how to fertilize.

matthew18(5)March 24, 2010

I have about half dozen rhodo's. I have never done anything to them in terms of fertilizing. They are acid living plants...right? I have some espoma acid loving fertilizer. Should I dump a cup on each of them. What about compost or horse manure? Should I put all three of them on the plants?

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

My shrub and perennial beds are top dressed with compost or well composted manure every Spring, sometimes reapplied in Fall. I've never seen symptoms on my rhododendrons that they needed additional fertilizer - are yours doing something that makes you think they need it?

In any case, Espoma products are good but it's early for fertilizer in a Z5, wait until closer to bloom time in your area.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 11:03PM
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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

I've used Espoma's Holly Tone fertilizer for more than 25 years with great satisfaction. Follow the label directions or a bit less for the amount to use and gently scratch it in to the surface.

Rhododendrons do not demand a high degree of fertility, but the addition of a complete fertilizer along with proper mulching and watering will result in healthier better blooming plants.

Compost may be OK, but avoid manures - they are high in nitrogen and may burn foliage and will promote vegetative growth at the expense of blooms.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 5:35AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

I think Espoma recommends fertilizing twice in a season. Only use it once and then at half the rate on the package. It is good stuff, but more is not better.

Steve Henning

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 3:43PM
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matthew18(5)

thanks guy, I reserve the compost for my veges. I have the holly tone. I will follow the directions on that.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 7:47PM
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