Best Slow-Release Fertilizer For Arborvitae – 5 Top Choices

Are you looking for a slow-release fertilizer for your arborvitae, and do you want to know the best options? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

Here is a list of the five best slow-release fertilizers for arborvitae:

  • Miracle-Gro all-purpose Shake N’ Feed
  • Maxicrop Seaweed Extract organic concentrate
  • Vigoro tree, shrub, and evergreen plant food
  • Miracle-Gro fertilizer spikes
  • Jobe’s evergreen fertilizer spikes

Let’s talk more about each of these fertilizers in the succeeding sections. Learn more about the proper way to fertilize your arborvitae below.

Read on!

A gardener puts fertilizer on an arborvitae, Best Slow-Release Fertilizer For Arborvitae—5 Top Choices

What is arborvitae?

Did you know that arborvitae means “tree of life?”

Arborvitae belongs to the thuja genus of trees, and the members of this genus are commonly called arborvitae. There are only five species in the genus—two are native to North America, while the other three are native to Eastern Asia.

Thuja arborvitae trees

The specie native to Sichuan, China, is almost extinct in the wild.

Arborvitaes are evergreen trees that are commonly grown as privacy hedges in homes. They are planted a few feet from each other so that their combined foliage will create a green wall around a property. And since they are evergreen trees, this means that their green barrier will be available any time of the year.

Arborvitaes are also commonly used as windbreak walls. The same qualities that make them a great green wall of privacy also make them effective at reducing the intensity of winds. This helps reduce wind damage to crops.

Should you fertilize arborvitae?

Arborvitaes that are native to North America can thrive without fertilizing. Moreover, young arborvitae should not be fertilized because the fertilizer will burn the young and shallow roots.

Plant your arborvitae in nutrient-rich soil so that you will no longer need to fertilize.

However, once arborvitae matures and establishes its root system, the application of fertilizer can help accelerate its growth and develop stronger branches. Additionally, if you plant arborvitae close together to form a wall or hedges, fertilizing is necessary because the trees are fighting for nutrients from the soil.

What is the best time to fertilize arborvitae?

The best time to fertilize arborvitae is at the start of spring. This is the ideal time because new growths from the plant start to emerge.

Applying fertilizer at the wrong time of the year can cause your arborvitae to focus on growing their foliage instead of developing strong roots.

How to fertilize arborvitae?

Taking care of evergreen plants

You can follow the regular fertilizer instructions that you find in fertilizer packages to fertilize your arborvitae. What’s important is watering the surrounding soil regularly.

Water helps dissolve the fertilizer and make the nutrients available for the roots to absorb. It also helps protect your plant from fertilizer burn because water will dilute the fertilizer to make it more tolerable for the roots.

The fertilizer is best kept above the root system but away from the trunk. Distribute the fertilizer evenly over the root area.

Running a soil analysis is a good way to find out what nutrients are low in your soil. You can then apply a fertilizer that will provide the missing nutrients.

What are the best types of fertilizers for arborvitae?

Slow-release fertilizers are best for arborvitae.

A fertilizer with 50% nitrogen is also ideal. These are the fertilizers that have a high first number.

It is advisable to use granularized fertilizers that are formulated for trees. Fertilizers in the form of pellets or granules help prevent burning the roots.

Fertilizers made for plants that thrive in acidic soil are not compatible with arborvitae. Use a fertilizer that is made for evergreens instead.

What are the five best slow-release fertilizers for arborvitae?

Rows of trimmed Thuja plicata

There are organic and chemical fertilizers that you can use for your mature arborvitae. However, many chemical fertilizers are toxic to children and pets. If your children like playing near the garden or you have pets that love digging into the ground, then these fertilizers are not the best option for your plant.

On the other hand, some organic fertilizers give off a strong odor that can attract insects and animals to your garden. Although they are not harmful to children and pets, the effect of attracting insects and animals to your garden will have a secondary negative effect on the health of your arborvitae and your other plants.

Thus, the best fertilizer for your arborvitae is a balance of organic and nonorganic ingredients that are not toxic to anyone and doesn’t have the potential to attract insects and other animals to chow on your plants.

Below are the best fertilizers that you can use for your arborvitae. They all have slow-release formulations and are nontoxic to children and pets.

Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Shake N’ Feed

This 12-4-8 slow-release fertilizer will continuously provide the nutrition that your arborvitae needs for up to three months. It also provides nutrition to soil microbes. Thus, the more you use it, the more it improves the soil.

It comes in an easy-shake lid that simplifies the process of scattering the fertilizer around your arborvitae. Spread into the soil within the outer range of the roots of your plant, and you’re good to go.

It comes in granule form that is simple to use because you do not have to mix it with anything. You can even use it for fruit trees, flowering plants, and vegetables. This makes it a mess-free all-around fertilizer solution for multiple plants that you might have in your garden.

Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Shake N’ Feed is available on Amazon through this link.

Maxicrop Seaweed Extract Organic Concentrate

This fertilizer from Maxicorp needs a little additional work to use on your arborvitae. However, it can nurse ailing plants back to health. It is a little trade-off if you want to restore the vitality of unhealthy arborvitae.

Mix three tablespoons of Seaweed Extract into 1 gallon of water. Spread the fertilizer on the soil along with the compost once every week. This formulation can be used on arborvitae saplings, helping them develop strong roots.

Applying it with the compost helps prevent root burn.

You can also use the Seaweed Extract on flowering shrubs, fruit trees, and vegetables.

Vigoro Tree, Shrub, And Evergreen Plant Food

The Vigoro Plant Food is a pellet-type fertilizer from Vigoro. It is a 15-4-8 fertilizer that is made to increase the volume and vibrancy of your arborvitae’s foliage. The Vigoro Plant Food has a nitrogen time-release feature that provides nutrients for a longer period.

It is a good fertilizer to use on soils that are low in nitrogen. Vigoro Plant Food is also useful in locations that have significant temperature swings.

Use Evergreen Plant Food when you start to see the leaves of your arborvitae start to turn yellow or start to fall because of an extended winter.

It can feed your tree for up to three months.

Vigoro Tree, Shrub, And Evergreen Plant Food is available on Amazon through this link.

Miracle-Gro Fertilizer Spikes

These fertilizer spikes from Miracle-Gro are useful for supporting arborvitae that is having difficulties growing in poor soil. The slow-release formulation and higher nitrogen content help promote the long-term health of your arborvitae trees.

The spikes help prevent root burn. It also makes them safe to use even for newly planted arborvitae.

Miracle-Gro Fertilizer Spikes are available on Amazon through this link.

Jobe’s Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe’s evergreen fertilizer spikes are similar to Miracle-Gro’s fertilizer spikes.

The spikes make it simple to apply the fertilizer. Water the soil then push it into the soil within the root network of your arborvitae.

The spikes make it mess-free to apply fertilizer for your arborvitae. It also helps prevent runoff.

Jobe’s Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes is a fertilizer that will provide nutrients for your arborvitae for up to six months.

Jobe’s Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes are available on Amazon through this link.


Gardener fertilizing arborvitae in spring garden

Using fertilizers that are safe for children or pets is important to prevent health issues while you keep your arborvitae healthy. It is also a good idea to consider fertilizers that have a low odor to prevent insects and animals from going to your garden.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might find the articles below equally enjoyable to read:

Arborvitae Vs. Juniper For Privacy

What Size Carriage Bolts For Building A Pergola?