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Boxwood Fertilizer: Everything You Need to Know

boxwood fertilizer

Boxwoods are a popular ornamental shrub that is often used for hedges, topiaries, and other landscape features. To keep them healthy and looking their best, it's important to use the right fertilizer. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about boxwood fertilizer.

What is Boxwood Fertilizer?

Boxwood fertilizer is a type of plant food that is specifically formulated for boxwood shrubs. It contains a balanced blend of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as micronutrients like iron and magnesium. The right balance of these nutrients is essential for promoting healthy growth and development in boxwoods.

When to Use Boxwood Fertilizer

The best time to apply boxwood fertilizer is in the spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. This will provide your plants with the nutrients they need to support healthy growth throughout the growing season. You can also apply fertilizer in the fall to help prepare your boxwoods for winter, but be sure to do so at least 4-6 weeks before the first hard frost.

Spring Fertilization

In the spring, it's important to apply fertilizer just as new growth begins to emerge. This is typically around mid-April, but it can vary depending on your location and climate. To apply fertilizer, simply sprinkle it evenly over the soil around the base of your boxwoods, being careful not to get any on the leaves or stems.

How Much Fertilizer to Use

The amount of fertilizer you should use will depend on the size of your boxwoods. As a general rule, you should apply 1 pound of fertilizer per 100 square feet of soil. For smaller boxwoods, use about 1 tablespoon per plant.

Fall Fertilization

In the fall, it's important to apply fertilizer at least 4-6 weeks before the first hard frost. This will give your boxwoods enough time to absorb the nutrients they need to prepare for winter. As with spring fertilization, you should sprinkle the fertilizer evenly over the soil around the base of your plants.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer

When choosing a fertilizer for fall application, look for one that is high in phosphorus. This nutrient is essential for promoting root growth and development, which is particularly important during the colder months of the year.

Benefits of Using Boxwood Fertilizer

There are many benefits to using boxwood fertilizer, including:

  • Promotes healthy growth and development
  • Improves the overall appearance of your boxwoods
  • Increases resistance to pests and diseases
  • Helps your boxwoods recover from stress or damage

The Risks of Over-Fertilizing Boxwoods

While fertilizer is essential for promoting healthy growth in boxwoods, it's important not to overdo it. Over-fertilizing can actually do more harm than good, as it can lead to a buildup of salts in the soil that can damage your plants.

Symptoms of Over-Fertilization

If you've over-fertilized your boxwoods, you may notice symptoms like yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and an overall decline in health. In severe cases, over-fertilization can even kill your plants.

How to Avoid Over-Fertilizing

To avoid over-fertilizing your boxwoods, be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer label carefully. Use only the recommended amount, and don't apply fertilizer more often than the label recommends.

Boxwood Fertilizer FAQs

Q: Can you use regular fertilizer on boxwoods?

A: While regular fertilizer can technically be used on boxwoods, it's best to use a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for these plants. Regular fertilizer may not provide the right balance of nutrients, which can lead to poor growth and development.

Q: What is the best type of boxwood fertilizer?

A: The best type of boxwood fertilizer will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Look for a fertilizer that contains a balanced blend of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as micronutrients like iron and magnesium.

Q: How often should you fertilize boxwoods?

A: In general, boxwoods should be fertilized once per year in the spring. You can also apply fertilizer in the fall if desired, but be sure to do so at least 4-6 weeks before the first hard frost.

Q: Is it possible to over-fertilize boxwoods?

A: Yes, it's definitely possible to over-fertilize boxwoods. This can lead to a buildup of salts in the soil that can damage your plants.

Q: Are there any alternatives to using fertilizer on boxwoods?

A: If you prefer to avoid using chemical fertilizers on your boxwoods, there are a few alternative options. These include using organic compost or mulch, applying bone meal or fish emuon, or using a slow-release fertilizer.

Q: How long does it take for boxwood fertilizer to work?

A: The exact timeline will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific fertilizer you're using, the size and health of your boxwoods, and the environmental conditions in your area. In general, you can expect to seeing results within a few weeks to a month after applying fertilizer.

Boxwood fertilizer is an essential tool for promoting healthy growth and development in these popular ornamental shrubs. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure that your boxwoods stay healthy and looking their best year-round.

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