WARNING; Bayer Plant Food

timsway(6 OH)April 20, 2007

I'm posting this as a warning to all the plant enthusiast that care about their plants.

To make a long-story-short I used Bayer Advanced, Triple Action All Purpose Plant Food, on several plants (some very expensive) and it KILLED THEM. It is supposed to be a slow release plant food, but it crumbled as soon as it rained; burning up all the plants that had been fed with the plant food. I contacted Bayer and left a complete description of what happened through its web site and was told to call a customer service rep, which led nowhere.

I lost three Cercis canadensis 'Silver Cloud' which I had ordered from Greer Gardens (a great place to order rare plants) several variegated strawberry (Fragaria vesca 'Varigatum) plants, several rare white willow herb (Epilobium angustifolia 'Album' which I had grown from seed that is very hard to get) and the list goes on...

SO BE WARNED of my experience.I know how crappy something like this can make you feel, and all of you "Garden Webbers" have been so nice to me that I would hate to know that something like this could happen to you.

Tim

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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

How did you use it? It would be very unusual for fertilizer to kill plants unless you had put it on the leaves. It is supposed to be worked into the soil, and the label warns to wash off leaves. Like other granular fertilizers, it is activated by water so I don't understand the "crumbled by rain" comment.

Most native shrubs and trees don't need fertilizing. New seedlings might need some; I use liquid fertilizer, diluted to at least half strength for seedlings. A granular fertilizer like Bayer is not usually used for growing seedlings; you could mix into the garden bed before planting out, being careful to use no more than the recommended amount and watering in before planting.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 2:48PM
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Phylla

Tim, what's notable to me here, is that the plants the fertilizer killed were all variegated, in the case of the first two, and an Alba, or white version of the third. Variegated plants, and, sometimes, Albas, are usually lest robust than their higher chlorophyll content kin. That's why they are more expensive; takes longer to propagate them due to their slower ways.

Did every plant you used the fertilizer on suffer badly?

Do bring up with Bayer this issue again, but specifically mentioning what I've told you about variegated plants. I'd phrase it as a specific question thus, and ask them to please pass it to one of their horticulture experts, more as a question than a complaint. Their formula may just be too high octane for the slower variegated plants. I'm very curious about this, and will ask horti folks I know if they have an answer. Thanks for the Heads Up.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 10:02PM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

It has been drilled into my head that you shouldn't use any stronger fertiliser than humus on native plants. They evolved with generally poor soils.

I've also heard that white/variegated versions of some plants are inherently weaker, and I've seen it in my own garden. I have 3 strong, robust bleeding hearts in my garden, and 1 of the white flowered variety. The white one is so small and spindly compared to it's normally coloured relatives. But it comes up and blooms every year, bless it's heart.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 4:52PM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

It has been drilled into my head that you shouldn't use any stronger fertiliser than humus on native plants. They evolved with generally poor soils.

I've also heard that white/variegated versions of some plants are inherently weaker, and I've seen it in my own garden. I have 3 strong, robust bleeding hearts in my garden, and 1 of the white flowered variety. The white one is so small and spindly compared to it's normally coloured relatives. But it comes up and blooms every year, bless it's heart.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 5:02PM
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dumbbones_msn_com

I put rose and plant food on cherry bushes. Then I read on the label not for food usage. What Can I do now? The
branches has cherry's already but small. Is it going to be safe to eat.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:40PM
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