For your newly planted shrubs, up to one year after transplanting, no fertilizer is necessary since Greenkeepers used a proper planting soil mixture when installing your shrubbery. After the first year, however, and each year thereafter, fertilize shrubbery as follows:
Apply fertilizer with a formulation of 12-12-12 evenly to the entire shrub bed at a rate of 2 to 3 pounds of ACTUAL NITROGEN per 1,000 square feet. Do not allow fertilizer to fall onto turf areas.
For acid-loving shrubs, such as rhododendrons and bayberries, use fertilizer that contains ALUMINUM SULFATE or an IRON SULFATE.
For newly planted shrubs, sufficient water is essential for survival. At least 1 inch of water per week (including both rainfall and additional watering) is necessary for the first season after planting.
During the second season and thereafter, shrubs may need to be watered during drought periods. (Again, at least one inch of water per week.) A drought period may be defined as a 2 week period (or longer) with little or no rainfall.
The best time to prune shrubs depends on whether they bloom on wood grown the previous year or wood developed during the current year. Most shrubs bloom on the previous year’s wood, and therefore, if pruning is necessary, it should be done immediately after they are finished flowering.
The following is a list of shrubs that flower on new growth, and should be pruned during early spring, before the growth begins: