Home Made Miracle Grow – Make your Own

Make your own plant fertilizer.

Many people who garden do not like to use commercial products to fertilize their plants. They prefer natural ingredients.    Green is in when it comes to gardening.  For those of you…you are in luck.  Here are 5 versions of a home made plant fertilizer.

There is an easy to fertilize your plants using products found in the home!  There are several ways to do this. Some are touted as “Home Made Miracle Grow.”  Others are called compost tea, and some others just plain old DIY fertilizer.

DIY Home Made Miracle Grow Plant Food

Image adapted from a public domain photo on MorgueFile

Here are a few ways to fertilize using products found in the home.
DIY Miracle Grow:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tbsp epsom salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of Household ammonia

Mix all ingredients together and use once a month on your plants by mixing a small amount of the concentrate with 3 o\r 4 cups of water in a watering can..

Compost Tea:

Get a clean glass jar.  Add water to the jar.  Keep it on your counter.  Whenever you use eggs, crunch up the shells and put them into the jar.  The same goes for coffee ground.  Put them into the jar.  Once you have quite a bit of this mix, add more water, shake and let it sit for a while.

It will need to sit for quite a while and you will need to shake it every day.  Do not keep the jar in direct sunlight.

After about a week, strain the mix and strain it though a paper towel into another bottle.   That is all there is to it.  Just the strained “compost tea” fertilizer to add to your plants.

Weed compost tea:

Similar to the coffee/tea version but you use weeds.  Don’t use any weeds that have been treated with herbicide.  Place the weeds in a jar with rain water. Cover and place in the sun.  It will smell really foul, but in a week you will have your “weed compost tea.”  This mixture is e far more effective than miracle grow and will last the entire season in the ground.

Epsom salt fertilizer.  This is the perfect DIY fertilizer for  your houseplants, peppers, roses, potatoes, and tomatoes.  The reason for this because Epsom salt contains sulfate and magnesium, two important minerals needed by these plants.


  • 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt
  • 1 gallon of water.

 Mix well and add to your plants once a month when you water.

Fish tank water fertilizer.

This has similar effects that fish emulsion fertilizer does.  It doesn’t require any labor at all.  Just save all the dirty fish tank water and use it for watering the plants. Fish water contains nitrogen and other important nutrients that the plants need.

For more great gardening tips, please visit The Gardening Cook on Facebook.

DIY Miracle Grow Fertilizer

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  74 comments for “Home Made Miracle Grow – Make your Own

  1. KokHeong McNaughton
    04/23/2014 at 4:22 pm

    What do you mean by 1 tsp ammonia? Ammonia is a gas. Do you mean Ammonia sulfate, or some other compound?

    • JG
      04/24/2014 at 12:17 am

      Lol that is exactly what I was thinking when I read ammonia, I would not use that until you know for sure, you walk outside 10 minutes later after using it and you may have a dead ass plant

    • admin
      04/28/2014 at 11:59 am

      the recipe uses common household ammonia.

    • MichaelT2
      06/27/2014 at 7:24 pm

      It’s a bottle of clear liquid which is labeled “Household Ammonia”. You can usually find it at any grocery store, Target, Walgreens, or any drug store. Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

      • Nancy
        06/08/2016 at 11:37 pm

        City Slickers, I feel so sorry for them.. hopefully some of them will be able to learn a few things about gardening. ..before times get really really hard… and they are coming…. otherwise they will All Starve to death.. because there will be no stores to run out to to get food from.. so the more they can learn how to plant a garden , harvest it, and can what that garden produces. . THE MORE AHEAD OF THE GAME THEY WILL BE…..

        • Gale
          06/23/2016 at 7:42 pm

          I was from the city and we moved to NH 12 years ago. I didn’t know much about growing veggies, but I started getting interested last year and thanks to all of you who do know, I have been growing cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers green onions , and lots of herbs! I’m trying. I have always hated the city, love the country! Thanks for all your help!

          • Carol
            06/23/2016 at 9:33 pm

            I lived in Maine for 27 years, so I know that part of the country! Carol

        • Peg
          07/19/2016 at 11:57 am

          That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. You country people think you are so superior, but I can tell you, I’ve lived in the city all my life. I own a business growing tomato, pepper and other seed from scratch and my heirloom, organic, healthy plants are in demand. I know about cows chickens, horses and horseback riding, etc. Being a city dweller DOES NOT make us ignorant, stupid or foolish. I’m really fed up and offended with the attitude of country people like you who think you are so superior. As the papa in My Big Fat Greek Wedding said to his new in-laws, “…you are apples and we are oranges, but in the end we’re all fruits!” So Mr. Fruity go plant your garden and I challenge you to make it better than my and many other city dwellers gardens.

          • 08/30/2016 at 1:39 pm

            Grow up Peg, and get over yourself. Check that attitude at the door, and enjoy the website for what it’s worth, or go away.
            You sound very insecure about yourself, or you wouldn’t be rambling on so much about YOURSELF.
            We all live in the country if think about it. Just enjoy life and listen more than you talk. That’s why we were all give twice as many ears as mouths!

          • Marlene
            01/06/2017 at 3:08 pm

            You are right, it was a very insulting remark and you can find excellent gardens of all kinds in cities but don’t let what was written rattle you. Life is too short and full of precious moments and things to fill our minds and lives. Don’t let the critical generalization of one person mar such a beautiful thing as gardening. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Blessings.

          • Gia
            03/05/2017 at 10:26 pm

            This thread.wasn’t created for individuals to criticize each other, but for each of us to learn and grow better gardens.
            I enjoy all the tips and tricks offered here from so many experienced growers. I hope to build a better garden through the information each writer has shared here 😊

          • Carol
            03/05/2017 at 11:32 pm

            Thanks Gia. I agree. This is the only post on my entire blog that has criticism of each other. Not the norm for sure! Carol

          • Dan
            04/08/2017 at 11:08 am

            Then you should tell your big city News media to stop interviewing city born-and-bred 18-25 year old Mall Bunnies for all the laughs the can produce out here in the real world. They are at once both very funny and extremely pitiable, and therefore shed a poor light on all (or most)(or some) city dwellers. We used to label their responses by Pollock, or blondes, or hillbillies but that is no longer Politically Correct.

            You should start a worm farm on your rooftop and see what response you get from a poll of your neighbors, and report back to us. That might give us a better perspective of how “off” those Sidewalk/TV interviews are. :op

        • Luann
          07/27/2016 at 9:41 am

          What?! Is the world coming to an end?

          • 04/08/2017 at 11:14 am

            Not to an end… But, there are some MAJOR changes on the horizon. And we all should be prepared. :o)

        • Karin
          01/13/2017 at 12:32 am

          I think your attack on people who live in cities is uncalled for. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Don’t you think it’s sad that people need to be mean to others in order to feel better about themselves.

          • 04/08/2017 at 11:50 am

            Always saying “nice” things is very nice, but usually not very informative. When learn when we rationally discuss opposing views, not when we are “nice” to the most “feckless person” in the room. (For example, I just had to find “feckless person” as the “nicest” word I could use to replace ‘moron’. ‘imbecile’, ‘retard’, ‘half-wit’. ‘dummy’, ‘simpleton’. or ‘cretin’… all of which are applicable, easier to say or write, but no longer Politically Correct.)

            The problem is we are now faced with leaders in all fields of study that we treat nicely instead of pointing out their real attributes (see list above). MOST city dwellers are not prepared for any emergency… look at the catastrophes of recent years and tell me I’m wrong. According to FEMA we have had an average of 122 Disasters per year for the last 10 years (one every 3 days).

            And some have tried for decades to “nicely” tell people how to prepare for such emergencies. So which of the above labels do not apply to those that “simply” wont listen?

        • Carole
          04/06/2017 at 9:50 pm

          Well, aren’t you a ray of sunshine?

          • 04/08/2017 at 12:28 pm

            Errata: We learn when… (not When learn when…)

    • jonko
      07/06/2016 at 6:08 pm

      I think you forgot that it is ” HOUSEHOLD AMMONIA ” …which is surely not a gas .

      • Hellen
        12/01/2016 at 5:14 pm

        Yes, I though the same as you. (Stupid question)

    • Carol
      07/06/2016 at 6:33 pm

      Household ammonia is what the recipe asks for. Carol

    • Matt
      08/16/2016 at 8:31 pm

      Ammonia is a household cleaner, not a gas. Ammonia does not have to be gaseous, much like anything else having multiple states(forms) it can be used in. The naturally occuring state & the state at which something is needed to be in for it to become useful, may not be the same.

    • Hellen
      12/01/2016 at 5:10 pm

      Household ammonia….. hard to understand?

      • Carol
        12/01/2016 at 10:09 pm

        Hi Hellen. It is just ordinary ammonia such as this. Carol

    • kenneth payne
      03/01/2017 at 10:04 am

      liquid ammonia as the kind you buy at the grocery store.

    • Carmenrella
      03/20/2017 at 2:08 pm

      I tried the recipe for Home Made Miracle Grow and I’m amazed at the positive changes in my yard plants within a few days with just one serving. I also make home grown compost. I stopped by an Asian Market that sells fresh fish and asked if I could have a bucket of fish guts as they call them. They gave them to me and I made compost and that year I had tomato plants grow more than 8 feet high producing lots of delicious tasting tomatoes. Have pictures to prove it. Yes, I could have probably purchased fish fertilizer but preferred making my own. I was raised in the country and later lived in San Francisco. I prefer the country anytime where one can actually witness the seasons come and go. We no longer live in the city. To each her own.

      • Carol
        03/20/2017 at 4:48 pm

        Thanks for sharing your experiences Carmen. Sounds like you have a great knack with veggies! Carol

  2. Steven
    04/24/2014 at 5:09 am

    Will cat pee work for the ammonia ?

    • Susan
      06/13/2014 at 11:46 am

      Urine has to break down before “becoming ammonia”, and I’m not sure you would substitute it for household ammonia.

    • Gia
      03/05/2017 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you for that funny comment ….Cat urine….So funny.
      It was also a good question with a thorough reply 😁

  3. Tina
    04/26/2014 at 8:08 pm

    Do yo use a tablespoon of the compost tea and compost weed fertilizer mixed with a gallon of water just as you do the epson salt fertilizers?

  4. Jason
    04/28/2014 at 11:00 am

    Every time I read directions on this sort of thing it always says add to your plants once a month/week but how much of the solution do I actually add to them? I don’t want to add too little or too much…

    • admin
      04/28/2014 at 11:54 am

      Hi Jason, It is sort of a trial and error. I always err on the side of caution and add just a little to see how they do with it.

  5. Theresa
    04/28/2014 at 9:10 pm

    So if baking soda, household ammonia, and Epsom salts aren’t chemicals, then what are they? I’m a lifelong gardener with a degree in chemistry. I always get a kick out of posts like this.

    • kelly
      06/12/2014 at 8:18 am

      Probably from gardeners who live in radiation free zone! πŸ™‚

    • Doug
      07/03/2016 at 11:08 am

      I agree. Every time I read a post referring to “chemical free” herbicide or fertilizer, my first thought is, wait just a cotton pickin minute … All of these elements ARE chemicals. Heck, I’m made of chemicals. everything, both natural and not-so-natural is made of chemicals. I am also a lifelong gardener. My garden is totally organic … and it’s loaded with chemicals – LOL !!!

    • Jonko
      07/06/2016 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Theresa … there was no mention of ” chemicals ” in this article . You might have a degree in chemistry , as I do , but you failed to see the importance of this recipe using ..” HOUSEHOLD ITEMS ” ; as opposed to commercial chemicals used in all fertilizers .

  6. ashley keeney
    07/30/2014 at 4:57 am

    I just snagged a plant that someone threw away on the side of the road, going to plant it today to bad I did my aquariums water changes yesterday… lol that will work wonders though!

    • admin
      07/30/2014 at 9:55 am

      Hi Ashley. One of my favorite things to do is to try and revive plants that someone else think has no hope! Good luck with yours. Carol

  7. Patricia
    08/04/2014 at 9:23 pm

    do you use the home made miracle grow after mixing in gallon jug straight on plants or do you mix just a llittle in another jug of water to weaken the mixture before putting n plants?

  8. Patricia
    08/04/2014 at 9:27 pm

    do you use the home made miracle grow after mixing in galjug straight on the plants or do you mix just a small amount of the homemade miracle grow to another jusg of water to weaken tstrength ofthe mixture before putting on plants? would putting the mixture on the plants burn if not mixed with more water?

    • admin
      08/04/2014 at 10:55 pm

      Hi Patricia.

      The mixture is diluted in water for the recipe, so it can be used straight but you would only use a small amount of it. About what you would use for any liquid fertilizer. Otherwise you could burn the plants.


  9. Grandma
    12/26/2014 at 11:52 am

    OK…The question was and is ” How much do you add to your plants”
    A little bit is not an answer.
    A tablespoon once a month for a 4″ pot is an answer…a tsp once a month for a 4″ pot is an answer….
    So can someone please answer the question.

    • admin
      12/26/2014 at 4:47 pm

      Dilute it 10 to 15 parts to water and use it as you water once a month is what I consider a little bit. For any home made recipe it is always good to dilute well and test with your own pots and soil, since all are different. If this formula is too weak then add more.


      • Matt
        08/16/2016 at 9:16 pm

        Any idea what that “homemade”, basically salt-water actually breaks down to being, when compared to MiracleGro’s guaranteed analysis of: 24(%)-08(%)-16(%), obviously referring to the immediately available Nitrogen, Phosphate & Potash. What percent(%) of which plant nutrients(N, P&K; specifically) is immediately available to the plants, if you mix according to the recipe, to make 1gal of “homemade concentrate”, that you will then thin down with more water, to a dilution ratio of 1part “concentrate”, to 10parts water. Now, you’ve already made the concentrate & reduced it again when you added some to fill the watering can, that diluted solution, of 1part concentrate for every 10 parts water, but a 1:15 is a easier ratio to calculate because its 1cup(part) solution plus 15cups (parts) water = 16cups (1-gal.) Of plant ready water blend, what is the immediately available nutrient percentages (%)???
        Like what are the numbers, exactly; not almost, near, about, allitle less, a little more than, or any other approximate measurement, like “a handful”. WTF IS THAT? An open hand, a closed fistful, because i can put a whole lot in a handful of gold dust, hahaha.
        So, what does each bit represent? A teaspoon of epsom salt in a gallon equals what % of what, etc.
        Break it down, number by number, PLEASE! I’ve asked many & none have an answer.

        • jamie
          11/13/2016 at 1:48 pm

          Homemade is all well in good, I have not used, or been able to use, all the premixed home cleaning products on the market due to allergies for several years. So I have learned to go back to BASICS. Not city not country, not chemical free. But purer ingredients, such as Borax, Vingegar, oil and elbow grease. If you want precise directions, use miracle grow. If you want to make from what you have on hand, it will have to be adjusted for your purposes. But honestly, right from the ammonia question, it was quick to see, most don’t have these items ON HAND. Fyi Windex, mostly ammonia, Bath Salts and Medicated Bathing Crystals, mostly Epsom salts. Disinfecting cleaning with bleach, mostly bleach. So just go with Miracle Grow,

    • andrea
      01/10/2016 at 12:38 pm

      So it sounds like put 1 cup into 1 gallon of water, and use this mix once a month instead of straight water and then just water normally.
      I prefer mixing products 1/4 of the suggested strength and use weekly, after all we don’t eat 15lbs of vegetables once a month, we spread it throughout the month.

  10. Renee
    04/07/2015 at 9:16 am

    Can I use Peppermint Epsom Salt to make miracle grow? This is the product that I have on hand.

    • admin
      04/07/2015 at 10:36 am

      Hi Renee. I am not sure how the peppermint would affect the epsom salt and the recipe, since I have not tried it that way. I can’t imagine that it would be a problem but don’t know for sure.

  11. Michelle
    04/30/2015 at 5:21 pm

    Hi there!

    In the “DIY Miracle Grow” recipe, you say to add baking powder. Do you mean baking SODA?



    • admin
      04/30/2015 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Michelle. Oh my gosh. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before. Thanks so much for alerting me. Yes, it is baking soda. I have fixed the article so that the recipe is correct now.
      Kind regards,

      • Michelle
        05/05/2015 at 11:04 am

        πŸ™‚ Thank you, Carol!

  12. 06/15/2015 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you for posting this formula! It’s a great reminder that commercially-manufactured products aren’t the only option. We’ve featured it in our recent blog post “10 {Easy} Eco-Friendly Backyard Projects”.

    Thanks again for the great information!

  13. growgirl
    07/05/2015 at 10:37 am

    A solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda to 1 gallon of water reduces instances of leaf burn. Add 1 teaspoon dormant oil and Β½ teaspoon of dish soap or horticultural soap as a surfactant to help the mixture stick. Keep in mind the solution is water soluble, so apply on a dry cloudy day for best results.

    I’d steer clear of the ammonia… “diluted ammonia makes the soil more alkaline. However, over time, which can be as soon as several days, it’s converted to nitrate, making the soil more acid, which isn’t best for all plants and might create an environment in which plants have difficulty getting the nutrients they need. ”

    For mildew on squash and pumpkins I’ve had success with spraying diluted milk on them.

  14. MI Patriot
    07/07/2015 at 10:35 pm

    In reference to the fish tank water hint. I learned the hard way that you cannot use turtle tank water. We have a red eared slider and I got the brilliant idea to use her water for the plants. I used it on my pepper plants and within a couple of weeks, they were dead. I was utterly devastated. In hindsight, I think I probably should have really diluted it down good and then tried it, but live and learn. Now I just stick to my Epsom salt, egg shells, and coffee grounds.

    • admin
      07/07/2015 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks for this tip. It is always good to hear how these tips work for people. Carol

  15. Roopa
    07/29/2015 at 8:56 am

    I have Thai Basil and Holy Basil in containers planted in coconut soil.

    Can i use DIY miracle grow on coconut soil


    • admin
      07/29/2015 at 11:04 am

      Hello Roopa. I have never grown anything in coconut soil, so I do not know how the home made miracle grow will react with it. Carol

  16. karen anderson
    03/05/2016 at 3:20 am

    Thanks everybody . I’m new at this & i’m excited to try water, espsom salt & baking soda on my straw berries . We have a lot of clay in our soil . Hope this works . Thank you all ! Karen

  17. 03/21/2016 at 1:43 pm

    Don’t know about the ammonia combination, but the aquarium water is very definitely great for your plants!

  18. jerry
    04/27/2016 at 10:57 am

    How would this DIY recipe affect the taste of tomatoes? Would it change the taste and in what way?
    I love DIY ways at most everything that I do.

    I have planted seven different varieties of tomatoes this spring searching for the perfect,, tart, acidic, sour,
    NOT SWEET, tomatoes for basic homegrown tomato sandwiches.

    Most fertilizers, DIY or commercial seems to always tout more tomatoes, sweeter, bigger, prettier, etc etc.
    I don’t care about big and pretty this year, I just won’t a good tasting, tomato with a nice acidic sting to the tongue when bitten in to.

    I am now presently brewing up 100 gallons of locally gathered pasture ”cow manure” and brewing tea” in 55 gal plastic drums (plumbed together).

    How would mixing this DIY Miracle Grow in with my homebrew manure tea? of course with recipe adjusted for 100 gallons.

    • Carol
      04/27/2016 at 12:34 pm

      I am not sure how it would affect the taste of the tomatoes. The recipe is basically for those who don’t want to use the chemical product. Carol

    • Josephine
      06/05/2016 at 12:26 am

      Epsom salts are awesome for tomatoes. You can add a tablespoon to the planting holes when planting or add some to you soil before you plant or use the liquid as a feed. I believe it also helps guard against blossom end rot on your tomatoes.

      • Carol
        06/05/2016 at 9:57 am

        Hi Josephine. Great tip! Thanks for sharing it. Carol

  19. 06/01/2016 at 5:42 pm

    I have used a hose end sprayer to apply my DIY miracle grow. I use pond water from my fish pond rather than liquid ammonia with good success. I read several articles where human urine is good for plants due to the nitrogen and trace minerals. I already have nitrogen in the pond water so I thought how do I get trace minerals into the mix. Well humans take vitamins, so I took 3 cheap multi vitamins and ran them through the coffee grinder and added them to the mix. My plants are all doing very well especially my peppers. I don’t know if my crazy idea is the reason or not but everything is green and growing fast. I do have a heavy clay soil so my hopes were the added trace minerals would help spur plant growth.

    • Carol
      06/01/2016 at 8:20 pm

      Great tips Mark. Thanks for sharing them.

  20. Sally Barbo
    06/17/2016 at 4:59 pm

    I have read all of the above Q & A s and I still don’t know if I spray the recipes on the plants and/or only water the soil. ?? House hold plants different from garden plants??

    • Carol
      06/17/2016 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Sally. You water the soil and it can also be used on house plants. Actively growing plants need regular use but when they slow down growth, cut back on it. Carol

  21. Ella
    06/28/2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi Carol. Although I water regularly, the leaves on my Black-eyed Susans are getting dry and twisted and it’s seem to be spreading. After doing some research; Verticillium Wilt seems to be the culprit. Ammonia sulfate was noted to be something I can add to the soil to help stop this. Have you had any experience with this “Wilt”? Do you think the DIY Miracle Grow recipe best reflects the formula for ammonia sulfate? Thank you for any input in advance!

    • Carol
      06/28/2016 at 10:06 am

      Hi Ella. I have not had experience with Vertcillum Wilt. I also do not know if the ammonia sulfate will be affected by using the DIY Miracle Grow. My advice would be to try the ammonia sulfate to the soil and see what happens. When plant is suffering from disease, I would not use any fertilizer until it recovers. Carol

  22. Mitzi
    07/03/2016 at 11:25 am

    Hi I am making up some homemade miracle grow and was wondering if it is safe for tomato plants or should I use just epsoms salt and water for them. My next question is how much do u add the whole gallon? Thank you! Mitzi

    • Carol
      07/06/2016 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Mitzi. I have not tried just epsom salt and water, but the miracle grow recipe has epsom salt in it. It is fine to use on any plants. No don’t use the whole gallon. That would likely kill the plant. Add about 1/8 cup or so of the mixture to 3 or 4 cups of water. Carol

  23. Suzanne
    08/21/2016 at 7:58 pm

    Regarding ammonia, you can use a vegetarian’s pee (think rabbit, chicken, goat or if you are a vegan…) ….. put it in that compost tea jar and let it sit for about a month. No need to go out to buy ammonia. My plants grow crazy for this stuff. If you want to cut the acid, add a little ash or lime.

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