Our History

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by O.M. Scott as a premium seed company for the U.S. agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, the Company began a lawn grass seed business for homeowners. The company grew from a leading lawn care business to an international marketer of industry-leading brands with a 1995 merger with Miracle-Gro.

Select Year
  • Birth of an Industry 1868

    After discharge from the Union Army, Orlando McLean Scott embarked on a new business venture—a venture based upon his firm conviction that “farmers need and shall have clean, weed-free fields.”

  • Buggies and Seeds1879

    O.M. Scott was recognized as one of the country’s most productive distributors of horse-drawn farm equipment, and expanded his farm seed business by starting to sell by mail.

  • Grass Seed by Mail 1907

    Until the early 1900s, any seed scattered on the home lawn was usually the sweepings from the haymow, weed seeds and all. In 1907, O.M.’s elder son, Dwight, saw the role which lawns should play in the American way of life, and Scotts began offering grass seed by mail.

  • Making it Official1914

    After a few very successful years of advertising and promoting Scotts Lawn Seed for better lawns, the operation was incorporated as The O.M. Scott & Sons Company.

  • First Retail Outlet 1924

    Prior to 1924, consumers could only purchase Scotts seed through the mail. Then a shipment of Scotts products was made to the J.L. Hudson Company, a department store in Detroit. The results were very successful, and initiated a new direction for Scotts’ business.

  • Turf Builder®1928

    Scotts was first to recognize that grass has special nutritional needs that require a specifically designed fertilizer.

  • The Million Dollar Club & Scotts Spreader 1930

    During 1940, Scotts’ sales reached an all-time record high of $1,000,000, and the associate population totaled 66. Also, created a product for even, accurate application is essential for better lawn results.

  • Research Division1946

    Research had always been a part of Scotts, but it was now organized as a full-time division — the first such commercial organization devoted exclusively to turfgrass research.

  • Weed & Feed1947

    The first selective weed control and fertilizer combination was introduced in convenient, dry-applied form.

  • SCUTL1951

    The first product introduced to control crabgrass. It worked only on established crabgrass plants and repeat applications were often required.

  • Seed Plant1953

    Scotts’ seed processing facility was erected. This was the first and only automated electronic seed processing and packaging plant in the industry.

  • Box Seed Product Line1956

    Picture®, Family®, and Play® lawn seed products were introduced into the retail market.

  • New Trionized® Turf Builder®1956

    A 123,000-square-foot plant was built to house the first lightweight fertilizer designed specifically for the complex nutritional requirements of grass. This completely new fertilizer removed excess weight, smell, dirt, dust, and the danger of grass burn to revolutionize lawn feeding. This was the first controlled release of nitrogen using ureaformaldehyde technology. This product started selling in retail stores in 1957.

  • Halts®1958

    Halts was introduced as the first pre-emergent crabgrass control.

  • 1960
  • Program Selling1960

    Retailers began selling a “program” of Scotts products for lawns. The programs were guaranteed to bring satisfactory results.

  • Scotts Training Institute1962

    Special training classes were established to help Scotts retailers and their employees better assist customers in developing thick green lawns.

  • Windsor Grass1962

    This new variety of Kentucky bluegrass produced a sturdier, greener turf that loved heat and thrived with little moisture. It was the first grass variety to be granted a United States Patent.

  • Halts® Plus1964

    This was the first combination crabgrass preventer and fertilizer.

  • Turf Builder® Plus Products1964

    A complete line of Turf Builder combination products was introduced. The combined a full feeding of Turf Builder fertilizer with control of: fungus, disease (Plus 1), rosette and vining weeds (Plus 2), weed and insect control for dichondra lawns (Plus 3), and crabgrass prevention, rosette and vining weeds, and insects (Plus 4).

  • Golf Course Division1965

    This new organization was established to develop and promote an exclusive line of professional products for golf courses and other large institutional accounts.

  • Products To West Germany1965

    Scotts products were introduced into Western Europe through distributor arrangements with Wolf Gerate of West Germany.

  • Polyform Plant1967

    Scotts’ fertilizer plant facilities were expanded with the addition of a Polyform Plant, primarily for the ProTurf® product line.

  • 1970
  • ProTurf Division1970

    In response to the growth of professional markets (i.e., golf courses, sod growers, lanscapers and commercial wholesale nurseries), the ProTurf Division was formed using the Golf Course Division as its foundation.

  • Purchase by ITT1971

    The privately owned and family influenced business of O.M. Scotts & Sons was purchased by ITT, the international business conglomerate.

  • Consumer Helpline1972

    A direct customer helpline was introduced to allow lawnowners to phone Scotts for advice and assistance. Scotts’ long-standing guarantee of satisfaction was formally named the “No-Quibble” guarantee.

  • The One Hundred Million Dollar Club1974

    For the first time, Scotts went over the $100 million level in total company sales.

  • Dwight G. Scott Research Center1974

    Completed and opened in 1974, this facility covers 69,820 square feet. Included are research offices, thirteen laboratories, a library, and four greenhouses. More than 110 acres of research plots surround the buildings.

  • Lawn Pro® Products1976

    Scotts identified an elite group of quality, service-oriented retailers to sell a special line of Scotts Lawn Pro products with support of special training and sales materials.

  • Products to Canada1977

    Scotts introduced its retail product line into Canada through a distributorship arrangement with Home Hardware.

  • 1980
  • Corporate Headquarters1982

    For the first time in Scotts’ over 100 years of existence, all administrative departments were located in one facility: a new Corporate Headquarters building on Scottslawn Road in Marysville, Ohio.

  • EasyGreen® Rotary Spreader1983

    Scotts expanded its spreader business by introducing an all-new, economical rotary with the accuracy of a drop spreader.

  • 4-Step™ Annual Program1984

    Scotts successfully introduced a new Lawn Pro Annual Program in response to the competitiveness of the lawn care service industry, helping consumers better understand what to do and when to do it.

  • Leveraged Buyout1986

    Scotts once again became an independent company through a leveraged buyout from ITT.

  • Hyponex®1988

    Scotts acquired the lawn and garden business of Hyponex Corporation, the largest producer and marketer of organic growing media products in the U.S.

  • 1990
  • U.K. Subsidiary1991

    An O.M. Scott & Sons subsidiary was established in the U.K. to become part of the European marketplace.

  • Triaform® Technology1992

    Using a new molten urea reaction process (MURP), it became possible to make a feritilizer in which two of the nutrients (phosphorus and potassium) were used as a carrier for the nitrogen. As a result, products could be much lighter and less bulky.

  • Poly-S® Fertilizer Technology1992

    This proprietary polymer coating technology enabled Scotts to introduce a range of cost-effective controlled-release fertilizer products.

  • Initial Public Offering1992

    Scotts’ initial offering of common stock began trading on NASDAQ at $19.00 per share.

  • Sierra1993

    Scotts acquired the Grace-Sierra Horticultural Products Company, adding important controlled-release fertilizer technologies such as Osmocote®, along with other brands including Metro-Mix®, Banrot® and Peters®. In addition, Sierra also brought on board a well-established international organization for manufacturing, sales, and distribution. This organization began in 1964 when Archer Daniels Midland Company produced the first-ever resin-coated controlled-release fertilizer.

  • PatchMaster®1993

    This new combination of Scotts grass seed, Starter® Fertilizer and mulch made seeding bare spots easier than ever for lawnowners.

  • Miracle-Gro®1995

    Horace Hagedorn and his partner Otto Stern founded the Miracle-Gro organization in 1951 dedicated to proposition “you don’t have to be an expert to create a beautiful garden.” Scotts merged with Stern’s Miracle-Gro Products, Inc. in 1995, joining America’s leading brand name in gardening with the leading name in lawn care.

  • NYSE1995

    On December 31, shares of Scotts common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SMG.

  • Advertising1996

    Introduced an award-winning ad campaign—”Neighbor to Neighbor”—spurring sales to record levels.

  • Paper To Plastic1997

    Scotts began converting paper bag packaging to new plastic packaging. This provided more appealing packages which were also less susceptible to damage in shipping and handling.

  • Miracle Garden Care Ltd.1997

    Approximately a third of the growing U.K. lawn and garden products company was owned by Miracle-Gro at the time of the 1995 merger, and in January 1997, Scotts purchased the remaining interest in the company.

  • Warehouse Expansion1997

    Construction of a new 450,000-square-foot warehouse was begun, almost tripling the size of the available space in Marysville. This enabled Scotts to consolidate most of its Central Ohio inventories in one location.

  • Emerald Green® Lawn Service1997

    Acquiring a majority interest of emerald green Lawn Service in 1997 provided Scotts with a base for establishing the new Scotts Lawn Service in 1998.

  • Levington®1997

    Purchasing privately held Levington Horticulture Ltd. added significant exposure to the compost, lawn fertilizer, and professional horticultural product areas in the U.K.

  • EarthGro®1998

    Acquiring the organics company EarthGro, Inc., strenghtened Scotts’ service to mass merchant retailers and home centers in the important Northeast region, as well as enhanced Scotts’ ability to service independents.

  • Rhône-Poulenc Jardin1998

    Scotts acquired Rhône-Poulenc Jardin, continental Europe’s largest consumer lawn and garden products company. Rhône-Poulenc Jardin manufactures and sells a full line of consumer lawn and garden pesticides, fertilizers and growing media products in France, Germany, the Benelux countries, Austria, Italy, and Spain.

  • Turf Seed Innovation1998

    Scotts entered into a collaboration with the Monsanto Company to bring the benefits of biotechnology to the multi-billion dollar turfgrass and ornamental plants business. Under the agreement, Scotts and Monsanto agree to share technologies, including Monsanto’s extensive genetic library of plant traits and Scotts’ proprietary gene gun technology to produce improved transgenic turfgrasses and ornamental plants.

  • ASEF1998

    Scotts completed an acquisition with ASEF — a privately held Benelux-based lawn and garden products company. ASEF is a leading consumer lawn and garden products company—with operations in the Netherlands and Belgium — selling fertilizers, growing media, and pesticides.

  • Ortho®/Roundup®1999

    Entering into the pesticide industry, Scotts completed agreements with Monsanto Company for exclusive U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, and Australia agency and marketing rights to Monsanto’s consumer Roundup herbicide products and for the purchase of the Ortho and related lawn and garden businesses.

  • Growth in Marysville1999

    In addition to the relocation of the Ortho Business Group to Marysville, the company invested $26 million in System III to meet the increased demand for product.

  • 2000
  • North American Headquarters2000

    Scotts North American Headquarters building is rededicated as the Horace Hagedorn Building. The building’s new addition includes the state-of-the-art Berger Learning Center. The Miracle-Gro Business Group relocates to the expanded Marysville facility.

  • Substral®2000

    Scotts acquired Substral, the leading consumer fertilizer brand in many European countries, including Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and Nordics.

  • Smith & Hawken2004

    Scotts purchases Smith & Hawken, a leading brand of garden-inspired products that includes pottery, watering equipment, gardening tools, outdoor furniture and live goods.

  • Name Change2005

    The Company was renamed The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company to reflect the strength of its two leading brands.

  • Plant Food Innovation2006

    Launch of Miracle-Gro® LiquaFeed®, the easiest way to feed plants. The launch was the most successful in the Company’s history.

  • EZ Seed “Best Launch Ever”2010

    EZ Seed garnered an estimated $87.8M in its national launch year. It introduced patching products to current seed users – 52% had never used a grass seed patching product before!

  • Scott the Scot for Scotts2012

    Scott the Scot for Scotts campaign launches: Bringing neighborly lawn advice with his trademark line: “Feed you lawn. Feed it.”

  • Acquisition of Tomcat2013

    This no. 1 product line has major advantages to competitors on the market and is backed by 40 years of rodent research from our partners at Bell Laboratories.

  • Hawthorne Gardening Company2014

    The Hawthorne Gardening Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary, is formed to focused primarily on the emerging areas of indoor and urban gardening products.

  • Forbes Top 100 Most Reputable Companies2015

    In 2015 ScottsMiracle-Gro ranked for the first time in the top 100 on Forbes America’s Most Reputable Companies

  • Our Enduring Future2016+

    Recognized as the world’s leader in lawn and garden products, Scotts Miracle-Gro continues to grow. The Company’s mission is to continually strengthen its position as the world’s foremost marketer of branded products and services for lawn and garden, while meeting challenging profit and return on investment growth goals.