Fertilizing Euonymus

Plants grown in yards or containers on porches and patios often need help with nutrition. In nature, as plants die back, they break down and naturally fertilize nearby plants. Landscape plants do not get this assistance, so sometimes they need soil amendments or fertilizer. Euonymus, also known as Burning Bush or Wintercreeper, is a perennial shrub prized for its striking foliage. Mature Euonymus plants are not heavy feeders, although the occasional feeding will encourage a flush of new growth. Newly planted Euonymus benefit from being fertilized. Feeding new plants establishes a strong network of roots that will support the plant for years.


How to Fertilize Euonymus

Euonymus prefers well-drained soil that is high in organic content and slightly acidic. Advanced gardeners can test the soil to determine the pH and select the ideal fertilizer. Water-soluble or slow-release fertilizers are both good options for Euonymus. Apply fertilizer several inches away from the trunk or base of the plant and saturate the soil so the roots can absorb the fertilizer. Always follow the instructions on the packaging when fertilizing plants.

Best Time To Fertilize Euonymus

Euonymus covers a broad range of plants, and while the care needs for most types are similar, the feeding requirements differ slightly among varieties. Euonymus plants and Wintercreeper varieties benefit from a single fertilizer application in the fall. Burning Bush plants do best with a dose of water-soluble fertilizer applied three or four times during the growing season, starting in the mid-spring.


Best Fertilizer For Euonymus

You have plenty of options when selecting a fertilizer for your plants. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for shrubs and trees is best for Euonymus. A product with an NPK ratio like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 will give the plant the nutrition it needs. 

Euonymus Fertilizing Tips

  • In poor soil, mix organic compost or manure in when planting Euonymus
  • Top-dress the ground near the base of established plants with organic compost during the spring
  • Fertilize Euonymus and Wintercreeper cultivars during the fall
  • Apply a water-soluble fertilizer to Burning Bush shrubs three to four times during the mid-spring to mid-summer 


-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.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 07-14-2022