plant food

by Fred Commons
(Pittsburg, PA)

I have been using Miracle Gro Orchid Food 30-10-10 on my orchids. Can I use it for my hydroponic plants too?

Answer I don't recommend Miracle Gro for any indoor plants - especially orchids! Miracle Gro contains Urea, an inexpensive form of nitrogen, the primary ingredient in all fertilizers. Plant roots cannot use urea based nitrogen until it is broken down by enzymes or bacteria. That's great for outside plants, but sterilized potting mixes don't contain the enzymes needed to convert urea into something the plant can use. Unused urea turns to salt and actually becomes harmful to the plant's root system. This is especially true for orchids because orchid roots simply can't tolerate salt. Avoid plant food that has "urea" on the label! You might actually be harming your plants!

The best source of Nitrogen for all potted plants is Ammonia cal or Nitrate. You can find this information on the back of the package.

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