Since 2016, annual sales growth at subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening—which owns dozens of brands selling lights, filtration systems, premium soil, containers, air filters, and more specialized supplies for hydroponic operations—has outpaced the group’s general lawn and garden business. For the fourth quarter, the parent company reported overall sales of $298 million, up 35% from the same quarter a year before. The Hawthorne unit was up a whopping 84% over that period, largely thanks to its acquisition of Sunlight Supply, yet another name in hydroponics that represented a near-literal doubling down in the weed business for Scotts Miracle-Gro.
That said, the younger Hagedorn acknowledged a few months ago that Hawthorne was still figuring out how to serve Big Weed.
Scotts Miracle-Gro, the maker of home, lawn, and garden-care goods that traces its roots back to the 19th century, blamed disappointing quarterly earnings on the volatility of the cannabis market, on which it is increasingly dependent.
MiracleGro has an extended-release of nutrients. This means it will continue to release nitrogen for up to six months, leading to deficiencies, or even burning your marijuana plant in the flowering stage, which would reduce your yield dramatically.
You can minimize the use of fertilizers in marijuana cultivation to a point by picking breeds with strong genetics and utilizing as perfect a growing environment as possible. Despite this, you will most likely need some fertilizer at some point, especially when you are just starting out.
MiracleGro is probably the most famous plant food in the world. The fertilizer was first developed in the late 1940s by Horace Hagedorn and Otto Stern, who also came up with the distinctive packaging and name, which are still in use today. From here, it has become a household staple in the fertilizer market, beloved of horticulturalists around the world.
Can MiracleGro Help Growing Marijuana?
MiracleGro works wonders for plants with simple grow-cycles. Marijuana is not one of these plants. Cannabis goes through several different stages, and each requires its own blend of nutrients. This is one of the reasons why growing marijuana is so fulfilling. It offers even the most experienced of horticulturists a new challenge.
Perhaps surprisingly, MiracleGro is not a marijuana farmer’s friend. It is a common mistake many rookies make as the fertilizer is so ubiquitous in the world of plant growing. You can utilize MiracleGro successfully, but it is challenging to get right, and you risk ruining your grow for benefits that are easily gained from using a better alternative.
What Can You Use Instead of MiracleGro?
A lot of first-time growers use MiracleGro when cultivating their first plants. Don’t! MiracleGro is not recommended for use when growing marijuana. We will explain why.
When choosing your fertilizer, it is essential to avoid extended-release options and use different fertilizers for different stages. One option is to make your own. Do a little research online to find out what balance of nutrients your weed needs at each stage and then make your own fertilizer uniquely tailored to this. A lot of experienced growers prefer this as it allows them to take further control of the growing process and gives more of a sense of accomplishment.
Do not use “Miracle-Gro” soil or any soil that has “extended release” nutrients for growing cannabis. These types of soil will continue to release nitrogen to your plant roots for up to 6 months. This can cause deficiencies or burn your cannabis plants in the flowering/budding stage, reducing your overall yields. I have seen growers successively grow cannabis in Miracle Gro, but many of them struggled with nutrient problems in the flowering stage (like the following) even though plants were healthy throughout the vegetative stage.
What’s worse than the standard Miracle-Gro nutrients is the original Miracle-Gro soil. Standard Miracle-Gro soil has “time-released” nutrients which contain high levels of nitrogen. While this formula will work okay in the cannabis vegetative stage (the first stage of life), the nutrients will continue to be slowly released throughout the plant’s life including during the cannabis flowering stage, which is not good.
Many of us have grown up seeing Miracle-Gro being used in our homes, so we know that it works for ‘regular houseplants’. Cannabis is just a tough weed, so Miracle-Gro should be great for it, right?
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Miracle-Gro nutrients, and if you’re willing to learn about nutrients, you can use the various different formulas and get a cannabis plant to grow. For example if you’re using regular soil, you could use the standard Miracle-Gro formula for vegetative, and their “bloom” version for the cannabis flowering stage.
Important: Do not use “Miracle Gro” soil or any soil that has “extended release” nutrients. These types of soil will continue to release nitrogen to your plant roots for up to 6 months. This can burn your cannabis plants in the flowering/budding stage and reduce your overall yields.
Avoid Miracle-Gro Soil for Growing Weed!
Standard Miracle Gro nutrients contain too much nitrogen and not enough of other nutrients for your cannabis flowering stage, and as a result of the time-released nutrients, you will notice that your leaves in the flowering stage will get nutrient burn and your buds just won’t grow as big as they could. Learn what you can do to make sure buds grow as big as possible!