10-10-10 fertilizers are a well-favored plant food that deliver a balanced amount of 3 essential nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). Yet, is 10-10-10 fertilizer good for boxwoods?
The answer to this balanced fertilizer will be solved in the following sections.
Besides, I will guide you on fertilizing boxwoods properly, given the amount, time, and frequency. Keep scrolling down for further information!
About The Boxwood Tree
Boxwood is an evergreen shrub with dense foliage that has grown in popularity in landscape decoration. It has numerous dwarf boxwood varieties, like small-leaved or Kingsville dwarf.
Its leaves are quite special with a flat surface and smooth edges, forming an elliptical to almost rounded shape.
As regards the flowers, their shape is quite unusual and divided into male and female blossoms. A male flower has an anther opposite to the perianth lobe, yet it doesn’t hold true for the female one.
Its fruit is a three-nest box. When the blooming season passes, flowers will turn into fruits and crack after a few months before scattering tiny black seeds.
Boxwoods could grow well on nearly every type of soil and terrain, ranging from a deciduous forest, rocky scree to the edge of an alley and shrubby thicket.
Among them, acidic soil is the best condition for their growth. So what is the best plant food for boxwoods? Below is the answer.
Is 10-10-10 Fertilizer Good For Boxwoods?
Yes. A 10-10-10 fertilizer, with a balanced proportion of three main properties: phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, works wonders for your boxwoods.
When fed this kind of fertilizer, your boxwood will receive enough nutrition to ensure its part’s development.
For instance, right levels of nitrogen are pivotal for the tree’s leaf development and supports its photosynthesis, while phosphorus plays an important role in the system of healthy roots.
And we should not exclude the potassium’s significance that facilitates numerous physiological processes within this acid-loving plant.
With this ingredient profile, 10-10-10 fertilizers are also good for other trees like pecans.
Besides the three vital nutrients for your boxwood, it is inadvisable to overlook other elements, including manganese, iron, and zinc.
They are also the underlying contributors to the healthy plant’s cell production as well as photosynthesis.
How To Know When You Should Fertilize Boxwoods?
It is a bad idea to fertilize your boxwood whenever you like. It has its own set of requirements that you must meet before deciding to apply fertilizer or not.
Suppose you have much trouble figuring out when you should fertilize it; I will help you via several signs. Let’s check them out!
- If your tree’s green foliage turns yellow, this indicates that its leaves severely lack proper nutrients, particularly nitrogen. What to feed boxwood in this case? you’d better apply a nitrogen-based fertilizer to avert the spreading of yellowing.
- If you don’t notice any difference in the tree’s growth, or your boxwood tree does not grow as normal, this problem will likely be rooted in the nutrition shortage. Applying boxwood shrubs fertilizer is a recommended solution to the issue.
- Nutrient deficiency is also conducive to brittle or weak branches. When you can break them apart very easily, it’s time to give them a complete fertilizer.
- Chlorosis occurs when the leaves turn pale green or appear lighter than normal. This is all attributed to a lack of chlorophyll, rendered by the iron shortage in the soil.
Hence, boxwood fertilizer spikes are suggested to boost the soil’s quality, especially enhancing iron properties.
How To Fertilize Your Boxwoods?
Here are straightforward instructions on feeding your boxwood plant that you should pay close attention to.
- Step 1: Prepare necessary gardening tools and devices that are involved in the process of fertilizer application. Don’t forget protective garments, like safety eyeglasses or gloves, to protect your health.
- Step 2: Test your soil carefully to determine what kind of the soil is. It could be categorized into compact, clay, or wet soil.
And different soils don’t have the same fertilizer requirement, so this step is very important. You are even advised to perform soil testing annually.
- Step 3: After completing the soil test, you will know its pH level and key ingredients. What to fertilize boxwoods with? You need to choose a proper fertilizer for your tree based on these helpful clues. It could be a granular fertilizer or a 10-10-10 NPK product.
- Step 4: Dilute the liquid fertilizer using water. Don’t pour too much water into your fertilizer, as the potency of some properties can be degraded.
- Step 5: Use a pruning shear or sharp scissors to remove tilted branches and dead leaves. Doing so will lead the tree to send more energy to healthy parts.
- Step 6: If the soil is too dry, pour about ½ to 1 gallon of water onto the surface to make it wet.
- Step 7: Slowly add the liquid fertilizer by pouring it over the soil’s surface. Make sure that you discard left water droplets in the saucer.
What Happens When You Over-Fertilize Your Boxwoods?
Over-fertilizing your plant is very dangerous and poses a serious threat to its normal development in the long run.
However, this is an issue that many gardeners face, and even some are willing to do so with the purpose of boosting their crop’s productivity.
Excess fertilizer application makes your boxwood unable to absorb all provided nutrients, and they will penetrate through the soil.
Over time, this accumulation of toxic components could burn your plant’s roots and affect its ability to take water in the soil.
Due to a severe lack of water along with nutrients, its other parts, like leaves, branches, etc., will gradually deteriorate, leaving them prone to attacks from pests and diseases.
Below are some signs of an over-fertilized tree that you should know:
- Leaf discoloration is one of the clear signs, particularly shown on the blackening, yellowing, or browning of leaf edges.
- Your tree doesn’t exhibit healthy growth because of a nutritional imbalance, and you will easily identify this issue via its height.
- Abnormal shedding of flowers, green foliage, and fruits is another obvious sign.
To ameliorate this warning situation, you’d better add organic compost or mulch to the soil.
By doing so, the build-up of toxic components in soil may be reduced, and your plant also receives more essential nutrients from these organic sources.
When to Apply Fertilizer To Boxwoods? How Often?
The best period for your boxwood hedge fertilizer application is early spring and late fall. This time is when the boxwood’s strong roots develop extensively, and its flowers also start to bloom.
Besides, weather and temperatures in spring and fall are mild and do not pose many threats to its development.
On the other hand, summer and winter often have adverse conditions; hence, the entire plant is more susceptible to heating sunshine and frost.
If this happens, it becomes weaker than normal, and the application of fertilizer only exacerbates the situation.
So, how often do you fertilize boxwoods? They are light feeders, so the fertilizing frequency should be once a year. If you feel that your plant needs more, you could feed it one more time during a year.
Yet, remember that the duration between two times of fertilizing needs to be long enough so a boxwood can absorb all provided nutrients.
Can Too Much Fertilizer Cause Yellow Leaves?
As mentioned earlier, yellowing foliage is a serious consequence when you fertilize your tree too much. This is boiled down to excess salt within the soil.
More specifically, the salt will burn your boxwood root. If prolonged, it is incapable of taking nutrients to nurture its green leaves. With insufficient nutrition, they will change colors from green to yellow.
Suppose you want to solve this problem; leach the soil with large amounts of water to correct the balance. However, this practice only proves its effectiveness in the case of houseplants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Under-Fertilizing Harmful?
Under-fertilizing the boxwood plant results in its nutritional deficiency. In other words, your tree is not provided with enough nutrients for its growth. If not treated well, it can be prone to death.
What Is The Best Fertilizer For Boxwood Shrubs?
Following are five fertilizers that have grown in popularity over the past few years thanks to their functions.
- The Espoma organic fertilizer must be on the best boxwood fertilizer list. It contains the patented Bio-tone microbes that are good at enriching soil properties. Besides, the brand ensures to supplement your tree with 100% organic nourishment.
- The All-natural Tree & Shrub Fertilizer is worth your consideration. It is perfect for trees that have just been transplanted with no harmful chemicals. All ingredients derive from nature.
- The Scotts Flowering Tree & Shrub product is good for alkaline soil with a too-low pH level and helps solve the problem of iron deficiencies.
- The Jobes’ Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes will not let you down. It is ideal for individual specimen boxwoods but wreaks havoc on the root’s abilities if overused.
- The BioAdvanced Tree & Shrub Fertilizer is mainly used to enhance soil moisture content and encourage active root development.
The Bottom Line
Is 10-10-10 fertilizer good for boxwoods? This balanced product is a perfect solution for your plant by providing three important nutrients ( N-P-K).
However, too much of anything will do no good, so you should apply enough plant food to your tree to ensure its best growth.