Unwanted fertilizer

lucille(Houston)August 29, 2014

I ended up ordering perlite from Ebay and will make my own potting mix.
I went to both Home Depot and Walmart today and Miracle Gro seems to have cornered the market as far as potting mixes and perlite, and EVERY single bag of anything for potting had fertilizer in it.
I'm wondering if this was actually an intentional move in cooperation with other plant sales companies to make it difficult to start seeds and cuttings?
Miracle Gro you are on my list, and it isn't the gifts from Santa list.

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judyj(Z5 CO)

Hi Lucille,
Yes, lots of us stay away from MG.
Do you have any non-chain garden stores around? I had to go to one of those because Walmart and HD don't appear to sell anything else. There's a large post on the AV forum about it.

MG is catering to the folk who would think that fertilizer in everything would be a good thing. No separate fertilizer to worry about etc, etc. It's a marketing strategy, and isn't a bad thing necessarily. Unfortunately it just doesn't work the way more advanced plant growers want it to because we like more control over the situation!

I don't think it's an intentional coop with other plant sales company, MG is pretty big unto itself. Even I use MG's fertilizer in the garden as it's easy to use and appears to work well for the outside plants-for now! Once I get my outside garden back into shape (after a flash flood we had a few years ago-then I gave up on it for quite a while), I'm likely to be more fussy!

Lots of places put fertilizer in the soils of the plants they sell. It probably leads to fewer problems up front with the buyers. Maybe a year or more down the road, the plant suffers or just doesn't grow as well, but at that point it can't be blamed on the grower! We have a bonzai schefflera that we bought a few months ago, and it's got little fertilizer pellets in it as well.

One of our larger local nurseries gives fertilizer pellets with the plants they sell. It's just one step closer to simply put it into the soil (though putting it in perlite seems fairly silly to me).

Best,
Judy

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:26AM
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snappyguy

I have found that for gesneriads, Miracle-Gro peat moss and perlite are fine. The peat moss contains 0.19 - 0.11 - 0.15 fertilizer and the perlite is listed as 0.07 - 0.07 - 0.07. I use Optimara African Violet fertilizer on all my gesneriads. That has NPK values of 14-12-14. For the N value the Optimara fertilizer contains nearly 74 times the nitrogen. When I changed (slowly, with a trial on a few plants), I noticed no difference. There's so little fertilizer in those 2 products that it seems like they only put a little in so they could say they were enriched. I haven't been able to find peat moss or perlite in my area that doesn't have something in it, but fortunately the Miracle-Gro has worked for me.

Mark

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:36PM
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lazy_gardens

You can order online for ship-to-store at Walmart. Plain perlite

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:51PM
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