What fertilizer for hydrangeas?

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)April 10, 2010

I haven't fertilized yet. What should I be using? I have a Forever and Ever Blue Heaven hydrangea, my first, so I don't want to screw it up :)

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10-10-10 in mid to early Spring. But don't over do it. Then no more till next Spring! Pretty easy!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:46PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Yeah I use ~10-10-10 for everything...or least for the few plants that I do fertilize.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:02PM
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They don't require a lot of fertilizer - most woody plants (trees and shrubs) grow very well with minimal supplemental fertilization. Usually, just mulching well with compost is sufficient. If you want to encourage bluer flower color, you could use a fert formulated for acid loving plants, often referred to as Rhododendron, Azalea and Camellia fertilizer (i.e., something like HollyTone).

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:47AM
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Ok, so like the name says...I am a beginner..what is 10-10-10?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 3:25PM
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We have three large ones and every March/April, I just toss down a good coT of steer manure mixed with some mushroom compost and just prior to blom hit them with a spray of Miracle Grow. Works like a charm. Any fertilizer for rhodies, azealeas, ect will work.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Any recommendations for organic fertilizers? Would holly tone (4-3-4) or plant tone (5-3-3) be good?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:00PM
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10-10-10 is what is considered an all purpose fertilizer - can be used on any plant. But with numbers that high, this will be a synthetic rather than organic formulation and can be very fast acting and could even burn if applied improperly. I'd look for a similar organic product first....ratio will be lower - 4-4-4 or 5-5-5.

And yes, the Holly-tone is an excellent choice for hydrangeas (even more desirable than an all-purpose fert). Plant-tone OK, too. If you can find it in your area, look for Dr. Earth products -- an even better choice.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:44AM
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Hi - I haven't fertilized any of mine ... just a scoop of cotton burr compost, scratched around the base is all I have done ... no complaints so far, except for Ma Nature's occasional teases that get their feather ruffled!!! LOL then we'll all just have to be patient, right?! The Paniculatas don't seem to get as fazed as the other divas! Such easy going beauties & perhaps a haircut in Spring! Â;)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 1:27PM
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Seaside Beginner, 10-10-10 refers to the ratio of nutrients in the fertilizer which are always in the same order N-P-K, or Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. These are basic requirements to almost all growing things. Some plants need more Nitrogen so you would look for 10-5-5, others more Potassium, so you might look for 4-3-12. Always check the NPK ratios on fertilizers before you put them on your plants and remember, some is good, but more is not better. Often less is better because too much fertilizer (especially synthetic fertilizers) will kill the plant. Most professionals recommend using roughly half the amount recommended on the package label. The recomendations come from the folks who make money from the products and they want you to use as much as you can, so you'll buy some more real soon. The recommendation gives the max amount you can use and not kill everything. So cut the dose in half and your plants will respond.

Chemical (or synthetic) fertilizers can do a lot of damage if not applied correctly. However, you can put as much organic compost on your plants as you want to and not hurt them. You can plant your most tender plants in nothing but good quality, finished compost and they will thrive. If you make your own compost you will know exactly what's in it and you can use it for just about everything. Compost will have a low NPK rating but it will be well balanced and mild. It also improves the tilth of your soil by adding organic material and will attract earthworms if it was made with lots of leaves and containes leaf mold. Earthworms are great for the soil and they also improve tilth and fertility of the soil.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 1:18PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

The paniculats get some cow manure laid on top of the soil in early spring (except QuickFire which I try to ignore).

The mycrophyllas get cow manure and a wee bit of super phosphate also in early spring.

I don't add anything else for the rest of the season except extra water when needed.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 1:28PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

mehearty I was going to start adding a thin layer of cow manure. Stuff is dirt cheap from the farms selling to a local hardware chain.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 9:07PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I just scratched in some Osmocote and watered well. That's it. It's just a baby planted last year, so I believe in taking it easy for a year or two. Let 'em catch his breath lol.
Later on after bloomtime I may water with alfalfa tea, but we'll see how it goes first.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:34AM
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Did about the same with mine - little Osmocote and topdressed with composted manure and mulch on top.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 3:53PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I got hold of some horse manure that sat all winter. But, I think I'll use that in my compost pile, and then, when that is ready I'll top dress them with the compost.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 7:15AM
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