Fertilizing Indian Hawthorn

Indian Hawthorn, Rhaphiolepis indica, is a great shrub to grow in a wide range of soil types and pH levels. As long as the soil drains well year round and retains moisture between waterings, Indian Hawthorn grows quite happily. Indian Hawthorn does not require rich soil either. This is a shrub that only requires light fertilizing to thrive and bloom reliably. 


How to Fertilize Indian Hawthorn

Because Indian Hawthorn only needs light feeding throughout the year, it can be fed annually with an extended-release product or a top-dressing of organic compost as a mulch. Both of these fertilizers will slowly break down and release nutrients during active growth in the spring and summer. Mulching with organic compost will also help to cool the root zone and suppress weeds. 

Best Time To Fertilize Indian Hawthorn

Early spring is the optimum time for applying controlled-release and slow-release fertilizers. This timing provides nutrients when the shrubs need them most, as they put on new growth and prepare for flowering. Indian Hawthorn rarely needs a second application later in the summer and should not be fed later than 2 months from the average first frost date for your gardening zone. 

Best Fertilizer For Indian Hawthorn

Select a fertilizer formulated for shrubs, which will provide the right ratio of NPK and micronutrients. Look for NPK ratios such as 5-3-3 or 3-1-1 in a slow- or controlled-release formula. Espoma Plant-tone is compatible with a wide variety of landscape ornamental plants, is certified by OMRI, and is widely available across the United States. 

Indian Hawthorn Fertilizing Tips

  • Use a slow- or controlled-release, granular formula
  • Apply once in the spring as new growth appears
  • Apply a layer of organic compost as mulch each year to suppress weeds and improve the soil
  • Water in any fertilizer applied as a topdressing


-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 Robbin Small - Published 6-08-2023