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 Post subject: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 28, 2018 8:13 pm 
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I have some Miracid that I bought 30 years ago (it's a giant box). Is it alright to still use it on my indoor hibiscus tree? I've been using Miracle Grow for flowering plants the last few years, and it's not doing as well. I would like to switch back.

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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 29, 2018 8:07 am 
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Should be ok as long as it was kept dry during that time and has not clumped. If still in doubt, find email or 800 number contact of Miracid and ask them.


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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 29, 2018 9:18 am 
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aspenleaf wrote:
I have some Miracid that I bought 30 years ago...


Oh my, 30 yrs ago! How is it that you still have it and why would you want to use it?

The Miracid would likely be much too acid for the hibiscus, as they prefer a neutral soil/water. If your water is very alkaline (like mine) then add a little bit of vinegar to the water to neutralize it.


Personally, I refuse to use any Miracle-Gro product. I gave up on them many years ago. From time to time people give me gardening supplies when they are moving and such. Typically when I use one of the Miracle-Gro products something bad happens.

The worse is their soil which is full of pest eggs (particularly aphids), mushroom spores and other fungi. I am confident they do this on purpose so that you will then buy their sprays.

AL, I recommend buying a fertilizer specific to hibiscus, their needs are quite different than what is in general all-purpose fertilizer.


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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 29, 2018 9:50 am 
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I will see what Jared's has. I bought it when I bought the tree. They told me Miracid so I bought a box with four extra large tube bags in it. It was the only size they carried, of course.

I wouldn't think it could go bad, but it sounds like they may have something better that's available for it now. I suppose things could improve in 30 years. lol

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 29, 2018 11:58 am 
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Rak wrote:
Should be ok as long as it was kept dry during that time and has not clumped. If still in doubt, find email or 800 number contact of Miracid and ask them.

I too purchased large boxes of Miracid and Miracle-Gro years ago, at least 30 years, and still use it. Back east, I had much bigger flower and vegetable gardens so bought the big boxes.

I have had no problems with it deteriorating or going bad and still have good results using it. I do use less than the recommended amounts, a very dilute solution. As long as you kept your old Miracid dry and it's not hard or clumped, I would think it's OK to use.

Nowadays, there's a fertilizer for just about every small category - flowering plants, roses, tomatoes, etc. I do have the Miracle-Gro for roses and it's not that much different from the regular stuff (I had a lot of roses back east, still miss them). My father was an organic chemist and said man-made fertilizers would just fine for plants as long as they had the basic nutrients in a form that plants could use.

Organic growers believe in natural fertilizers. I have tried a few but they are so low in nutrients that it becomes expensive to use. But I have known gardeners who are very successful using natural fertilizers like fish emulsion, sea weeds, etc.

I noticed that a certain wildflower will grow in abundance for several years and then kinda die out. My guess is this is because the nutrients that particular wildflower needs peters out and another kind of wildflower that has different needs will spring up.

All plants need the micro-nutrients and minerals found in soils. aspenleaf, you may want to consider repotting the plants that are not doing too well any more. The soil in the pots may be old and depleted of these important micro-nutrients and minerals.


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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 29, 2018 12:22 pm 
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TillerBee wrote:
All plants need the micro-nutrients and minerals found in soils. aspenleaf, you may want to consider repotting the plants that are not doing too well any more. The soil in the pots may be old and depleted of these important micro-nutrients and minerals.

EXCELLENT suggestion!! :applause: :applause:

TB, I agree that many of the "organic" fertilizers are a total rip off. I have used so many different types w/o much success or they worked fine but the cost was prohibitive.
I mostly use fish emulsion (awesome!! but terribly stinky) and other organic amendments like manure compost for my veggies.

I typically stay away from chemical fertilizers in my vegetable beds but my house plants and flower beds are a different matter.

As for chemical fertilizers, I like Jack's Classic.


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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 29, 2018 12:43 pm 
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CooknThyme wrote:
I mostly use fish emulsion (awesome!! but terribly stinky)

Remember BaileyHermit's gorgeous hanging flower pots; I think she used fish emulsion. Geez, they were the most beautiful hanging pots I ever saw. Here's some from years ago:

Image

Image


I don't use fertilizer for all my vegetables, just some. And I do use compost and aged manure to improve the soil texture. But not in potted plants. I just use a good soil and my miracle-gro.

Here's the geraniums that I am overwintering. They are potted in MiracleGro soil mixture and I fertilize them with my ages old Miracale-Gro. There's a few other plants mixed in with the geraniums like a tomato and some houseplants.

Image


(my husband has noted we can no longer eat at the dining room table; we all have to make some sacrifices...)


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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 29, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Oh gosh, those flowers make me cry. I miss BaileyHermit so much.

Yes, BaileyHermit used fish emulsion for her veggies. But I did not know she used it with her flowers too.


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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 30, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Plants loved her, didn't they. :)


Thanks for your comments. For the next few months, I am going to go back to the Miracid. The other thing I really need to do for this tree is prune it. Transplanting it would be difficult as it weighs more than 60 pounds. I will keep the other fertilizers in mind to try if it doesn't do well.

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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 30, 2018 1:54 pm 
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One of the ways to renew a very large plant's soil is to remove the top inch or so and add new soil there. I've done this with several of my very large plants and it seems to help.

Also, as you noted aspenleaf, pruning indoor plants regularly is good for the plant. It keeps them more compact and allows for new growth which I think every plant appreciates. I sometimes get mad at a plant that isn't doing too well and prune it way, way back. If it lives, it does and if not - off to the compost heap to nourish other plants.


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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Jan 30, 2018 3:46 pm 
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:lol: I've done that several times with this hibiscus. I get to a point where I cut it back a lot, resigned to the likelihood that I've just killed it, and it's always come back.

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 Post subject: Re: Does fertilizer expire?
Post Posted: Feb 10, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Woke up to a treat this morning. It measures 6"! This is more like it was when I first bought it, and about eight weeks after switching back to Miracid from years on Miracle Grow floral fertilizer.

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