I might have over-fertilized my hydrangea

helzaMay 26, 2006

I just planted 5 Dichroa febrifuga (evergreen), last weekend and now they are so wilted I'm afraid I've killed them. The same day I planted them, I fertilized them. I used the Tree & shrub miracle grow spikes...and drove two into their bed which is about 16 feet by 5 feet. They were very full and healthy looking for the first 2 days. Then I forgot to water them for 2 days and they were completely droopy/wilted. A few of the leaves have become mushy on the outer edges and are very dark. I have watered them for the past 2 days and they haven't perked up at all.

Did I over fertilize them? If I did, is there anything I can do to reverse the effect? Do you think they can pull through?

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The wilting could just be a reaction to the planting - transplant stress - combined with the forgotten watering. Keep watering them deeply (perhaps not daily - just do not allow them to dry out) and give them some time to recover. My dichroa is in a container and has now and again shown signs of drought wilting, but has responded to increased watering well.

Are there only 2 fert spikes for the entire bed or 2 per plant? 2 per plant is probably excessive. FWIW, fertilizer spikes are the least efficient method of fertilization. As a matter of fact, they are pretty much a waste of money and I'd avoid using them at all. If necessary, a granular type fertilizer scratched into the soil surface over the entire area will provide much better results (and save money) but newly planted plants seldom require additional fertilizer. A good organic mulch should suffice for 99% of your nutrient requirements if your soil is any good at all.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 9:12AM
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