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Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

Posted by shadara 6A/5B (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 21, 09 at 0:35

Newer product, I believe, that supposedly helps in overwatering and underwatering house plants due to coconut fibers added to the mix (they call AquaCoir). It states on the bag that it contains fertilizer to last up to 3 months. Concentration is .21-.07-.14

Has anyone tried this out at all?

Reason I'm asking, is that I was going to repot my peace lily soon and wondered if this new soil would work for my plant. Any time I look up fertilizer to use for spathiphyllum, they recommend a 20-20-20 fertilizer. Not knowing anything about the numbers (yet), would this be bad for me to use with my peace lily, especially when repotting so soon after bringing it home?

Thanks for any and all input. :-)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

20-20-20 is the NKP (Nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous) relative... concentrations. 20-20-20 basically means standard, average fertilizer, from my understanding. You'd also need various micronutrients.

I'm not sure how effective the Moisture Control thing would be, especially if it's just their normal stuff with coir added. Coir, I guess, is hydrophobic, but I'm not sure if it has the bulk to make the mix light enough to really matter.

I've been using their orchid mix lately. It dries down pretty fast and seems fairly light, while being bulky enough to keep plants from flopping over. For everything except my B. Gibbum (which apparently, unlike most plants, actually does need to be constantly moist) I've still been mixing it with liberal amounts of perlite though.

Maybe the orchid mix combined with the moisture control would be a good place to start?


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

If you haven't yet bought the Moisture Control soil, don't. If you did, take it back.
I talked to two people who potted in this soil, both people, (know how to maintain plants,) found dead plants after a couple months.
It holds way too much water. Especially if someone is new to indoor gardening, or tends to overwater.
One person amended MG Moisture soil so it wouldn't stay constantly wet, yet the root ball stayed moist and plants eventually died.

It might do well in the garden, but not container plants.
I notice most MG soils (sold here) have added fertilizer. Another scam. Costs 'here' are 2.00 more than soil w/o fertilizer.
I think we should protest! lol.

If one isn't interested in buying MG Moisture Control, when you go to buy soil, study printing on the bag. Sometimes it's not printed in huge letters, up front..you'll find Moisture control on the front or side, where one doesn't usually read, in small print. Toni


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I won't buy it. There are WAY too many types of potting mix now on the market. Even miracle grow perlite has food in it. I won't buy it.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I'm pretty sure that "Moisture-Control" potting mix is supposed to be used in outdoor potted plants. This is meant for those who have problems with plants drying out too quickly during hot, dry weather. The chief complaint against Miracle-Gro Potting Mix on GardenWeb is that it stays wet for too long, so I strongly recommend against using the "Moisture Control" mix for your houseplants.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I use this and it's great. It's much better than most other potting soils I've tried.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

echenaciamaniac,
What are you growing in the MG and how often do you water? Most people are over waterers and very few underwater. I tend to do both, I have some epi plants which have only been watered once since November, and still growing strong, but not in MG soil. I live in one of the hottest counties in California, outside the San Joaquin Valley. I cannot grow anything that requires moisture unless I use almost half and half perlite with my soil. I also have a really rough time with cacti because they rot if I choose to water them. I really don't see how you can use the MG soil unless you don't water but once a month.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Mon, May 25, 09 at 22:55

Peat-based soils like MG products and others for long term plantings (more than a few months) are inherently more difficult to grow in, and using them really does put the grower at a disadvantage. They are very water-retentive right out of the bag, and if there is a disagreement with that statement, there won't be after having a plant in these soils for several months. The peat compacts and the already small particles break down into increasingly smaller particles. This absolutely equates to even more water retention and the accompanying incremental reduction of the amount of air in the soil as water retention increases.

To compensate for highly water-retentive soils, we're forced to water in small sips so the soil doesn't stay saturated for extended periods, killing roots. This promotes soluble salts build-up in the soil from fertilizers and tap water, which leaves you on the horns of a dilemma - you either water correctly (copiously, so salts are flushed from the soil) and suffer the consequence of root rot, or water in sips and allow salt to accumulate to the point where plants can no longer absorb either water or the nutrients dissolved in the water.

Al


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

HI all.......MG moisture control...oklahoma tim is right this soil mix is used outside for hanging baskets, the mix is made to hold moisture..so that hanging baskets don't dry out so fast between waterings...
I would not use it for any plantings in the house....
linda


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I can't believe people complain about everything. This product works and clearly does what it claims. I've even started my Echinaceas in it and they are very finicky about water. You can put a plant outside in that organic, bark crap and it will dry out every single day. I've lost lots of plants in that. Every time I use other potting soils the soil dries out so quickly. I work every day and it's nice not having to water every single day after work! They are doing something right with Miracle Grow. My mom is the worst with plants. I don't have to go to her house every week and water her plants now. This stuff is a blessing!


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sun, May 31, 09 at 23:22

You find it a blessing because it releases you from the responsibility of watering more frequently. If the plant could give you their perspective they would probably say "If you put me in something that allows me to breath, and water me a little more frequently, I promise I'll grow better for you."

Many here are interested in maximizing both growth and plant vitality, and understand that a durable, well-aerated soil, along with the added effort of having to water a little more frequently is far superior to growing in a water-retentive, poorly aerated soil, the only boast of which is you can go weeks without watering.

I have been growing in "that organic bark crap" for MANY years, and I would never even consider going back to a commercially prepared soil - especially not to MG Moisture Control. Based on the criteria you've established for what makes a superior soil, your plants should do exceedingly well in pudding. ;o)

The reason you've lost lots of plants in the well-aerated soils you've tried is simple .... it's because you didn't water when you should have. Blaming the soil for that oversight is no different than blaming your car because you ran out of gas.

Al


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

Echinaceas are not finiky. They grow like weeds.

I agree with Al, ( he's way smarter than he lets out ;) ) Plants need to have their root zone to dry out, otherwise they will get sick and eventually die. I don't use organic soil of any kind and my plants are a lot happier than if they had wet feet continually.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

Despite all of the strong opinions, this is actually a question that can't be answered the same for every grower in every region and all types of beds/containers.

I don't know where in Zone 7 echinaceamaniac lives, but in my location we have hard clay soil, strong winds, and hot sun that drys out soil very quickly, not only in hanging baskets but also in raised beds. Without some form of moisture control I have to water my raised beds morning and night to keep plants from wilting and yellowing.

If it works for you then use it. If it doesn't then don't use it. No one else's growing conditions are exactly like yours unless they live in the same general area that you do. So while opinions are a useful starting place you will probably have to experiment a bit to find the right mix of soil for your plants, the right amount of watering, and effective fertilizers.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I disagree..Sorry..

No matter where you live, that product breaks down and compacts around your roots in "containers" within months and suffocates roots. It also attracts "fungus gnats" which eat fine roots if you are lucky..Than you are

Anything with a high amount of peat is included, not just MG...

Sure you can use what works for you, but my plants like to breath a lot longer than just a few weeks or months in a mix that DOES NOT break down so rapidly, not to say accumulate salts from fertilizers..Just ask all the ones that croaked for years using MG...

Mike;-)


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 27, 10 at 18:45

I had to check to make sure we were still on the Houseplant Forum. ;o)

First, no fair comparing growing in raised beds to growing houseplants. It's like comparing frog legs to Fritos. The only thing they have in common is that we eat them. Don't we? ;o)

Admittedly, if you're in a situation where you have your houseplants outside in a hanging basket in the wind and sun, and you want them to live, but don't want to water twice per day, you're going to have to compromise and use a soil that will hold enough water so you don't have to water so frequently. BUT, using a scenario as unusual as that (for houseplants) to advance your own opinion is a little misleading. Might we try to reduce our reliance on opinion by sticking to facts and science? I can also make the case convincingly, that if you were willing to water twice each day, your plants would still be happier in a soil that requires the added effort.

I don't usually use the "it works for me" argument, but since it's in play: I have numerous plantings every year that are in highly aerated soils and require watering morning and evening. They remain gorgeously healthy - much healthier than they would be if I was using a soil that allowed me to measure the interval between watering in days instead of hours. Knowing I would be giving up potential vitality by extending the watering interval sort of changes that "it works for me" argument to "it's good enough for me"; and "it's good enough for me" is only accepted by a lot of us with a great deal of reluctance.

Not all of us are alike. I agree that if anyone is satisfied with the results they are realizing from the various cultural combinations you mentioned, by all means - stick with it; but just because it's good enough for Sally, is no reason to believe Sam will be satisfied.

There really are many soils superior to MG Moisture Control. Using these soils offers greater opportunity for your plants to grow at or near their genetic potential. They are less expensive and offer a much wider margin for grower error. The added cost to the grower is the need to water more frequently and the effort it takes to make them yourself - even using MG Moisture Control as one of the secondary components if you wish.

Al



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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I refuse to use any of the Miracle Grow or similar potting mixes that are sold in the big box stores. There's so many high quality bagged mixes if you don't want to make your own. One of the best general purpose potting mixes in IMO is Fafard 3B. There's also Happy Frog and Fox Farm brands as well as many others. They are more expensive but your plants will thank you.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

The stuff stinks!!I refuse to use it to Karyn..:-)


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I re potted all of my house plants about eight months ago with the miracle grow moister control as well as the scotts moister control. I have no problem with these products. I have noticed that YES they do hold water. I always flush my plants about once per month and water when needed. I hope that I dont see any problems with it.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I planted a few plants indoors under a growlight in the miracle grow moisture control potting soil. They have been growning great so far, but the light gives off no heat and i am afraid i will lose all my progress. Can i replant these plants in a better soil? Is there any way I can save them and prevent root rot in the future?


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 22, 12 at 9:55

You can grow well in most commercially prepared soils if you pay attention to detail, are careful not to over-water, and you can manage to flush the soil of accumulating salts at regular intervals. The problem is, the margin for grower error is greatly reduced when using heavy (water-retentive) soils, and you either need to be very good or very lucky to get the most from your plants.

The key to strong root health, which determines the plant's o/a health potential, is good drainage and ample aeration. You achieve that by using LARGE particles of fairly uniform size as the predominate fraction of your soil - at least 75-80%. The easiest way to accomplish that end is to invest in a bag of pine bark of suitable size. Then, a large fraction of pine bark + a small fraction of your MG soil + a small fraction of perlite (easy to find) and a little garden lime (also easy to find) will yield a very productive soil that's easy to grow in and that ensures at least the opportunity for strong root health.

If you want to know more details & see what others have to say, I'll provide you with a link or two to discussions.

Al


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I would love to get that link. Also, how often should i be flushing the soil? and what is the best way to go about that?


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 23, 12 at 10:04

The best question to ask is, "How can I avoid having to flush the soil at regular intervals?"

If you're watering in sips, I'd say you should flush your soil about every 10 times you water, especially if you're fertilizing regularly.

Flush the soil with room temp water. Move the plant to a shower/tub/near a drain .... and saturate the soil. Wait 10 minutes and then pour a volume of water equal to the volume of the container the plant is in through the soil repeatedly. Do this at least 5-10 times, the more the better. Then, tilt the container at a 45* angle after flushing. This changes the shape of the saturated layer of soil to an inverted triangle and forces much of the excess water from the pot. After it stops draining, unpot the plant & set it on newspaper until the wet spot is no longer expanding. This removes the rest of the excess water from the soil. Inspect the roots. If they are black/slimy/sour-smelling, you'll need to repot. This entails removing old soil, pruning roots back to sound tissue, and repotting into the same size or a smaller container, depending on soil choice and what fraction of roots you remove. Hopefully, you can avoid repotting at this time because winter and early spring are poor times to repot most houseplants because their energy levels are lowest right about now.

I'll leave you 2 links I think will help you, the second one would be most important. If you 'get' what's in it, you're at least 75% of the way to becoming proficient at growing houseplants.

Try this link for an overview

More about container soils

Best luck.

Al


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I don't use MG Moisture Control by itself. There is no rule in plant care that states that you must use a product alone. My patio receives Texas afternoon sun, and my plants dry out very fast. By mixing MG MC with other ingredients such as pine bark, or other organic based soil, I can create a mix that will hold moisture for two or three days. Otherwise, if I miss a day for any reason, the plants wilt. I have lost some plants because of this. I know I have at least a day leeway on plants that should never go dry. Also, I like to use a moisture meter. I also have plants that SHOULD be allowed to dry out. With the moisture meter, I know just how much moisture is in that soil.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

The least expensive, and probably the most reliable, way to measure soil moisture
is to use a wooden kabob skewer, dowel, unfinished chopstick, et cetera, in the pot.
Stick it into the deepest layers, wait a minute, pull it out and check for moisture.

Cheap, accurate, tidy.

Josh


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

Or the free method. Pick up or tip the pot and see if it's still heavy.


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

Not practical for large/heavy containers, or containers with grit-based mixes.


Josh


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by glasny Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 5, 12 at 16:59

been using this soil for my peace lilly and pothos plants that like moisture for indoors, also I am african violet collector, I use African violet soil mixed with perlite, not a fan of moss. I tried using moisture control on African violets with half mix of perlite, my violets had not survived this. also tried using it on leaf propagation and again leafs have either rotted or dried out. would not recommend MC for most house plants. however I purchased 3 orchids resently and read they like having moist media in form of bark and coconut shell mixes to withdraw water out of. curious if I should try MC on it with a mix of original orchid soil and moss. any ideas?


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by glasny Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 5, 12 at 17:00

been using this soil for my peace lilly and pothos plants that like moisture for indoors, also I am african violet collector, I use African violet soil mixed with perlite, not a fan of moss. I tried using moisture control on African violets with half mix of perlite, my violets had not survived this. also tried using it on leaf propagation and again leafs have either rotted or dried out. would not recommend MC for most house plants. however I purchased 3 orchids resently and read they like having moist media in form of bark and coconut shell mixes to withdraw water out of. curious if I should try MC on it with a mix of original orchid soil and moss. any ideas?


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

Glasny,
I strongly discourage you from using MC for your Orchid.
*Most* Orchids thrive in a mix of fine-grade Orchid Bark, coarse Perlite, and a water-retentive
ingredient such as pumice, scoria, or turface.

Josh


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I second Josh's opinion. Orchid Bark is best used for Orchids. Toni


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

I wish I had seen this post before I bought it. I now have 5 dead house plants because of it. I will never buy this stuff again! It said - for potted plants. How are you to know that doesn't mean house plants?


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 5, 13 at 18:22

MG & MGMC are intended as media for all potted plants, but a very large fraction of the growers choosing it have difficulty due to inherent problems. The soil simply holds too much water and not enough air.

In my estimation, a 'good' soil is one you can water properly (to beyond saturation ..... to the point where water flows freely from the drain hole after total soil saturation) without having to be concerned that the soil will remain soggy for extended intervals, affecting root health/function or worse - causing any of several root rot diseases. Soils based on large fractions of fine ingredients are much more difficult to grow in, and amending them effectively requires very large fractions (>70%) of coarse material, like pine bark or other chunky inorganic material ...... which means you really aren't amending them - only using them as a small fraction of your media.

Al


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RE: Miracle Gro 'Moisture Control' Potting Soil

Hi aptosca -

It said - for potted plants. How are you to know that doesn't mean house plants?

That was one of your questions. The terms potted plants and house plants are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. All houseplants are potted, but not all potted plants are grown in the house; many people have potted plants outside, on patios and porches, or summering their houseplants outside, or just growing-on plants for size or whatever - many reasons.

Plants grown outside in pots tend to dry out faster than plants grown indoors, and that's why some people prefer "water retentive" soils for outdoor potted plants. But one thing is true outdoors or indoors - wet soil that never dries out makes for wet roots, and wet roots make for dead plants.

As you can see from reading all of this thread, there's a lot of 'different strokes for different folks.' It's one reason that you find so much conflicting information if you do much research. One thing that's absolutely true, though, is that if roots stay too wet, plants die. But...

That's not always true, either, because many plants are incredibly, amazingly adaptable. Species that are known to hate "wet feet" sometimes adapt to living in a constantly wet - I mean soaking wet - pot. I know, I have one. This is another source of much conflicting information.

My advice to you would be to try what seems reasonable to you, what seems to fit your own requirements best. If things don't work as well as you would like, try something else. Even if you are satisfied with results, go ahead and try something different, just as an experiment. That's one reason you never get tired of working with plants, once you get into it.


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