Care Info Regarding Fertilizing. - Knowledgebase Question

San Jose, CA
Question by kat1313
April 5, 2003

I am very confused. When I was reading your care info it says "Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring". This info is taken directly from your website for the care of my Weeping Threadleaf, Bird of Paradise, and Dwarf Bottlebrush plants. Yet when I go to nurseries I am told to always fertilize during the spring and summer. So why doesn't your website state to fertilize during the spring and summer?

Kathy Pietrangelo

Answer from NGA
April 5, 2003


As general rule of thumb, fertilizer should be applied to the soil around plants just as the plants begin to grow in the spring. Applying fertilizer in early spring provides some time for the nutrients to work their way down to the plant roots with the help of rainfall (or water from the hose). A second application can be made during periods of heavy growth, such as midsummer, if you desire, but it's not absolutely necessary. Once a plant leafs out, it produces its own energy for growth and maintenance through a process called photosynthesis. You can feed more than once a year, but it's possible to over-fertilize, which would be detrimental to plant health. To be on the safe side, read the label and apply in amounts and with the frequency recommended on the brand of fertilizer you purchase.

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