Fertilize conifers properly: That's how it works

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Most conifers assume that they do not have to be fertilized because they do not get fertilizer in the forest where they grow naturally. The predominantly planted cultivars in the garden are more sensitive than their wild relatives and grow faster and better with fertilizer than in the forest. The special feature of conifers: They need a lot of iron, sulfur and above all magnesium for their needles. In contrast to deciduous trees, which quickly recover the most important nutrients in the autumn before the leaf fall, conifers completely shed their needles after a few years - including contained magnesium.

The more common in comparison to deciduous trees magnesium deficiency comes in conifers so not by chance, with planted on sandy soils specimens are particularly vulnerable, as they can store only few nutrients. In addition, magnesium is washed out of the soil and competes with calcium for places on the soil's own nutrient stores, the clay minerals - the loser is also washed out.

Normal fertilizers often have little magnesium

Special conifer fertilizers contain not only a good amount of nitrogen but also magnesium, iron and sulfur, but less potassium and phosphorus. Magnesium and iron provide rich green needles, as well as variety-typical yellow or blue needles. Conifer fertilizers are available as granules or liquid fertilizers.
On the other hand, with the combination of nutrients in normal NPK fertilizers conifers can do little - there is too much phosphate and hardly any magnesium. Of course, the conifers do not enter the fertilizer, but their potential evaporates mostly useless. Whether the conifers grow well with normal fertilizer also depends on the location - loamy soils naturally contain more trace elements and hold them better than sand. On sand, the special fertilizer therefore makes sense, who wants to be on the safe side and above all wants saturated colored conifer needles, it also takes for clay soils. You can also use conifer fertilizer for other evergreens.

When should you fertilize conifers?

Fertilize conifers

Liquid fertilizer can be administered directly with the irrigation water

Begin fertilizing at the end of February and then give the nutrients regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions until mid-August. Liquid fertilizers are regular in the irrigation water, organic or mineral granules work for weeks, some even have a month-long depot effect and are given only once per season. Conifers are generally thirsty. Especially after fertilizing with mineral fertilizers, water abundantly.
In autumn, conifers, but also other evergreens are grateful for a portion of Kalimagnesia. This fertilizer is also available under the name Patentkali and increases the frost tolerance of the plants. On loamy soils, in addition to a basic supply of compost, one can only fertilize with Kalimagnesia, which is a true fitter for every conifer.
Epsom salt contains plenty of magnesium in the form of magnesium sulfate and very quickly provides rich green needles - even with acute deficiency. If the needles turn yellow, you can fertilize with Epsom salt as an emergency or dissolve it in water and spray over the needles.

Fertilize conifers when planting

Fertilize conifers when planting

Some fertilizer at planting makes conifers easier to grow

Start fertilization is not always necessary for conifers. In clay soil with good humus content and container goods, which still consumes the depot fertilizer in the substrate, you can do without it. When it comes to sandy soils or root-bare conifers, things look different. Pepper up the soil with compost and add fertilizer to the planting hole as a jump start.

Fertilize conifer hedge

Hedges are in principle an artifact close to densely growing plants and have a rather high nutrient requirement, as the plants like to take each other's food away. Watch for yellowing needles and other signs of nutrient deficiency. It is best to use a conifer long-term fertilizer in spring and to fertilize if necessary according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Video Board: Growing & Caring for Trees : How to Fertilize Evergreen Trees.

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