Miracle-Gro is one of the most well-known fertilizer products around and is commonly used in all types of gardening, but is it good for hydroponics?
Can I use Miracle-Gro in my hydroponics system? Miracle-Gro can be used in your hydroponics system. However, it isn’t highly recommended because some Miracle-Gro fertilizers don’t always break down well enough or supply all required nutrients. If you do opt to use Miracle-Gro for hydroponics, it’s suggested to avoid the traditional types.
Let’s take a closer look at the nutrients found in Miracle-Gro, explore the potential issues using it may cause, and when it might be okay to use it.
Can Miracle-Gro Be Used for Hydroponics
The Miracle-Gro brand includes many types of products, including fertilizers that are designed for use in hydroponic systems.
That said, each line of Miracle-Gro is meant for a specific purpose and shouldn’t be used for other applications.
In other words, yes, Miracle-Gro can be used for hydroponics but only if the proper version is selected.
Miracle-Gro Nutrients vs. Hydroponic Plant Requirements
Hydroponic plants have nutrient requirements equal to those growing in soil: nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous, and micro amounts of zinc, boron, iron, and copper.
When selecting a Miracle-Gro product for hydroponics, it’s crucial to pick one with these particular macronutrients and micronutrients.
Using Miracle-Gro without these essentials results in stunted plants with wilted leaves and little to no produce (fruits or vegetables).
Problems With Using Miracle-Gro for Hydroponics
One of the biggest issues with using Miracle-Gro for hydroponics is simply that it doesn’t always dissolve completely.
That means that over time as you use the product, pipes, connectors, and filters may become gummed up and break down.
When Miracle-Gro May Work for Hydroponics
While certain Miracle-Gro products can and do work well enough for hydroponics, there are far better products available (which we touch on below).
That said, for basic forms of hydroponics, especially systems like Kratky, which don’t have many components, Miracle-Gro works just as well as most other nutrients designed for hydroponics.
On a completely different note, many hydroponic growers may prefer to use Miracle-Gro due to it being an affordable alternative to most high-grade liquid nutrients for hydroponics.
Which Miracle-Gro To Use for Hydroponics
There are numerous Miracle-Gro products available, but not all of them are useful for hydroponics. That said, depending on the type of crops you’re growing, the best type of Miracle-Gro differs.
The main consideration to keep in mind while shopping for Miracle-Gro to use for hydroponics is to avoid the classic types.
Traditional Miracle-Gro should be avoided due to the blue crystals it is made of (which aren’t fully water soluble).
How To Prepare Miracle-Gro for Use in Hydroponic Systems
There are a few easy-to-follow steps for preparing Miracle-Gro for use in hydroponic growing systems:
- Measure out 2 teaspoons of powder for every 1 gallon of water.
- Measure out 1 teaspoon of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) for every 1 gallon of water.
- Carefully pour the Miracle-Gro into the water and mix until fully dissolved.
- Repeat with the magnesium sulfate.
If you’ve mixed the solution properly, it will be blue at this point. Now it’s ready for use in your growing system.
If it’s barely blue, you may try adding another 1 teaspoon of fertilizer and a ½ teaspoon of Epsom Salts at a time and mix well until it is the proper color.
Recommended Hydroponic Fertilizer
Now that we’ve discussed the relationship between hydroponics and Miracle-Gro, let’s have a look at some of the most highly recommended hydroponic fertilizers currently available.
The MASTERBLEND Complete Combo is one of the most popular hydroponic fertilizers on the market. It has an NPK of 4-18-38 and contains both Epsom salt and calcium nitrate as well (15.5-0-0).
The solution is 100% water soluble, making it even easier for plants to take it up their roots.
Compared to many hydroponic fertilizers, the pack requires a bit more mixing before you can use it, but that’s a small price to pay for the superior fertilization it provides.
The Canna Organic Nutrients Pack is another product that includes literally everything your plants need to grow and thrive: essential minerals, vitamins, microbes, amino acids, micronutrients, and macronutrients.
The nutrients pack is great for boosting blooms, promoting root development, thickening foliage, and generally boosting the health of hydroponic systems, growing mediums, and soil.
Even more impressive, the product is certified organic by the Organic Materials Research Institute.
The General Hydroponics Flora Series is marketed as the “original building block nutrient system” by its manufacturer.
The product contains every sort of primary and secondary nutrient that’s needed for plants to grow and thrive.
Using General Hydroponics Flora not only increases crop quality, but it enhances the aroma, flavor, and nutrition of plants as well (regardless of whether it’s used in hydroponics or in the soil).
It is noteworthy that both Antarctic research stations and NASA have both chosen the GH Flora series for their plant-based experiments.
Can I Use Regular Fertilizer for Hydroponics?
While it is indeed possible to use regular fertilizer for hydroponics, it isn’t highly recommended.
Basic manure-type fertilizer lacks many of the specific macro and micronutrients purposefully included with modern fertilizer products (like water-soluble Miracle-Gro).
Can I Use a Water-Soluble Fertilizer for Hydroponics?
Water-soluble fertilizer is the best type to use for hydroponics as it is made specifically for use with water, unlike normal/old-fashioned fertilizer.
In fact, there is no better fertilizer for hydroponic growing systems than that which is water soluble.
A Final Word About Using Miracle-Gro for Hydroponics
Many Miracle-Gro fertilizers work just as well for hydroponics as any of the other well-known products out there, but not all of them are recommended for such applications.
Traditional Miracle-Gro, for example, is by no means a preferred form of nutrients for hydroponics.
That said, the fully water-soluble fertilizers from Miracle-Gro (that don’t have blue crystals) work just fine for hydroponics.