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How to Fertilize an Indian Hawthorn

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Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica) a species of small, broad-leaf evergreen shrub. The tree flowers in the spring, so it should be fed with a complete fertilizer, such as a product with a nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium blend of 16-4-8, 12-6-6 or 12-4-8. Fertilize the shrub once a year—in spring, after the last hard frost has passed and the soil is workable. A second application in early summer may be required in order to compensate for poor soil nutrition.

Water the soil regularly for two to three weeks before applying fertilizer to ensure the soil is moist and the roots are not drought-stressed. Water sufficiently to a depth of 8 to 10 inches if the Indian hawthorn is young and small. For a large and well-established shrub, water to a depth of 2 feet.

Apply 1/2 cup of fertilizer for small, recently planted shrubs. Apply 1 cup of fertilizer for each large, well-established shrub. Adjust these amounts to comply with contrasting instructions on the product's label.

Cast the fertilizer grains over the surface of the soil surrounding the shrub. Keep the fertilizer grains at least 6 inches away from the trunk to prevent over-fertilizing the soil and burning the roots. Extend the application of fertilizer to 1 1/2 times the diameter of the canopy. This will ensure the fertilizer reaches every part of the root mass, which is larger than the canopy.

Water the fertilizer deeply into the soil to ensure distribution of the nutrients.

Warning

Apply no more than 1 to 2 lbs. of fertilizer per year for each 500-square-foot area of shrub plantings. Excess fertilizer will not help the shrubs and may interfere with blooming. Run-off may also pollute streams.

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