Miracle-Gro Plant Food Question

TEC44March 11, 2013

Hi- I have a 10 month old 5-6" peace lily with healthy green leaves. I'm happy with how it's maintained a healthy cheery look...but in a greedy move I purchased some plant fertilizer to spur it to grow a bit more an perhaps give me some flowers. I'd never used plant food on this plant before.

Following the box I stuck 2 Miracle Gro Indoor Plant Food Sticks into the soil about 5 hours ago.

I'm getting a little anxious now though that I should have only used one, or broken them into pieces or I don't know what. I don't want to kill my little green companion...should I be digging them out and tossing them??

Any experience with this product and peace lilies would be so helpful!!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The fertilizer sticks are always a poor choice. They release their dose of fertilizer in one location with little benefit to the whole root/soil volume. I would not break them up in pieces because that would allow for a much more rapid release of what is meant to take several weeks. That has burning potential.

The sticks and outdoor spikes were invented for people who won't use anything else and might not even be willing to mix something in water. You aren't one of those people, are you? Lol, you can confess to us!

It is a good idea to provide a container grown plant with conservative doses of a fertilizer product of some kind. I sure wouldn't go overboard with your plant. Are you sure that there already isn't some slow release product in the potting mix?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:25AM
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Hi TEC44! My experience with the Miracle Gro sticks was not a good one. I ended up pulling them out. I now use a liquid fertilizer. I keep a gallon jug of distilled water mixed with liquid fertilizer at half strength and use that to water my plants.

Keep an eye on your plants and see how they respond. If you see any sign of leaf or root burn then remove the sticks and try another method of fertilizing.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 7:42AM
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Rhizo- no haha I'm not one of those people, I just thought the sticks looked more "fool proof" (little did I know!) The potting soil I used (also Miracle Gro) feeds up to 6 months so I thought it was time for more. (?)

Sarah- I'm gonna follow that advice, here's hoping nothing too destructive happens.

Thanks a lot you two!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 1:30PM
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Update- This might seem crazy but I swear all of the plants I put sticks in (4 of them, 3 different types in all) look perkier and happier and fuller already? I'm hoping this is just a lucky bullet-dodge for me and not the calm before the storm....

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:02PM
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I'm glad that your plants are looking better. They may do fine with the sticks. It just didn't work for me.

I'm considering getting the Foliage Pro recommended by Al. My plants are healthy and look happy so I'm not sure if I want to make a change. He says it's really good stuff, though.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:00PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sarah, I can see making a switch if you're not happy with the performance of your plants....but not for any other reason.

TEC...your plants probably really need some nutrition, but they aren't going to respond in a few hours. It won't take long, though, before you see some sort of benefit.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:11PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Tec - if you're going to stick to a Miracle-Gro product, a better choice would be either their 24-8-16 or 12-4-8 formulation. They are both 3:1:2 ratios, and furnish the major nutrients (NPK) in about the same ratio as that in which the average of all plants use them.

I do use Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 for several reasons, but chief among them are the facts that it also has Ca and Mg, nutrients missing from most soluble fertilizers, and it doesn't derive it's N from urea, so growth is finer and internodes shorter. Using fertilizers in about the same ratio as plants' usage, is especially important when using heavy soils and watering in sips. Ratios that don't closely mimic plant usage quickly cause nutrient levels in the soil become skewed, and that isn't a desirable condition. Also, when using a soluble fertilizer like those mentioned, you reserve control over what your plants are getting and when they get it.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:31PM
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I agree, I think they just really needed some nutrients. It's been a day and a half now and they all still seem fine and strong.

I'll let you know. I think next time I'll do much more in depth research before I purchase my plant food. This time might have just been lucky since I waited so long past the recommended time to feed them again, and so they weren't overwhelmed by the large introduction of concentrated nutrients at once...that could just be a poorly informed newbie guess though, of course! :)

Thanks so much for the guidance!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:30AM
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