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Juniper Fertilizer – How to (Spikes, Bonsai, Ratio, Creeping, Spartan, Moonglow, Nana)

Junipers are one of the best grown plants for any landscape. They are popular as ornamental shrubs and trees. They are highly tolerable shrubs that belong to genus junipers which has over 67 species. Its ideal choice for different landscapes and you can’t tell about its living habitat as it grows in both low to high ground covers, different pyramidal as well as vertical, parallel areas. 

Juniper Fertilizer – Typically juniper requires light feeding and this will benefit it for the whole year. Fertilizing the juniper with slow release fertilizer in early spring or after 60 days of frost with a solution of N-P-K as 16-4-8 or 14-4-8.  You can also fertilize it with iron based plant food which encourages greening in junipers. 

There are various varieties that reach to a height of 120 feet and you can also find the short shrubs which grow in 5-6 inches only. It is perfect for the hedges, lawns, screens, business parks, IT parks, university layering and covering the sideways.

Foliage comes in dark green to light colors, some are red, silver, blue and yellow and there are also some hybrid junipers that come in red-green color. 

Lets now know about the different questions you may be wondering about to get answers.

Why Should I fertilize My Juniper?

Juniper Fertilizer

The most common reason for fertilizing juniper is to make it healthy for the upcoming years. In the first few years, you need to fertilize it every 6 months as a result they get nutrients which help it to establish its roots. Juniper may reach new heights and get all the branching just because the owner has given it an initial phase nutrient rich fertilizer.

Junipers are evergreen so in fall they may lose color to turn dark and after that a new season will start and that time your tree again needs fertilizer for its proper nutrition. Feeding them well will result in a more healthy and large tree.

How to Fertilize Juniper?

How to Fertilize Juniper

Generally a juniper requires light feeding and this will benefit it for the whole year. Fertilizing the juniper with slow release fertilizer in early spring or after 60 days of frost with a solution of N-P-K as 16-4-8 or 14-4-8.  You can also fertilize it with iron based plant food which encourages greening in junipers. 

Newer leaves may not last in winters and die back. So better if you care for the plant after the first frost. Some people also use balanced fertilizer of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 by taking 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. You need to spread the fertilizer around the plant. I advise not to put any fertilizer directly on the main trunk or stem. 

If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall then you should make sure the rain does not wash away the slow-release fertilizer. Apply that on sunny days and not on rainy days. There will be one or two days you get when there is very less rainfall so that day you can easily feed your tree.

Also one of the benefits of juniper is that it will adjust to overwatering which is the main issue in every plant nowadays. so other than that keep them healthy on sunny days and give them proper water. Do not let the foliage turn to any color to indicate about its watering issue, timely give water to your juniper.

Should I fertilize juniper with already nutrient-rich Soil?

It depends on whether your juniper needs fertilizer or not. If you have added fresh nutrient rich soil then it isn’t required until the next spring. If you notice less green foliage then it can be added in early spring or late winters. 

Nutrient rich soil has High N-P-K value which is proper for any tree. If you still give it more fertilizer than due to over-fertilizing your juniper may die or show signs like leaf browning or black. Some of the leaves may droopy or die back after few weeks. So do not give it if it already has the fertilizer.

What is the Best fertilizer for junipers?

Best fertilizer for junipers

There are different fertilizers available in the market today. Choosing the best fertilizer based on iron, nitrogen components that are essential for the green growth of the juniper. Best fertilizer such as Jobe’s and miracle Gro are the ones that I used in junipers, shrubs, and conical trees.

Here are the list of Top Fertilizer for All Junipers trees:


Juniper fertilizer spikes

Juniper fertilizer spikes

Juniper fertilizer spikes are one of the easiest methods to provide adequate nutrients to the shrubs and trees. They are directly pushed into the ground and after regular watering, fertilizer spikes keep distributing nutrients to the soil, mainly the root of your juniper. This helps them over the year to get nourished without much work. It is a simple way which avoids the extra work done when applying liquid fertilizer. Slow release fertilizer generally takes time to make it to the ground, also they don’t have sufficient nutrients for a juniper otherwise you keep on pouring fertilizer to make them happy. These fertilizer spikes are applied and forgotten methods where spikes are dug into the ground using a hammer or drill then wait for the magic in the coming year. Do not forget to always pour water in hot summers.

Juniper fertilizer bonsai

A juniper bonsai is smaller in size but requires a good amount of fertilizer that can be given using a slow release fertilizer that slowly reaches to the soil and rooting system so your juniper bonsai can be healthy in the growing season. I already advised everyone that using a low nitrogen & high potassium, phosphorus fertilizer will enhance the branching and size of the plant. To make your bonsai juniper more healthy and green you need a high nitrogen fertilizer. There are also iron based plant foods used in shrubs that makes the foliage green and healthy.

Juniper fertilizer ratio

Juniper fertilizer ratio is either 15-15-15 or 20-20-20 for large size shrubs. You can also use high nitrogen ratio fertilizer in juniper such as 16-4-8 and 12-4-8. For overall growth balanced N-P-K ratio is best and for fruiting and foliage growth you can always select the nitrogen based fertilizers. They enjoys fertilizing in in early spring or at the end of winters. This is because it’s the growing season for juniper after spring. It’s as per instruction you can apply the fertilizer but do not over-fertilize your shrubs.

Creeping Juniper fertilizer

Creeping Juniper fertilizer

Creeping juniper fertilizer wants slow release fertilizer for their growth. Use a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 ratio fertilizer for creeping juniper ground cover. It will surely boost the overall growth including foliage, stem, and branches of juniper. Instructions are you need to dilute the solution for example two tablespoons of 20-20-20 fertilizer per gallon water can work for its growth and you can directly pour it in the shrub.  

Spartan Juniper fertilizer

Spartan Juniper fertilizers are not fond of soil nutrition but yes they require balanced fertilizer such as 15-15-15 or 20-20-20 to keep its foliage healthy and shiny. They also work very well for most fertilizer specially designed for shrubs. For better growth and enhanced branching you should be using that fertilizer every year. Slow-release plant food can also do wonders for spartan juniper as for people who want to feed the shrub once per month and forget it and the fertilizer gets absorbed into the soil making it more nutrient rich. 

Not only this, but you can try organic fertilizer using the kitchen waste which also makes one of the safest and pure kinds of fertilizer. I use this kitchen waste to include vegetables and fruit peels that are dropped in water for many days and poured into the soil. Or this waste can be dug and dropped under the soil for a month or two and the soil made out of it is full of nutrients.

Moonglow Juniper fertilizer

Moonglow juniper fertilizer is 10-10-10 or 15-15-15 N-P-K ratio. Moonglow are bigger pyramidal junipers so they require good feeding in early spring or in late winters. The foliage is silver blue in color and are most attractives juniper trees that have compact branching. They are perfect for any landscapes with its conical pyramid shape.

Juniper nana fertilizer

Juniper nana fertilizer requires 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer. Although Nana Juniper are not into heavy feeding but for their foliage health and branching they want to get nutrition from the plant food. You can also use high nitrogen based fertilizer if you feel your plant is not growing up to the mark with less foliage. Always fertilize them in spring or in late winters. This is the best time for them to get plant food so they are prepared to grow more in their growing season.

About Juniper

Junipers is an evergreen shrub or a tree that comes in different shapes and sizes. Junipers are popular conifers native to African Region and Northern Hemisphere & they belong to Cupressaceae Family. These trees can be as big as 130 feet or as small as 5 inches shrubs. It has 60-67 species of coniferous tree and shrubs. They are hardy to USDA zone 7 to 10 and can tolerate drought conditions.

Final Thoughts

Our junipers are light feeders but still they want fertilizer for their new season growth. I have listed all the fertilizer and you can use it as per your need. If you want to use it for the next spring then slow release or balanced fertilizer will work best. And for those who only want the color to get more green in those juniper leaves then use iron fertilizer given in the article. It will help you juniper to fulfill its deficiency of iron and make the leaf more greener. 

I hope you get every information about juniper fertilizer. Happy gardening.

Also Read : 

Wichita Blue Juniper – Care Guide, Propagation, Benefits

Gold Mop Cypress Companion Plants – Top Plants and Shrubs