Home Made Miracle Grow – Make your Own Homemade Plant Fertilizer

Make your own home made Miracle Grow as well as several other plant foods easily with epsom salt, baking soda and household ammonia. It’s time for another fun vegetable garden hack.

Homemade Miracle grow and other plant fertilizers such as egg shells, aquarium water and coffee grounds

This DIY Miracle Grow fertilizer is a more organic way to feed your plants. The homemade plant food recipe is easy to make and works really well!

Many people who garden do not like to use commercial products to fertilize their plants. They prefer more natural ingredients. Green is in when it comes to gardening

Making your own plant fertilizer is a small step that we can take to protect the environment at home.

If this is you…you are in luck.  Here is a recipe to make your own Miracle Grow style plant food as well as a four other homemade plant fertilizers.

Normal retail plant fertilizers often contain chemicals that are not environmentally friendly. Some can even harm your plants! 

Commercial fertilizers are also quite expensive.  Many gardeners like to make their own home made versions of these plants with items found around the home.Strawberry plant

Organic farmers have long used manure to fertilize their gardens, and many home gardeners use compost as a form of enriching the soil to add nutrients. Many plants need additional fertilizing and that is where these home made recipes will help.

What is homemade Miracle Grow?

Traditional Miracle-Gro plant food us a synthetic garden fertilizer that contains ammonium phosphate and several other chemicals.

The retail product is safe for outdoor plants, vegetables, shrubs and houseplants and the manufacturer says that it is guaranteed not to burn plants when it is used as directed.

However, many organic gardeners don’t like to use products with chemicals in them and try to make use of other more natural forms of fertilizer, such as having compost piles, or making their own products to use.

The recipe that I have included below for home made Miracle Grow is made from water, epsom salts, baking soda and a very small amount of household ammonia. It is thought to be a more natural way to fertilize plants.

I also included baking soda in my list of ways for removing cooking oil stains from clothing. Be sure to check it out!

Can you fertilize your plants too much?

While fertilizing plants, either with one of these home made solutions or your favorite retail product, is a good idea, sometimes, it can be a case of too much of a good thing.fertilizing plants near a tree

Fertilizers are specifically formulated to give the right concentration of chemicals to add nutrients to your soil.  Adding extra “just for good measure” can have all sorts of unexpected consequences.

Plants that have been given too much fertilizer can be damaged in many ways. Here are some common problems with over-fertilizing plants.

Root and leaf burn

The roots of plants can suffer damage if fertilizer is used too often. Some lower quality fertilizers contain Urea, which is a source of nitrogen. Many plants are sensitive to this ingredient.

Over-fertilizing can also lead to a build up of soluble salts in the soil.  This can burn the roots of plants, as well as their leaves.

Too many soluble salts will cause leaves to wilt and turn yellow and the margins and tips to turn brown.  The plant may then slow down growth or, in some cases, show no growth at all!over fertilized plant

Plants that are suffering from root burn will be stunted in grown and will sometimes stop flowering.

If the condition is serious enough, the roots might shrivel and become incapable of delivering moisture to the plants and they can die.

Pests and Diseases

It may seem counter intuitive, but too much fertilizer can result in SO much lush growth that the foliage will attract pests such as aphids which will feed on the plants.

Alternatively, over-fertilizing usually contributes to an overall decrease in the plant health.  This, in turn, attracts pests and diseases which cause further damage.

How to recognize a plant that has had too much fertilizer

For lightly damaged plants, they will wilt and look generally unwell. Often the lower leaves will look yellow and dry.Damaged leaf with brown edges

Another sign of too much fertilizer is yellow leaf margins and edges, or dark roots or root rot.

For more serious fertilizer burn, you might see a white, salty crust on the surface of the soil. If you see this, flood the plant with water to try and flush out some of the excess salts. This will remove the excess fertilizer from the top layers of the soil.

The Gardening Cook is a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Program. This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link. 

Five Different Home made Plant Fertilizers

Would you like to save a little money and make use of household items to make some plant fertilizers? Why not try one of these combinations?egg shells, coffee grounds and aquarium water make good natural plant fertilizers

Make your own home made Miracle Grow

You can easily make a home made Miracle Grow fertilizer your plants using products found in the home!

DIY Home made Miracle-gro

To make this home made fertilizer combine these together: (this will be a concentrate that you will mix with water before using)

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

Mix all the ingredients together and use once a month on your plants by mixing 1/8 -1/4 cup of the concentrate with 4 cups of water in a watering can.

For more ways to use baking soda in the garden, check out this post.

Home made Miracle Grow is not the only fertilizer that you can make.  There are versions of liquid fertilizers, fish emulsion recipes and other ideas, too.

Combine kitchen scraps and coffee grounds to make  your own compost tea to fertilize plants. It's super easy to do! I ♥ #homemademiraclegrow.🌻 Click To Tweet

Compost Tea Fertilizer

I love making use of items that would normally be thrown away. For this fertilizer, we’ll be using two common kitchen scraps that are great for adding nutrients to plants.You can make compost tea with ground egg shells and coffee grounds mixed with water. It makes a great home made plant food.

Get a clean glass jar.  Add water to the jar. (Rain water is best, but un-chlorinated water works too.) Keep it on your counter. 

Whenever you use eggs, crunch up the shells and put them into the jar.   The same goes for used coffee grounds. (Tea bags also work.) 

Once you have quite a bit of this mix, add more water, shake and let it sit for a while.

The mixture will need to sit for several days 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 or some cheesecloth into another bottle.  

That is all there is to making compost tea.  Just the a few tablespoons of the strained fertilizer to your watering can and water your plants normally.

Weed compost tea

Composting is great for making humus to add to your soil, but there is a version of it that is also makes a great fertilizer by using weeds and rain water.You can make your own home made plant food by making compost tea with weeds and rain water

This fertilizer is similar to the coffee/tea version above but you use weeds from your garden.  Don’t use any weeds that have been treated with herbicides. 

Place the weeds in a jar with rain water. Cover and place the jar in the sun. The mixture will smell really foul, but in a week you will have your “weed compost tea.” 

This mixture is by far more effective than Miracle Grow and will last the entire season in the ground for outdoor plants.

Epsom salt fertilizer

Epsom salt is made with the minerals magnesium and sulfate. It is normally used as an exfoliant and anti-inflammation remedy for dry skinepsom salt and water makes a great homemade plant foodfor tomatoes, roses and house plants

This produce also makes a great DIY fertilizer for your indoor plants, peppers, roses, potatoes, and tomatoes.  The reason for this because Epsom salt contains the two important minerals needed by these plants.

Epsom salt can help to improve flowering and it also enhances a plant’s green color. Some plants will even get more bushy when watered with epsom salts as a fertilizer.

To make Epsom salt fertilizer, just mix 2 tablespoon of Epsom salt to a gallon of water.

Combine it well and mist your plants with the solution once a month when you water them. If you spray more often, just weaken the solution to 1 tablespoon of the salt to a gallon of water.

Fish tank water fertilizer

Put the water in your aquarium to good use by watering your plants with it!

Aquarium water makes a great fish emulsion plant fertilizer.

Fish tank water has similar effects to those that fish emulsion fertilizer does. A bonus is that it doesn’t require any labor at all. 

Just save all the dirty fish tank water and use it for watering your plants. Fish water contains nitrogen and other important nutrients that the plants need.

Pin this Home made Miracle Grow post for later

Would you like to be reminded of these natural plant fertilizers? Just pin this image to one of your Pinterest gardening boards so that you can easily find it later when you need it.5 homemade plant fertilizers including home made Miracle Grow.

Other Examples of Natural Fertilizers

If you like the idea of using natural fertilizers, here are some other options that you can use to make your garden grow better.Natural fertilizers such as mulch, compost, bone meal and manure make your soil more fertile


Grass clippings, leaves that have been collected and then shredded and old pieces of hay are examples of natural materials that break down and improve your soil, making it more fertile. ‘

If you add mulch yearly (particularly if you combine it with compost) it will improve your soil’s ability to absorb nitrogen and other nutrients.

Mulching also helps with moisture control and helps to prevent weeds.


Most organic gardeners are aware of the benefits of adding compost to gardens. Some even swear by adding some to every hole dug for planting.

Compost is made from a composition of brown and green (dried and moist) organic matter that combines and breaks down to make humus – a nutrient rich form of organic matter.

Compost is free (if you have your own compost pile). It provides the soil with a wonderful, well balanced mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which all plants need for healthy growth.

5 home made plant fertilizers

Bone Meal

Bone meal is a mixture of finely ground animal bones and other waste products from slaughter houses.

It is used as an organic fertilizer for plants, as well as a nutritional supplement for animals. Bone meal is a slow release fertilizer that provides a good source of phosphorus and protein.


Manure comes from livestock animals such as chickens, horses, cattle and sheep. It adds essential nutrients to the soil and improves the quality of the soil as well.

Gardens that are amended with manure are able to retain water efficiently.  One does need to be careful using manure, since it can cause food-borne illness, so use it well in advance of harvesting a vegetable garden. (at least 60 days.)
Did you know that you can make your own home made Miracle Grow as well as several other plant fertilizers? It's easy and more organic, too. #plants #DIYMiracleGrow

Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in April of 2014.  I have updated the original post to add four new home made plant fertilizers, a video, a printable project card for home made Miracle Grow, new photos and more information on natural plant fertilizers.
DIY Home made Miracle Grow Fertilizer

Yield: Approximately 1 gallon of the concentrate

Make your own Home Made Miracle Grow

DIY Miracle-gro

Instead of using products with harsh chemicals, make your own plant fertilizer. It is easy to make with just four ingredients!

Active Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty easy


  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of epsom salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Household ammonia


  • Gallon sized jug with seal


  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large container.
  2. Mix well and keep in an air tight bottle.
  3. Use the fertilizer once a month to fertilizer your plants.
  4. When fertilizing, mix 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the concentrated solution with 4 cups of water.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  149 comments for “Home Made Miracle Grow – Make your Own Homemade Plant Fertilizer

  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. You mix 1/8 -1/4 of the concentrate with 4 cups of water in a watering can and water your plants that way.

      • Tammy
        06/04/2017 at 1:42 pm

        She did not finish her recipe on this after she said water all your plants she forgot to put by mixing 1/8 two 1/4 of the concentrate with 4 cups of water in a watering can so what she gave you is the concentrate formula and forgot to put that you have to add that with 4 cups of water so please pass this on

      • K. N.
        03/18/2018 at 11:59 pm

        Since the concentrate is approx one gallon, mix 2-4 cups (1/8 to 1/4 gallon) into 4 cups water in watering can? Thank you

      • Geraldine Wesely
        05/16/2020 at 6:20 pm

        What if you don’t have ammonia? Would you have ideas on how to get rid of Burrs? How to start your compost outside? How to land scape back yard from all the burrs and mud due to water leaks?

        • Carol Speake
          05/16/2020 at 6:32 pm

          I don’t know what to suggest instead of ammonia. This is the formula I use. Burrs don’t like competition, so the healthier your lawn is, the less you will have of them. They also don’t like to be watered much. I have heard that orange oil as an organic treatment for burrs is recommended but I have not tried it.

        • Emily Summer
          07/13/2020 at 7:39 pm

          Go to the grocery or drug store and buy some. It is very cheap.

    • 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. 🙂

      • 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.

          • Cityfarmer
            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

          • Dede
            05/09/2017 at 11:04 pm

            I didnt hear anyone call city ppl ignorant. I live in Chesapeake, Va. Grow everything organic. Use home remedies like Epsom salt, cayenne pepper,mild soap ext. Relax & dont be so mean spirited.

          • Dede
            05/09/2017 at 11:15 pm

            Peg, try 1gallon of apple cider vinegar, 1lb. of salt & 1 bottle of Dawn. You will never use Roundup again. I have 4 dogs live in the city & dont want harmful chemicals. This recipe will kill weeds in ab 4hrs. ?

          • Freda Cotten
            05/22/2017 at 7:06 pm

            I agree, i’m be able to learn from you alsonot from the city ,actually i’m a farmers daughter, but i like to learn other forms of gardening,we should’nt treat other people that way.Peg it looks like i might

          • Debbie
            05/28/2018 at 7:37 pm

            I lived in small towns & in the country for most of my life. But I don’t know any more about gardening then your average city slicker. There are people in the city that don’t even know what creatures house the meat they eat. Most don’t try growing a garden because they generally don’t have room. So I actually don’t think she meant any harm. Take it with a grain of salt. You know more than most. I would be proud too if I were you.

          • Kat
            06/13/2018 at 9:48 am

            I thing what the people Nancy was talking about were ‘City People’ to me that is the worst insult you can say to someone. I do not mean urban dwellers, which is what Peg is. (Although her attitude about country people makes me wonder, I think she’s just jealous) ‘City People move to a rural area and want to change it to the city( they’re the ones who complain about a rooster crowing)

          • Scott
            07/14/2018 at 4:46 pm

            Why can’t you get a picture of a bunch of farmers because they’re all standing in a line

          • Kristin
            06/24/2020 at 6:24 pm

            Calm down it isn’t all that for u 2 b so angry. All kinds of people from the city and country can know how to grow stuff. We don’t have to fight over stupid things.

        • 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)

          • america walton
            06/04/2019 at 12:17 pm

            too funny Luann

          • Shirley
            07/29/2020 at 7:24 pm

            So if I use
            Miracle Grow plant food I don’t need to give my plants fertilizer?

        • 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?

          • Pat
            05/22/2017 at 8:53 pm

            I agree. I have lived in the country and the suburbs. Nice people both places.

          • Nita
            06/09/2017 at 8:44 am

            Yes I do. Very uncalled for.
            I come to learn.take what I need an leave the not for me.

        • 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…)

          • Dede
            06/02/2017 at 1:59 am

            I try to be because thats what we’re supposed to do.We learn a lot listening and not always being mean spirited I LIVE IN THE CITY!!!

        • Suzanne Davis
          05/28/2017 at 12:27 pm

          That’s a bit harsh, rude even.

        • Linda G.
          07/31/2018 at 4:48 am

          Gonna try this recipe starting today, the original posted, water, Epsom salt, baking soda, ammonia, dilute 1/8 to 1/4 mixture with 4 cups water in watering can. Looking forward to seeing the results!
          Read all the info, glad I made it through the City/Country debate. 😜

          • Carol
            07/31/2018 at 12:13 pm

            I’m also pleased that debate is dying down! Carol

        • rehana
          04/28/2020 at 2:12 am

          Nancy, that time is here and we see it. Foods are destroyed and never make it to the stores.
          I hope you’re a prepper like my family. We are ok and hope everyone else is too

    • 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

      • freda
        05/22/2017 at 7:14 pm

        thanks Carmen i have got to try this

      • Tammy
        06/28/2019 at 5:40 pm

        Thanks for info!

    • Dallas Erickson
      05/25/2017 at 12:57 pm

      Just use diluted pee.

    • Dwayne
      08/19/2017 at 7:42 pm

      Ammonia solution – ammonium hydroxide.

    • Gardener
      05/05/2019 at 2:23 pm

      The recipe calls for HOUSEHOLD ammonia which is NOT a gas, but a liquid.

    • Jennifer
      10/21/2019 at 12:04 am

      Household ammonia is a liquid in a bottle used for household cleaning.

    • Denise
      04/20/2020 at 10:09 am

      Ammonia is a liquid cleaning product you can buy in any store that sells cleaning products, gardening supplies too.
      I does give off fumes which is a vapor, and smells strong. But a small amount to a gallon of water helps your veggies grow.

    • Eileen estveer
      04/22/2020 at 7:39 pm

      You can buy household ammonia for cleaning. It comes as a liquid. I have experienced that it also takes the stinging pain away from bee and wasp stings.

  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 ?

    • the painter
      06/05/2018 at 9:17 am

      i think pee would work. i could adjust my diet to the needs of my soil. im actually being serious, steven has a good point but how would u harness cat pee?

      • Galina
        06/13/2019 at 2:55 am

        ummm just a thought about the cat pee, I know human urine is supposed to be “clean”, but if you look online you will see that pregnant women are not suppose to come in contact with cat eliminations and I wouldn’t put animal urine on or around my plants for fear of food contamination. Why not just make this without the ammonia if you don’t have or don’t like that product?

  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! 🙂

    • 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

        🙂 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 ½ 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

    • Galina
      06/13/2019 at 2:59 am

      its actually a really good fertilizer, as is turtle poo but the poo has to be “cured” i.e., dried for a period of two years because it will burn up anything you put it around otherwise.

  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. Carol
    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.

    • Angie
      06/24/2018 at 2:00 am

      Trace minerals can be toxic to plants if too much is added over time. For watering my plants, I take the water from my planted aquariums that already have the optimum amount of NPK, micro and macro nutrients as is displayed from the healthy, thriving plants growing in the aquarium, and water my garden plants with the weekly water change water. I stick a “Python” siphon into the tank and drain the water straight into both my potted house plants and outside plants. Once every few months, I remove the mulm from my filters and pour it onto all the plants as well. I never have to worry about dosing the non-aquartic plants as I focus on the dosing of the aquarium instead. As long as my aquarium plants are gorgeous and growing, I know the non-aquatic plants will be happy as well.

      I also keep shrimp in the aquariums as shrimp are much more delicate than fish. They also keep the aquarium clean and algae free. Any toxins or extreme ph imbalance will kill the shrimp. If the shrimp are happy and prolifically breeding, I know that the water I am applying to my vegetables will not be toxic to the plants or any humans consuming them when harvested. Of course, this method only works if one loves plants so much that one wants them growing in an aquarium.

      Before my Dad passed away, I would haul five gallon containers of the tank water and mulm to him. Be warned that relatives tend to want the tank water from you after they see the difference in your plants to theirs. You might want to keep it a secret if you go the planted aquarium route.

  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.

    • Pip Morrison
      08/27/2020 at 10:49 pm

      My chickens are definitely not vegetarian. They love meat, fish and even chicken.

  24. edward lynch
    05/07/2017 at 8:22 pm

    love this article…thanks!…I like the “weed compost tea”…I used stinging nettles…and it was fantastic!…(just make sure to wear gloves..or OUCH will happen)…

    • Carol
      05/07/2017 at 10:05 pm

      Ouch is right! Carol

  25. Barb Becker
    05/23/2017 at 11:29 am

    Can I use lemon ammonia instead of clear ammonia?

    • Carol
      05/23/2017 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Barb. I have never tried it so I don’t know how it would work. Carol

  26. Mary
    05/24/2017 at 12:33 pm

    FYI Household Ammonia was as common as dish soap in the cleaning supplies of most homes before 1970. It’s not used so much anymore, but was used for many things. You will likely have plenty of this liquid left over for years to come according to this recipe. Just a word of caution. AVOID mixing it with chlorine bleach. You will definitely get deadly vapors!

  27. Lesa
    08/18/2017 at 4:37 pm

    Love it! I have used it this whole season and very pleased with the results!!!!! TY so much for sharing such a wonderful, cheap, healthy alternative food for my veggie garden plants, flowers and house plants…they are thriving!!! 🙂

    • Carol
      08/19/2017 at 9:05 pm

      Hi Lisa. Glad it worked well for you! Carol

  28. Kenneth Luck
    02/21/2018 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Carol,

    Lest we forget vinegar is an acid . Water H2 O2 Two parts Hydrogen to two parts Oxygen. Hydrogen is gas not vinegar and water supplies air which is a gas as well. Glad you are sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. You do not have to be an expert here. Like your attitude. Being gracious never goes out of style.

    • Carol
      02/21/2018 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks for the info and the kind words! Carol

  29. Pat
    02/23/2018 at 9:33 am

    Hi Carol,
    Ok, so I have the gallon of diy Miracle grow made. Now what, do I add water to this when applying or not, if so how much? Can I put it in a miracle grow sprayer and hook it to the hose and spray the plants? I have a lot of plants to be doing each plant individually. Thanks for information in advance.

    • Carol
      02/23/2018 at 11:11 am

      Hi Pat. Mix mixing a 1/8 -1/4 of the concentrate with 4 cups of water in a watering can and water as normal. I have not tried hooking it up to a sprayer and the hose to spray plants so I am not sure how it would work. Carol

  30. Butterfly
    04/29/2018 at 7:52 am

    Hello all.
    I didn’t read every post…I just didn’t want to continue thinking it just might get out of hand. Not sure if anyone mentioned this or not…I have used just plain BOILING WATER to help kill off unwanted items in the gardening world. I realize it is not the easiest thing to do, but it works!!

  31. Maris
    05/22/2018 at 9:58 am

    I am no expert in gardening, sharing your knowledge and experienced of the people involved in the conversation mean a lot to me. I realized I need to research and learn more. I bookmark your website so I can learn more and discover something useful to my small garden. I love you people. Happy gardening to all. Thank you in sharing.

  32. Janice
    06/06/2018 at 8:08 pm

    I have several large self-watering containers. They each hold 25 gallons of soil and each has a reservoir that holds about 3 gallons of water. What if I poured 1/4 of the ammonia/epsom/baking soda concentrate down the fill pipe into the reservoir?

    • Carol
      06/07/2018 at 10:16 am

      Hi Janice, Since I haven’t tried this method, I would not want to say that it would work well. Carol

  33. Marilyn
    07/14/2018 at 2:17 pm

    OMG I found a similar recipe a year ago and have been using it on houseplants, full strength, no wonder I am always buying larger pots. I will stop that immediately. I am thankful I have not killed them. Thank you Carol for the clarification!

    • Carol
      07/14/2018 at 3:24 pm

      LOL…You have been lucky! Carol

  34. 08/11/2018 at 9:34 pm

    Great write-up! I just posted this on Facebook and my followers really enjoyed it. I browse your site fairly often but I’ve never thought to comment. Anyway, keep up the good work. I really enjoy your posts.

    • Carol
      08/11/2018 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks Helen. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing! Carol

  35. Marietta Chaky
    04/14/2019 at 10:50 am

    Hello Carol,

    Thank you so much for offering all this valuable information. My grandfather loved gardening and luckily I am blessed with that gene. Camellias, roses, and hydrangea are my passion and have been having a little trouble keeping them healthy. Florida is not only hospitable to plants,but also a haven for every herbivore insect on the plant! Your tips on DIY fertilizers answers so many questions. A healthy plant is definitely a more resistant one. Thanks again.

    • Carol
      04/16/2019 at 9:41 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post Marietta.

  36. rick
    04/29/2019 at 2:40 pm

    HEY CAROL : just read your Q&A from top to bottom. A these people know is how to bash others and NOT how to apply the information to their garden. County bumpkins don’t know this and city slickers don’t know that. It’s what works in your area. I’ve lived in ma. me. nc. mi. wa. and az. Your information works. depending where you live. I use compost exclusively and dribble a small hand full of coffee grounds once or twice a month, (not instant or decalfe or flavored). It is the end of April and my tomatoes are above the roof eaves. with huge fruit and more than I can use, I have four Plants. And I zuccinni, carrots, peppers and varies herbs. Yes I live in az.By the way, I saw a truck tail gate the other day that applies to a lot of people – :You can’t fix STUPID”

    • Jason Jason
      11/30/2019 at 10:19 am

      I used the ammonia, epsom, recipe above this year for the first time, rotating with molasses water. Great tomato yield, last summer was a bad growing weather year. Im sold.
      Started using willow water as well.
      City / Country – if you have a spot of dirt and youre growing veggies, we can all learn from each other. Test your soil and make ammendments, eat good healthy veggies.

  37. Regina carroll
    12/24/2019 at 3:14 pm

    Do i use the tea first?

    • Carol Speake
      12/30/2019 at 1:39 pm

      Yes, the tea bags are used first and then used in the fertilizer mixture.

  38. Randy
    12/25/2019 at 9:46 am

    OK, slightly confused. You wrote “mixing a 1/8 -1/4 of the concentrate”. Do you mean 1/8 to 1/4 of the gallon of the concentrate? Or is there a measurement like teaspoon or tablespoon missing there? Thank you.

    • Carol Speake
      12/30/2019 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Randy. There was an extra “a” in my text. It should read “mixing a 1/8 -1/4 of the concentrate” The concentrate is 1 gallon of water, 1 tbsp epsom salt,1 tsp baking soda,1/2 tsp of Household ammonia. Adding the extra water, just dilutes the concentrate when you are watering the plants.

  39. Charley R
    03/06/2020 at 9:04 am

    Has anyone tried this recipe for a hydroponic system and has it worked? This would be a better alternative to the cost of hydroponic chemicals.
    First time user of hydroponic growing and novice to gardening. Willing to learn but confused as to what to do along with limited funds.

    Thank you,
    Charley R

  40. Jon
    04/05/2020 at 3:55 pm

    How about dissolving a calcium supplement tablet in there? My tomatoes definitely need the extra calcium. And how about a multivitamin for some more trace minerals?

    • Carol Speake
      04/06/2020 at 3:10 pm

      I have not tried this, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness of doing so.

    • RevDrHR Lombardi
      08/06/2020 at 3:37 pm

      Mix these to make 1 gallon of fertilizer (scale up to make more [e.g., 4 tablespoons magnesium sulfate, 8 tablespoons calcium nitrate]; however, make ONLY what you will use immediately to prevent the mixture from reacting and forming a hard, non-soluble precipitate):
      2 Tablespoons per gallon of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt)
      4 Tablespoons per gallon of Calcium Nitrate

      Note: when you’re buying magnesium sulfate, I recommend purchasing agricultural/greenhouse grade; if you prefer to purchase “Epsom salt,” be sure to check the ingredients list to ensure that it does not have any scent, dye, or perfume added.

      First, dissolve calcium nitrate in 1 quart of warm to hot water (NOTE: must be dissolved separate from the magnesium sulfate).
      Second, dissolve magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) in 1 quart of warm to hot water (AGAIN, dissolve separate from the calcium nitrate).
      SUGGESTION: I dissolve the magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) in 1 quart of warm/hot water in a gallon container to be used for the final mixture.
      NOTE: ensure that all the solids have dissolved.
      Third, add an additional 1 1/2 quarts of room temperature (or outside temperature) water to the gallon container and again ensure that the magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is completely dissolved.
      Fourth, SLOWLY pour the 1 quart of dissolved calcium nitrate into the gallon container (stop 2 or 3 times, put the cap on the gallon container, and shake to facilitate complete blending of the mixture).
      Fifth, add enough additional water to fill the gallon container.
      Sixth, pour the mixture onto the soil around the tree: some near the base and the remainder at the perimeter of the spread of the branches.

      REMINDER: you can add Miracle-Gro or Miracid to this mixture. If you do, add it to the completed mixture after ensuring that all the solids are dissolved AND ensure that the Miracle-Gro or Miracid also is completely dissolved.

      SUGGESTION: as indicated above, use warm to hot water to help ensure that each chemical dissolves. If a tiny amount of the solids does not dissolve OR if some solid precipitates out of the mixture, you can strain the mixture using panty hose or knee-high stockings. Discard the solids and use the clear mixture.

  41. Carolyn
    04/21/2020 at 1:57 am

    I use aquarium salt (sea salt) in my aquarium. One tsp per gal of water. Won’t that kill the plants over time? Someone thought I was talking about ammonia. Why?

    • Carol Speake
      04/21/2020 at 2:12 pm

      I would expect that if the plants in the aquarium live, then the water that is in the aquarium would be okay for other plants. Aquarium water is often used as a fertilizer.

  42. N. Weisdorff
    09/11/2020 at 11:13 am

    I’m not a gardener. Is the easy recipe for homemade Miracle Grow good for use on outdoor trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers, or just indoor plants? Thank you.

    • Carol Speake
      09/11/2020 at 11:40 am

      You can use it on either.

      • N. Weisdorff
        09/12/2020 at 2:55 pm

        Thank you! Much appreciated.

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