Does Plant Food Expire?

Plant food is one of the best products you can give to your plants. It provides key sugars and nutrients, helping, flowers and more grow big and strong. But if you want to get the best results with plant food, you need to store and use it correctly.

Plant food is one of the best products you can give to your plants. It provides nutrients that the plant uses with water and sunlight to create key sugars they need to grow and thrive. Plant food helps flowers, vegetables, herbs and shrubs grow healthy and strong. It's also great for helping your plants better withstand stresses like pests, and drought. But if you want to get the best results with plant food, you need to store and use it correctly.

With good storage, plant food can last a long time, but does plant food expire eventually? Will it go bad? And what are the best methods for how to store plant food? If you're not sure about expiry dates and shelf-life durations for plant food, read on for all you need to know.

What Is Plant Food Shelf Life?

Plant food like Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food should not expire if stored properly and kept in a dry and cool space where the particles won't get wet. However, some plant foods, especially organic ones, contain microbes which can eventually expire. These plant foods typically have an expiration date on the packaging that should be adhered to.

What Impacts Plant Food Longevity?

The main factor that will impact the longevity of your plant food is its storage. If plant food is exposed to harsh conditions and changing temperatures, or other exterior factors - like moisture, it may break down sooner. It is very important that your plant food is not exposed to water or high humidity. If your plant food is a liquid, do not allow it to freeze. This can lead to the plant food changing in consistency and eventually becoming unusable earlier on.

Additionally, the presence of microbes can also impact longevity. Some plant foods come equipped with microbes as part of the formula, and they won't last forever. If you see an expiry date on a packet of plant food, it's likely that microbes are present.

Signs of Expired Plant Food

Even when it's very old, plant food may look and smell like a new product. However, there are some telltale signs to watch out for if you're wondering about "Does plant food go bad and how to tell?" Here are some of the main red flags to keep an eye out for:

  • Strange Smell - If your plant food has a strange or unusual smell, there's a chance that it has gone bad. Carry out a quick smell test before using any old plant food and avoid using it if it doesn't seem right.
  • Signs of Mold Growth - If a bottle of plant food is left open or stored incorrectly, microbes and mold can start to grow inside. So, do a quick visual inspection of the bottle and look for any black mold patches or other unusual signs of growth.
  • Bulging Bottle - In some cases, plant food that has gone bad may also have a bulging bottle. The bottle may seem to be inflated in certain areas, looking like it's about to burst. Most bloated packaging is caused when microorganisms found in perishable items produce gas, such as carbon dioxide, which is a sign of spoilage.
  • Inconsistent Texture - A liquid plant food should have a consistent liquid texture. If a liquid plant food feels grainy, clumpy, or has any other kind of unusual texture or form, it's likely gone bad.

To properly dispose of expired plant food, please read your product label for specific instructions.

Proper Storage Techniques for Plant Food

So, when it comes to the question of does plant food expire, the answer is no, as long as it is stored properly. Here are ways to keep your Miracle-Gro plant food safe and usable.

How to Store Liquid Miracle-Gro Plant Food

Liquid plant food like Miracle-Gro® LiquaFeed All Purpose Plant Food should always be stored in a cool and dry place. It shouldn't be left open, nor should it be exposed to the air. Ideally, it should also be kept safe from any extreme temperatures, like high heats or freezing conditions. It's also best to keep it away from direct sunlight, and out of reach from children or pets.

How to Store Water Soluble and Granular Miracle-Gro Plant Food

Water soluble and granular products like Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food and Miracle-Gro® Shake 'N Feed All Purpose Plant Food are also best to store in a cool and dry place. If exposed to the air and moisture, the granules will absorb that moisture and harden. After opening a granular plant food, seal the bag or jug shut after use and place it in a sealed large container, like a big bucket or other container with a tight lid.

Is Old Plant Food Harmful to Plants?

Miracle-Gro plant food isn't technically harmful to plants even after it has expired or gone past its shelf life. It still has nutrients and doesn't contain toxins that could harm your plants. This applies to all types of plant foods including liquids, granules, and water solubles.

However, it's still not a good idea to use old plant food, as the changes in texture and consistency can make it hard to work with, which could lead to incorrect dosing and changes to the nutrient content. Changes in the nutrient content could result in damages to the plant as it's  important to get the dosage right when using plant food.

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