Index > Garden Blog

Date: 7 Oct 2019, Entry id: 1570444262-1

Fertilizing in Winter?

Q: I'm a bit confused about what winter fertilization schedule I should follow in South Florida. For blooming plants, usually, I use a monthly granular bloom booster fertilizer as well as a liquid fertilizer every 10 days or so. Should I continue that schedule in the winter as well? Should I stop fertilizing altogether in the winter? How about fruit trees? What fertilization schedule should I follow in the winter?

A: Here is a general fertilizing schedule for established plants that we follow here in SW Florida.
The rule of thumb is, do not fertilize (with macro- NPK elements) when minimum temperatures drop below 65F and stay at that level for more than 7 days. At this temperature point, most of the tropical and subtropical plants slow down their metabolism and some of them going into dormancy. This means, nutrients are not consumed as much as during active growth period, and built-up nutrient supply within a plant plus whatever is available in the soil is just enough to get by through the winter. So additional fertilizing is not necessary. You may continue micro-element supplements and bio-stimulants throughout the year. In fact, it is highly recommended to do so, to help the plant survive cold spells. These are very effective tropical plant protectors:
SUNSHINE-Epi - Brassinosteroid plant hormone
SUNSHINE-Power-Si - Advanced plant protector with Silicon
SUNSHINE SuperFood - Complex microelement supplement

This rule is applied to both flowering and fruiting plants, in general. However, some species are winter-flowering and winter-fruiting. For those, you can make an exception and provide extra nutrients for flowering and fruiting, as long as the weather stays warm. During cold spells, avoid any NPK fertilizers and use only bio-stimulants and micro-elements. If you apply NPK during cold, it won't be consumed by a plant, build up in the soil, and may create a root burn situation.

In simple words, fertilize from March to October. Give plants some rest from November to February.