason for it to go wrong.

Tips for storing Miracle-Gro and lessening the chances of them going bad

Here are some things you can do to prevent your Miracle-Gro from going bad:

Store in a cool, dry placeAvoid constantly moving the bag
Ensure the bag is completely sealedAvoid exposing the bag and contents to direct sunlight
Purchase from a trusted retailer

Providing these measures are taken, there’s no reason that Miracle-Gro can’t last for several years. Even if the product loses its potency or fertilizing capability, it will unlikely harm plants or soil.

At worst, the fertilizer may become redundant or less fit for purpose as time passes. If Miracle-Gro were to go “bad,” there would likely be warning signs regarding scent and the appearance of mold.

FAQs

What happens if you use too much Miracle-Gro?

Applying too much Miracle-Gro to plants can cause them damage due to the excess fertilizer. If this occurs, it is best to water the soil well to dilute the Miracle-Gro, but be cautious not to flood the plant by overwatering it, as this would do more damage to the plant.

How often should you feed plants with Miracle-Gro?

This depends on the plant type and the Miracle-Gro product, but feeding every fortnight should do the trick for most plants. The fertilizer is slow-releasing, so there’s no need to use the Miracle-Gro too often as this is wasteful and will give no added benefit to the plant.

Can liquid Miracle-Gro go bad?

The lifespan of Liquid Miracle-gro is about 8 to 10 years. This is when proper storage is done, such as keeping it from direct sunlight, properly closing it, and storing it in a cool, dry place. Consult the expiration date on the bottle before buying to see how long one can utilize the product.

Can Miracle-Gro make you sick?

Miracle-gro contains organic materials, nutrients, and even urea, which can cause health complications spanning irritation in the digestive system, nausea, and even vomiting when taken in by mistake. Rinse your mouth with water upon accidental intake and call for medical services immediately.

The conclusion does Miracle-Gro go bad?

To sum it all up, if a bag of Miracle-Gro is unopened and kept in a cool, dry storage space, the mix can last upwards of five years. The soil portion of the blend can stay indefinitely in the right conditions, but the added fertilizer will expire, rendering the Miracle-Gro useless.

To prevent the miracle products from going to waste, proper storage must be done to keep them at their optimal state for the plants. Using them all up within 1 to 2 years of buying is recommended in line with that.

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