“There are a lot of Scotts people wearing Hawthorne shirts these days,” said CEO Jim Hagedorn, on a call with investors this week. That’s why, said Hagedorn, the company’s bottom line was hit hard by a slowdown in the California cannabis business, where sales were lower than expected following the state’s rocky first year of legal adult use.
Since 2016, annual sales growth at subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening—which owns dozens of brands selling lights, filtration systems, premium soil, containers, air filters, and more specialized supplies for hydroponic operations—has outpaced the group’s general lawn and garden business. For the fourth quarter, the parent company reported overall sales of $298 million, up 35% from the same quarter a year before. The Hawthorne unit was up a whopping 84% over that period, largely thanks to its acquisition of Sunlight Supply, yet another name in hydroponics that represented a near-literal doubling down in the weed business for Scotts Miracle-Gro.
When one analyst implied that Scotts’ general consumer business hadn’t served large-scale professional landscapers as well as it had individual consumers in the past, Hagedorn (who is notably sharp-tongued) bristled.
What’s worse than the standard Miracle-Gro nutrients is the original Miracle-Gro soil. Standard Miracle-Gro soil has “time-released” nutrients which contain high levels of nitrogen. While this formula will work okay in the cannabis vegetative stage (the first stage of life), the nutrients will continue to be slowly released throughout the plant’s life including during the cannabis flowering stage, which is not good.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Miracle-Gro nutrients, and if you’re willing to learn about nutrients, you can use the various different formulas and get a cannabis plant to grow. For example if you’re using regular soil, you could use the standard Miracle-Gro formula for vegetative, and their “bloom” version for the cannabis flowering stage.
Do not use “Miracle-Gro” soil or any soil that has “extended release” nutrients for growing cannabis. These types of soil will continue to release nitrogen to your plant roots for up to 6 months. This can cause deficiencies or burn your cannabis plants in the flowering/budding stage, reducing your overall yields. I have seen growers successively grow cannabis in Miracle Gro, but many of them struggled with nutrient problems in the flowering stage (like the following) even though plants were healthy throughout the vegetative stage.
Important: Do not use “Miracle Gro” soil or any soil that has “extended release” nutrients. These types of soil will continue to release nitrogen to your plant roots for up to 6 months. This can burn your cannabis plants in the flowering/budding stage and reduce your overall yields.
Miracle-Gro Slow Release Soil is Not Suited to Growing Marijuana!
Avoid Miracle-Gro Soil for Growing Weed!
The biggest problem with the standard Miracle-Gro nutrient formula is that it’s one formula for the entirety of the plant’s life cycle. Even if the standard Miracle-Gro plant food is decent for the first stage of your plant’s growth, it won’t be good for the budding/flowering phase. The ratio of nutrients your plants need changes drastically between seedling and full flower. Marijuana grows best with a nutrient system that accommodates their changing nutrient needs.