Selecting a fertilizer for a public or private garden depends on the types of plants being grown. Evergreen plants have growing requirements that are different from other types of plants. Two major brands of evergreen fertilizer are Scotts and Vigoro, which contain much of the same ingredient. Climate and location affect evergreens, causing results to vary. For comparison, consider trying out each brand; use one brand a year until achieving the desired appearance.
Scotts Miracle-Gro distributes evergreen fertilizer for professional and home gardens worldwide. Founded in 1868 by O.M. Scott from Ohio, the Scotts company produced premium seed for the U.S. agricultural industry. During the 20th century, the company made lawn grass seed. A merger in 1995 with Stern’s Miracle-Gro brought about the companies' name change to Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. in 2005. Vigoro is a Canadian-based company that markets fertilizers. Owned by United Industries, which produces pesticides and agricultural chemicals, Vigoro sells mostly to home and garden stores throughout North America.
How Fertilizers Work
Fertilizers supply needed nutrients to the soil. Typical nutrients in evergreen fertilizers, for example, consist of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen deepens the foliage color on evergreens, while phosphorus strengthens roots and encourages blooming. Potassium increases disease resistance, stimulates growth and improves overall plant health. Scotts evergreen fertilizer mixes into the topsoil and has a formula ratio of 11 parts nitrogen, 7 parts phosphorus and 7 parts potassium. Vigoro fertilizer spikes deliver nutrients directly to the root system of evergreens with a formula ratio of 12-5-7.
Sprinkling fertilizer over the soil surface and working it into the top 1 to 3 inches of soil helps spread nutrients in the fertilizer. Scotts evergreen fertilizer requires reapplication every two months during the plant’s growing season. Early April is the prime time to begin fertilizing evergreens. Stop fertilization in July so new growth can harden before cooler weather arrives. Vigoro evergreen fertilizer spikes have a pre-measured amount of fertilizer inserted into capsules, each of which has a slow-release formula that lasts for 12 weeks, a typical growing season.
Before fertilizing evergreen plants, run a soil test to determine if the soil has sufficient levels of nutrients and to check for acidity. Evergreens prefer acidic soils, while alkaline-based soils leach nutrients from the dirt. While some plants don't require fertilization, if new growth appears slow or sparse, consider using it. A 3-pound bag of Scotts fertilizer covers an area of 165 square feet. One package of Vigoro evergreen fertilizer spikes contains 15 capsules.
Scotts offers a wide selection of evergreen plant foods. In addition to the dry bag evergreen fertilizer, Scotts also manufactures evergreen plant spikes; plant food for evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs; and water-soluble plant food for evergreens such as azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Vigoro produces evergreen plant spikes for targeted fertilization of trees and shrubs. This Canadian-based company also provides two types of dry plant fertilizer -- one for azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias and the other for trees, shrubs and evergreen plants.