The Q&A Archives: When to Fertilize Juniper and Dogwood

Question: How often and what time of the year should you fertilize Junipers and Dogwoods?

Answer: There are dozens of varieties of juniper and dogwood. I'm assuming that you have them in the landscape, not in containers. Most junipers are all-purpose plants, growing in any type of soil from acidic to alkaline, so they aren't too fussy or needy when it comes to fertilizer. Apply fertilizer to both in the spring, just as new growth is starting to appear. Don't fertilize at the end of the season, because it encourages new tender growth which is susceptible to frost damage. As a tree grows, its new roots tips, where nutrients are being absorbed, spread out laterally. If you are watering and fertilizing only within a four-foot area at the base of the tree, it's not really effective. Expand your watering and fertilizing zone out PAST the tree's canopy. As the tree grows, continue expanding that water zone. If you have an irrigation system, you need to move the emitters out. If you use a hose, just drag it out further. In any case, water slowly and deeply before and after fertilizing to help prevent burn.

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