Fertilizing Bluebeard

Bluebeard shrubs are not heavy feeders and do not require fertilizer for plants to stay full, healthy, and full of blooms during the summer and fall. Bluebeards are easygoing in all their care needs, and fertilization is no different. Here is what you need to know about fertilizing Bluebeard shrubs. 


How to Fertilize Bluebeard

Fertile soil is the best way to feed Bluebeard. Amend poor soil with organic matter when planting and top-dress the soil around established plants with organic compost each spring. You can also apply a weak organic feed in the spring, like fish emulsion or seaweed feed, but bluebeard will usually grow fine without it. Water before applying any fertilizer to avoid burning the roots.

Best Time To Fertilize Bluebeard

Bluebeard is dormant during the winter and starts to grow actively during the spring. Add a light layer of compost in the spring to support new springtime growth and help the plant gear up for the summer bloom cycle. You can also lightly sprinkle a slow-release fertilizer if your soil is particularly poor in nutrients.


Best Fertilizer For Bluebeard

Organic compost is one of the best ways to build the soil for Bluebeard. If applying a plant food product, select a balanced fertilizer. The ratio should be even (e.g. 5-5-5), so the plant receives balanced nutrition to support root, foliage, and flower production. Apply the formula at half or a quarter of the strength recommended by the manufacturer.


Bluebeard Fertilizing Tips

  • Amend poor soil with organic matter during planting
  • Top-dress the root zone with compost annually
  • Use a balanced, slow-release feed or weak organic fertilizer in spring (optional)
  • Water prior to applying fertilizer to protect the roots


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

Sources: "Bluebeard." Chicago Botanic Garden. chicagobotanic.org

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 09-01-2022