Miracle Gro potting soil

rachels_haven(6)June 26, 2013

Hi all out there,

I just have a quick question, not life or plant death type of question. I've noticed many people don't like using Miracle Gro potting soil. Why is this? I've used nothing but it for ten+ years in multiple climates on whatever plants I have around and I've never had a problem. Occasionally I'll lighten the mixes for my plants with a little perlite, like I would for my african violets, but most often the plants like it best straight and not gritty. Am I missing something?


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You may find this interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil Info

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 5:13AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Soils that retain significant volumes of perched water or can't be watered properly (so you can flush the soil at will w/o having to worry about impaired root function or root rot) are much more difficult to grow in and can't offer the same opportunity for plants to grow as close as possible to their genetic potential as soils that don't hold significant volumes of perched water and CAN be watered appropriately at will. I water my succulents on the same schedule I water all the rest of my plants, and never worry that I might be losing potential growth/vitality because I'm over-watering.

Soils that are based on small particulates (peat, compost, composted forest products, coir, sand, topsoil ..... are predictably water-retentive because to a very large degree it's particle size that determines o/a water retention and the ht of the perched water table. There's little question that if you can't water correctly, you're leaving potential lying on the table.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 2:31PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If you use the search feature, you'll find previous discussions with the same subject line... and maybe more than you want to read about it.

Without repeating too much, please grab the principle of drainage/porousness/avoiding excess moisture, not necessarily the particular stuff people use. It's not this brand people dislike, but the properties of most bagged potting soils in general. The most popular ones just get mentioned because everyone's heard of them.

MG is a current sponsor of this free-to-use site, BTW. So for that, Thanks MiracleGro!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:05PM
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R, I'll be honest. I used MG for 20+-years.

MG changed soil forumlas..it's now mostly peat. Peat is an inexpensive medium, yet MG charges an arm and leg for a bag that's contains 98% peat.

It doesn't matter if MG is for Succulents, African Violets or House Plants, it's basically the same stuff. Peat!

I don't know if MG for outdoors is good or not..It's not meant for house plants, nor would I pot my indoor plants with outdoor soil.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:11PM
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tomr(Z6 NY)

I find the SOIL from them too heavy and water retentive. IF I use their stuff it's the Potting MIX but I add a generous amount of perlite to it. I also prefer Pro-Mix over Miracle grow.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:58PM
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MG is way too peaty!! Even the cacti and succulent mix is basically peatmoss. Curiously, peat heavy mixes have TWO big water issues. The above postings accurately make mention of water retention. I would add, they also have the opposite problem! A few seasons ago, I made the big mistake of using MG mix in my planters outside. The soil just bakes in the sun and heat and seems to become extremely hydrophobic--you can literally hover over a container with a hose and seem to drench it. The soil is still bone dry. Yes, I still buy MG soil--and use it as my peat moss additive to mixes. As an indoor, houseplant mix, you may not see the problem with LACK of water retention, and only see the opposite problem--excess water retention. (Both of these problems are characteristics of peat moss.)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 9:26AM
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