Gardening with Allen

Fertilize Container Plants

Most container plants have had all the fertilizer that was initially in the soil used up or washed out by frequent watering. Plant roots have a more limited growing area in containers. Container soils are more porous to insure good drainage. These two factors make it necessary to water more frequently. As a result, fertilizer is used more rapidly and it washes out of the soil more quickly.

I apply Osmocote or other coated slow release fertilizer when I plant my containers. I have found that I need to add more fertilizer by the first of August because it runs out. Liquid fertilizers can also be used for containers, but should be applied on a weekly basis.

Yellow lower or older leaves on container plants is a sure sign of nutrient deficiency.

Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.