FAQ: Do Shrubs Need Fertilizer?

Fertilizer provides the nutrients that shrubs need to grow and thrive. However, too much fertilizer can be just as harmful as not enough, and shrubs rarely need to be fertilized every year. When you do fertilize them, the best time to do so is in the early spring or late fall.

What is the best fertilizer for shrubs?

Research in woody plant nutrition has shown however that nitrogen is the element that yields the greatest growth response in trees and shrubs. For this reason, high nitrogen fertilizers with N-P-K ratios of 4-1-1, 3-1-1 or 3-1-2 are generally recommended for feeding established woody plants.

Is it necessary to fertilize shrubs?

Not all shrubs, bushes and trees need to be fertilized, but if they have undersized or pale green leaves, or are showing dead branch tips, dieback or insect damage then they probably do. Also, older, more established trees and bushes don’t need to be fertilized every year.

What do you feed shrubs?

Feed trees, shrubs and hedges with a balanced fertiliser (such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone), sprinkling it over the root area before hoeing into the soil surface. This will particularly benefit young, weak, damaged or heavily pruned plants.

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When should I feed my shrubs?

Spring and summer are the best times to feed plants as this gives them good preparation for the growing season, although some organic fertilisers can be applied in late winter if they are slow releasing.

How do you feed evergreen shrubs?

Also, evergreens prefer acidic soil, meaning it has a pH level below 7. So, if you have fertilizer on hand for acid-loving plants, use it. Otherwise, opt for a product with equal parts of the three macronutrients trees need: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Ideally, a 1:1:1 ratio is best.

Can I use miracle grow on shrubs?

All trees and shrubs have different requirements for healthy growth, so they require different nutrients. If you have a variety of trees and shrubs in your garden, you can use an all-purpose plant food like Miracle-Gro® Shake n Feed® Flowering Trees & Shrubs Plant Food, which will feed for up to 3 months.

Can you use lawn fertilizer on shrubs?

If the lawn fertilizer label says it will also kill broadleaf weeds it should never be used on or near shrubs. Do not use this type of fertilizer where it can be picked up by the roots of trees or shrubs, even if you are applying it to grass under or next to the trees or shrubs.

What’s the best fertilizer for evergreen shrubs?

A “complete” fertilizer — one that supplies the macronutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) — is often recommended. A fertilizer analysis of 10-8-15 means the fertilizer has 10 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphorous, and 15 percent potassium.

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What plants should not be fertilized?

Perennials that do best with no supplement fertilizer include butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), false indigo (Baptisia australis), asters, pinks (Dianthus spp.), rock roses (Helianthemum spp.), sea holly (Eryngium spp.), bee balm (Monarda didyma), speedwell (Veronica spp.), coneflowers (Echinacea spp.

Should you water plants before fertilizing?

It is important to water plants thoroughly with plain water before applying the liquid fertilizer to avoid burning the roots if the soil is dry. Also, take care that the fertilizer is indeed diluted based on instructions, or you could burn the leaves.

Do evergreens need nitrogen?

If you love evergreens, you know how easy they are to take care of most of the time. You’re going to want to use fertilizer with more nitrogen, rather than phosphorous or potassium. There is a reason for that: evergreen trees respond more quickly to nitrogen than they do other nutrients.

Do hedges need fertilizer?

Whether deciduous or evergreen, hedges are heavy feeding plants that require annual fertilizing to maintain their appearance and produce ample foliage. Hedges can be fertilized using a either a slow-release phosphorous fertilizer or an organic fertilizer mix.

What do shrubs need to survive?

Light, air, water and nutrients are the four main things plants need to stay alive and growing. There’s other factors to consider for your plant to do really well. Those are space, time and the right temperature. Space: Space is needed for air flow.

When should you feed trees and shrubs?

The best time to fertilize is fall, generally after the first hard freeze in September or October. The next best time would be before growth begins in early spring, usually between March and early May. If fertilizer is not applied in the fall or the spring, it may be applied up to July 1.

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