A New Newbie Starting Over

Growing for 10+ years, Indoors, using potting mix. Always had big beautiful plants. Then about 2 years ago something went wrong. Plants dying, stunted growth, all sorts of bad thing began happening to my plants. It seemed like every week was a new problem.

I blamed myself. To much nutrients? Not enough? Over watering, under watering? Lights? Air? Temp, ph?

I blamed the seeds, the genetics, the tap water. Read books and forums for troubleshooting. All the while things kept getting worse.

And before you say it, yes I keep everything clean.

For my potting mix I would normally go with 1/3 coco coir, 1/3 FoxFarm, and yes I admit it-- 1/3 Miracle Grow.

Finally one day I decided to google, “Why are my plants dying?” I got the ads for potting soil from Lowes to Walmart. I scrolled down and found Miracle Grow reviews. These were just miracle grow reviews posted on Google but almost all started with, “I’ve used miracle grow for years but a couple years ago…” The 2 main complaints were fungus gnats and root rot. Page after page of people saying the same thing.

I go get some grow bags form plants I had already harvested but hadn’t emptied out yet, I dump them out, and sure enough, no roots!

Usually the used pots are busting with roots. Not any more. The only roots I could find were brown and slimy. All along miracle grow had been killing my roots and it took me 2 years to find out.

I bought cheap potting soil and replanted all the younger plants and the older ones I flushed with neem oil. It didn’t take long for everything to start growing again. Stunted but growing.

Now I got coco coir and perlite and made my own soilless mix and I’m using FoxFarm nutrients.

I have just now gotten some new plants started and so far they look good. But this is totally starting over for me. I’m just following directions and hoping for the best.

Now I’m a new newbie.


I’ll be following along to see how your grow pans out for you. It sounds like you’re running a similar medium as myself. Best of luck to you and your plants.


I used to have a place near me that sold FoxFarm potting mix but they went out of business. Now the nearest place is 50 miles away. And it’s to expensive to have shipped. So I’m going with this semi hydroponic set up.

I got the FoxFarm trio pack for hydro but I’ve been using it at half strength because I’m still gun shy from over fertilizing multiple plants over the years.

I pour the nutrients on until it drains out the bottom and I’m following the FoxFarm schedule.

But is the coco coir supposed to be this damp all the time?

Should I bump up the nutrients?

Why are my leaves on top just a little bit yellow?

Definitely not if you are following the FF schedule. Many growers only apply 1/2 to 3/4 of what the schedule says. That is what I do.

A picture would be helpful.

New growth hasn’t matured chlorophyll yet and therefore will be a lighter green to yellowish color. Green will fill in as the plant matures. There’s nothing to worry about.


I’ll post some pictures tomorrow. They’re only about 4 weeks old but except for a little yellow at the top they look good. They have a few sets of leaves and I just moved them to the coco coir Sunday.

I’ve read where a lot of growers only use 1/2 to a 1/3.

The yellowing is definitely not spreading.

I’m also using a 600w sodium light. And they’re on 12 hours now.

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Good luck with your new grow

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RBucey, first of all I can tell you where it went wrong! Mf miracle grow garbage! It’s killed a lot of grows mostly my uncles. They burnt up, burnt roots, colored roots, list goes on! Get rid of it! I’ve lost more to that cheap stuff. My uncle was the same way. Hope this helps you, it’s not the light, it could be watering, more/less

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I’ve already read 100s of horror stories on the BBB and Consumer Affairs since I found out it was the miracle grow. There are people who have lost entire vegetable gardens. I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but Bayer bought Scott’s in 2018.

Picture time! Warning, not for the faint of heart.

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The is an ILGM auto nl. This poor thing was so dead before I transplanted it. She was yellow, curled leaves, and no buds. After a put it in cheap potting mix it turned green and started flowering.

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She now has new growth on all her stems and started budding.

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This is a skittles I should have thrown out but I didn’t have the heart. I transplanted her in to the coco coir to see what happens.

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This is a skittles too. The worst of the worst. I put it in coco coir too and now it’s turning green. Not expecting much out of it.


These are my new plants that started a few weeks ago. Critical. I have high hope’s for them.

I took them out in the sun to get pictures and I can see the yellow on the tops is clearing up.

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And this is all the miracle grow I’ve dumped out. Notice that weeds won’t even grow in it.