Soil generally provides most of what plants need to grow and thrive. In some cases, however, environmental factors or poor management practices cause imbalances of certain nutrients while other factors determine how available they are to plants. Organic amendments such as compost and aged animal manure, which break down slowly over time, replenish nutrient levels. An alternative is to give your vegetables and flowers a boost with a chemical fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro, which is a blend of the most important nutrients crucial to plant growth and development.

Seedlings growing in peat moss pots
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Chemical fertilizers supply their benefits more quickly than organic substances.

Chemical Fertilizer

Classified as a chemical fertilizer, Miracle-Gro contains plant nutrients obtained from rocks, petroleum products and sometimes organic substances. They are processed and refined to make them available in specific amounts in a particular blend. The fertilizer is available in a variety of forms, including powder, spray and pourable granules.

Macronutrient Content

Miracle-Gro Water-Soluble All-Purpose Plant Food supplies plants with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium -- the three most important nutrients they need -- in a ratio of 24-8-16, which means the product is 24 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphorus and 16 percent potassium. Called macronutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium help with root and foliage development as well as energy to produce flowers and fruits.

Micronutrient Content

The Miracle-Gro also provides less than 1 percent of other substances, called trace or micronutrients, including boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. All are present in the company's all-purpose plant food formula as powdered substances labelled as water-soluble; water distributes them evenly throughout soil.