How does Miracle-Gro Work? - Knowledgebase Question

Salt Lake City, UT
Question by laytibug
May 18, 1999
I was wondering how exactly Miracle-Gro works? I'm trying to get the "chemistry" behind it for a science project, not exactly your "secrets", if you have any, but how the chemicals you use, help the plant.


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Answer from NGA
May 18, 1999

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You probably noticed that Miracle-Gro, as well as other fertilizers, have 3 numbers on the container. These numbers refer to the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) in the fertilizer. These 3 elements are referred to as macronutrients because plants need them in fairly large (i.e., macro) amounts to thrive. How these elements interact is complicated (and probably Mother Nature's secret!) but in general terms, nitrogen produces lush green growth, phosphorous helps strengthen stems and produce flowers (and eventually fruit), and potassium keeps the root system healthy.

Other nutrients that plants need, but in lesser amounts, are: calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, copper, iron, molybdenum, and zinc. If the plant is not receiving the appropriate mix of nutrients, the deficiency will show up in a variety of ways. For example, yellow leaves on older growth is a sign of nitrogen deficiency. I hope this helps with your project!

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