best fertilizer for boxwoods

Best Fertilizer for Boxwoods | Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

If there is any plant or shrub that adds color to your garden all year long, it is boxwood. It is so evergreen that you can enjoy its full color even during dead winter! Besides being evergreen, they’re super easy to care for and add structure and privacy to your outdoor space.

You can prune healthy boxwood plants into any shape you want. But to keep them looking at their best all-year-round, you need to apply fertilizer for boxwoods.

Although typically these shrubs don’t need fertilizing regularly but giving them a boost only a few times a year goes a long way. If you see their foliage turning pale with yellow edges, you’ll know it is time to offer them their plant food

Best 7 Fertilizers For Boxwoods in 2022:

We have handpicked some of the best plant foods for indoor and outdoor usage. All of these are also extremely suitable for boxwood nutrition.

1. Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes

Miracle-Gro offers you several types of plant food spikes, and this type is mainly used for outdoor trees and shrubs. If you’re looking for consistent nutrition for your boxwood shrubs, this is the product for you.

Fertilizer spikes are very convenient to use as they release nutrients to the plants over a long time. Each time you water the boxwoods or it rains on them the fertilizer gets released to the plant roots directly. This ensures the healthy growth of the shrubs and plants.

This Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub spike has all the necessary ingredients plants need in order to thrive. The NPK amount of this fertilizer spike is in the ratio of 15-5-10, which gives the strongest boost of nitrogen. 

Besides, the other ingredients are manganese oxide, ammonium phosphate, potassium chloride, iron oxide and ammonium sulfate. These are also the most essential trace elements needed for the consistent growth of the plant.

To offer a balanced feeding to your boxwoods, simply point in the spikes along each plant’s drip line. We highly recommend this product as it will help keep your plants and shrubs nice and green throughout the whole season.

Special Features
  • Specially made for outdoor plants and shrubs
  • Provides nutrition gradually and consistently
  • Roots get the fertilizer directly
  • Less likelihood of overfertilization
  • Sticks help stimulate biological activity in the soil

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2. Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes

These indoor plant food spikes from Miracle-Gro are ideal for the proper nutrient and blossoming for all houseplants. Since these are made for indoor plants, they are less powerful than the previous product we’ve just discussed. Still, these can be incredibly useful if your boxwoods only need a little nutritional boost for the season.

The ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in this plant food spike is 6-12-6 which means it has the strongest phosphorus content. This makes the plant extra bright and it is also critical for root development and flowering.

Although the spikes release micronutrients to your plants for two continuous months, it is better to replace them every thirty days during spring and summer. These spikes are the easiest to use with the Miracle-Aerator for easy application. Simply make a small hole in the soil close to the plant, then sit back and relax.

Using these spikes, you’ll find your boxwoods full of leaves, rich in color with the strongest root systems. Nothing could provide a more balanced feeding than a phosphorus-rich plant food spike like this.

Special Features
  • Feeds all types of houseplants
  • Provides continuous nutrient for 2 months
  • Have phosphorus-rich micronutrients
  • Comes with Miracle-Aerator for easy application

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3. Espoma HT18 Holly Tone

The Holly Tone is a natural plant food with all the essential nutrients needed for acid-loving plants like Boxwoods. This fertilizer was made and perfected by a leading brand in the organic fertilizer industry called Espoma.

It is a complete plant food filled with highly nutritious natural organic materials that get slowly released into the soil. As a result, the plants get optimal nutrition. This also means that you don’t need to worry about fertilizing your boxwoods often.

Made with all-organic materials enhanced with bio-tone, the Holly Tone is the safest fertilizer to use for organic gardening. Its water-soluble granules get dissolved to the soil over time slowly. 

It is recommended to use the plant food twice a year, once during spring and another during the fall season. Make sure that the water is getting down to the roots. You can do it by applying it around the drip line.

If you have many boxwood plants in your garden, this 18-pound bag of organic plant food is the perfect item for you. It has a special blend of microbes making sure the soil gets all the proper nutrients needed to support your plants.

Special Features
  • Long-lasting plant food
  • Gets released to them slowly over time
  • Enhanced with bio-tone microbes
  • Easy to use organic granules
  • Perfect for organic gardening

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4. Osmocote 274850 Smart-Release Plant Food Plus

The Osmocote smart-release plant food has several positive features to its name. It is a great option for both indoor and outdoor plants. This plant food has a granular formula fortified with 11 essential nutrients making this fertilizer very effective. 

Moreover, the best thing about this product is that it will be able to feed your plant for six whole months! Now you don’t have to worry about reapplying fertilizer every few weeks anymore. 

This has, by far, the longest extended-release period among all the fertilizers we’ve checked. If you’re looking for a long-lasting product, this is the one you should pick.
Besides, it can be applied to both outdoor and indoor plants. So, whether you plant them in a pot or on the ground, making your plants longer and stronger is no longer an issue.

This Osmocote plant food is the most versatile fertilizer as well since it can be used on all types of plants, shrubs, and trees. And if applied as directed, it won’t even burn or damage the roots!

Special Features
  • It is fortified with 11 essential nutrients
  • Can be applied to all plant varieties
  • Feeds for six months straight
  • Doesn’t burn or damage the roots or leaves

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5. Espoma Organic Traditions Compost Starter

Compost starters, also known as activators, contain fungi and bacteria that help the decomposition process in the soil. This compost starter from Espoma is an ideal choice if you want to make rich and fertile compost.

These compost starters contain numerous microbes that are cultured to speed up the decomposition of organic matters like leaves, manure, grass, food waste etc. At the microscopic level the bacteria in this fertilizer are working to decompose them in combination with proper energy sources.

Espoma offers you a pure bio-organic mix that has billions of beneficial bacteria. This helps make organic fertilizers naturally in the soil for the proper nutrition of your boxwood plants. It also includes pH balancers to assure composting success.

Special Features
  • It is a 100% organic mix
  • Contains numerous microbes
  • Speeds up slow composting particles
  • Helps in decomposing difficult materials
  • Particularly nutritious for boxwood plants

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6. JR Peters Jacks Classic All Purpose Fertilizer

For an all-purpose fertilizer, check out this Jack’s Classic from JK Peters. This all-purpose fertilizer is another water-soluble plant food that very easily dissolves into the soil. 

So, it provides all the nutrients to your plants as fast as possible. Feeding through the roots with the quickest absorption rate, it has been proven to be one of the most effective plant foods.

Safe for both yourself and the environment, this fertilizer doesn’t burn the plants. It is also suitable for use on both indoor and outdoor plants, keeping them green and healthy.

The fertilizer has a high amount of organic matter with a 20-20-20 NPK ratio. This means it has the most powerful blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Therefore, for making your boxwoods healthy, strong, and evergreen, nothing can be better than this all-purpose plant food from Jack Classic.

Special Features
  • Usable for all indoor and outdoor plants and vegetables
  • Has the highest NPK ratio of 20-20-20
  • Doesn’t burn roots or leaves
  • Especially effective on foliage plants

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7. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food

It is no surprise that we have our third boxwood fertilizer suggestion from Miracle-Gro since it is the most well-known brand in the industry. This variation of the plant food is although simple in its use but is a bit time-consuming because it needs to be applied more often than the fertilizer spikes we’ve discussed previously.

Every plant needs water, nutrition and sunlight to grow and flourish. The Miracle-Gro all-purpose water-soluble plant food has all the nutrition a plant will need throughout the year.

This plant food is safe for all plants and guarantees not to burn the root or the leaves if used as directed. Suitable for all types of indoor as well as outdoor shrubs and small plants this fertilizer is truly a miracle in delivering results.

You can use this plant food with both a garden feeder or with a watering can. Just fill the jar with the fertilizer and attach the hose. Set your favorite spraying pattern and soak the base of the plants and the soil around it a few feet across.

If you prefer watering can then add 1 tablespoon for every gallon of water for outdoor plants or only a half teaspoon of it with a gallon of water for indoor plants. You can feed the plants while watering them at the same time in this way.

As the most well-known fertilizer brand, using this Miracle-Gro all-purpose plant food once every one to two weeks will evidently give the best results.

Special Features
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor plants
  • Needs to be applied every 1-2 weeks
  • Guaranteed not to burn the plant roots or leaves
  • Can be fed while watering the plant

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Factors Need to Consider While Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Boxwoods:

If you keep in mind some of the important factors before buying, you’ll be able to avoid spending some extra bucks. Besides, the following points will give you added information for picking the best fertilizer.

● Do a Soil Test First

If the soil is good enough, your boxwood might not need added nutrition for a long time. Therefore, to avoid over fertilizing, it is best to do a preliminary soil test beforehand. Besides, you’ll also need to know what type of product needed for fertilizing.

● Best Timing to Apply Fertilizer

Another important consideration is the timing of applying the fertilizer — boxwood fertilizing benefits the most during the springtime in order to promote green growth. Late fall is also another good timing to promote root growth during winter.

It is a bad idea to fertilize during the summer heat, or just before winter. The reason is applying fertilizer during this period forces the plant to grow new leaves only to get shed during winter and dormancy. This also harms the shrub’s health.

● Nutrition Quantity of the Fertilizer

Balanced fertilizers that are slowly released are the best for boxwoods. Experts recommend a granular form of urea fertilizer with a 10-6-4 formula. This is unless your soil test reveals any specific deficit in the soil.

Make sure that your boxwoods get plenty of nitrogen as the lack of it shows yellowing of the shrub’s lower leaves. Also, the product should include Magnesium, for it enhances the color of the shrub foliage.

If you use seaweed calcium, then most of the trace elements get provided easily. But if your plant appears healthy without any deficit in the soil, use cottonseed meal or aged manure as a standard fertilizer.

How to Fertilize Boxwoods?

Picking the correct season is the first step in applying fertilizer to any plant. As mentioned earlier, late fall or spring are the best times for boxwood fertilizing. Sprinkling fertilizer around the base of the shrub is the best method of application. Because near the drip line exists the most active roots.

Be careful not to use too much of the fertilizer as it can lead to over fertilizing. This is just as bad or worse than undernutrition of the plant. You can always add some extra if there is a special need for it.

It is better to apply fertilizer on the surface as it helps to avoid the burning of the roots. But if you thoroughly irrigate the area around the plant, then it is better to broadcast the fertilizer around the entire diameter of the root growth. This area is roughly several feet out from where the plant exactly starts to grow out.

How Do You Take Care of Boxwoods?

In order to have beautiful evergreen boxwood plants around your garden or the outdoor space, you need to take proper care of them. There are some points worth mentioning while raising and keeping boxwoods.


To establish a healthy root system, boxwoods require water when they’re young and during the planting time. You don’t need to water them every day as they don’t usually tolerate constant soggy and wet soil conditions.

It is better to allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Also since evaporation is much slower during winter, be extra careful not to overwater during that season. This might rot the root and cause other harmful diseases to the plants.

Prune Dead Branches

It is essential to prune damaged plant material and branches from time to time. Dead branches and leaves often accumulate at the center of boxwoods — removing them as soon as they are noticed assists in the reduction of diseases in the plants. 

Also, thinning out dead leaves and branches means more airflow and light penetration at the center. This helps boxwood to grow continuously and healthily.

Frequently asked Questions

1. Does over fertilizing boxwood create problems?

Sometimes, over fertilizing might become more problematic than no fertilizing. If you let the granules come in contact with the actual roots or leaves, they sometimes get burned. Also, this burn might also cause green foliage to turn brown.

2. What do I do if I’ve over fertilized?

If you feel you’ve overfertilized your boxwood shrubs, try broadcasting the particles around the plant as much as you can. Spread the particles in a wider area if you feel like it.

3. How’d I know when to fertilize my boxwoods?

When you notice a general yellowing of the leaves or smaller and thinner leaves in and around the plant, it means the plant is deficient in nutrition. Undernutrition might also cause leaves to fall earlier than usual.

4. Do pests and diseases attack boxwoods?

Various pests do attack boxwood plants but most of them do not usually put major threats. Some of the common pests include leaf miners, mites and psyllids. Sometimes some types of fungi and nematodes may also attack boxwood plants.


There you have it! Our top picks for the best. Hope this article has given you enough information to choose the best product for your beautiful boxwood garden