Fertilizing Ninebark

Ninebark is a fast-growing shrub native to North America. Once planted, this easy-to-care-for shrub requires little fertilizer. Typically, a topdressing of compost each year is enough to support robust blooming and continuous growth. In poor soil, a yearly fertilizer application can promote more blooms and prevent the plant from becoming too leggy. 


How to Fertilize Ninebark

Ninebark is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that can grow in challenging conditions such as rocky or clay-like soil. An annual topdressing of compost or well-rotted manure in the spring is all this shrub needs for the entire growing season. If the soil is particularly poor, apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring, just after the leaves appear. Spread the fertilizer around the base of the plant three inches away from the trunk. Water well after applying, avoiding the foliage.

Do not fertilize in the fall or winter months. This is the time the plant goes dormant. Feeding will encourage new growth that can be damaged by frost.

Best Time To Fertilize Ninebark

The hardy Ninebark shrub needs just one feeding each year. Early spring is the best time to feed the plant. Apply a layer of organic matter just after the plant begins showing new leaves. This is also the time to add fertilizer if desired. Avoid feeding in fall or winter, which can encourage new growth that can be damaged by frost.

Best Fertilizer For Ninebark

If fertilizing Ninebark, choose a granular, slow-release fertilizer. These formulas slowly release nutrients as they dissolve. Avoid using a liquid fertilizer, as this will provide too much nitrogen to the plant all at once. A balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer will work the best.


Ninebark Fertilizing Tips

  • Apply a topdressing of compost in early spring just as the leaves appear
  • In nutrient-deficient soil, use a slow-release, granular fertilizer
  • Avoid liquid fertilizers, which release too much nitrogen
  • Water well after the application
  • Fertilizing will support continuous growth


-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 Chris Link - Published 09-30-2021