Pros: It supplies acid loving plants with the proper nutrients.
Cons: It pours out real easy, and you may over fertilize if your not careful.
The beautiful blooms of Rhododendrons and Azaleas do more to announce the arrival of Spring, than almost any other flowering plants that I have. Both are members of the same plant group and both add a lovely touch of beauty in the early spring to my landscape. I have two Rhododendrons in the front of my home and one Azalea on the side of my home.
These acid loving plants do not require too much care. Although care must be exercised in fertilizing. Rhododendrons and Azaleas do appreciate being fed, but they are not big feeders and desire light feedings of plant food. Heavy applications can stunt their growth or even kill the plants, and a slow released fertilizer is the best kind to use.
Before I purchased this Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Slow Released plant food in the spring of this year, I had always used Miracle-Gro Miracid plant food for my outside acid loving plants. This spring I ran out of the plant food, so I went out to our Lowes Garden center to purchase more. As I walked through the fertilizer section I noticed the Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Plant Slow Release Plant food container. It had a spout applicator and looked easy to apply. I could apply it dry without having to mix it with water first like I had to when I used Miracle-Gro Miracid plant food. I figured it would be a quick and easy way to feed my outdoor plants, so I purchased it for $9.47.
It comes in a 4.5 lb. plastic container with a yellow pouring applicator that's attached to the top of the container. This allows you to sprinkle the fertilizer directly on the soil and around acid loving plants every 3 months during the growing season. There is a handle on the side of the container, which makes it easy to hold while spreading the fertilizer.
The fertilizer is composed of very small pellets, which are green in color.
Total Nitrogen (N)----------------------------------8%
8.0% Amnoniacal Nitrogen
Available Phosphate (PO)----------------------4%
Soluble Potash (PO)----------------------------4%
Sulfer (S) (Total)------------------------------------27%
11.0% Combined Sulfer (S)
16.0% Free Sulfer (S)
3.0% Water Soluble Iron (FE)
Applying the Fertilizer:
First I had to remove the large over cap on the top of the container and then I unscrewed the nozzle that is on top of the container, and then I removed the safety seal from the container.
I then turned and rotated the yellow pouring applicator that sits on top of the nozzle so it extended out over the top and to the front of the container. This then turned it into a pouring spout, which makes the fertilizer easy to apply to the soil.
The first time I poured the fertilizer out on the soil under my Rhododendron plant I poured out way to much. Being the pellets are so small it was very easy to pour too much fertilizer into the soil. I had to scrape out as much of the fertilizer that I could by hand, with a garden glove on, of course. Then I mixed the fertilizer down into the mulch about 2 to 3 inches or so. By mixing the fertilizer well into the mulch it will help to deliver the nutrients down into the root system.
All I wanted was a light sprinkling of the fertilizer for my Azalea and my Rhododendrons, because these plants grow slowly and therefore only need a little fertilizer. These plants require less fertilizing then most other plants do. A good rule that I do follow is to only fertilizer my Azalea and my Rhododendrons once before blooming and once after the flowers have finished blooming. Usually in April and then once again in June.
The only con I have is when shaking the fertilizer out, it releases too much at one time. What I finally did was to just sprinkle a little in my garden glove and gently sprinkle a little amount lightly and evenly into the mulch. Then I found out that if I shook the container jug gently from side to side and poured it out very slowly, instead of just pouring it straight out, fewer pellets came through the pouring applicator. I found that for me it was just as easy pouring the pellets out in my hand with a glove on, to distribute just the right amount of fertilizer to my plants when I was fertilizing them. Either way it worked fine for me.
After applying the fertilizer, and working it well into the mulch, it's a must to water each plant thoroughly.
There really is no chance of overfeeding or burning of your plants, as long as you use it as directed and are careful when you're pouring out the fertilizer from the applicator. Over fertilizing can burn the roots and can encourage serious root diseases.
These acid loving plants will die from too much fertilizer, than from none at all. Not enough is always better than too much.
A few things not to do:
This fertilizer should never be mixed in a watering can and should never be used in a hose end feeder. It should always be used dry to fertilize any acid loving plants, and then watered after thoroughly.
Never apply the fertilizer in late Summer or Fall to a Azelea, Camillia, or a Rhododendron, as these acid loving plants may be stimulated into growth and could be killed during the winter months, especially if you live in a climate where you experience frost.
Be careful when fertilizing any acid loving plant that you don't get any of the fertilizer up and under the plants, as it's apt to burn the surface roots. Instead apply it carefully around the drip line of the plant and then work it in to the mulch.
When your fertilizing your lawn with a spreader, always be careful not to get to close to your plants. Because most lawn grasses require more nitrogen than your plants do, and even a little spray of the lawn fertilizer thrown onto one of your plants, could damage or even kill your plants.
Where not to use:
This Miracle-Gro Shake' n Feed Azalea, Camellia and Rhododendron plant food should never be used to feed indoor or outdoor container plants.
If you want fantastic flowers and large quantities of them, your plants must be fed the year prior. In other words, the food that you feed your plants in the spring gives the plant the energy to produce the buds for the following year.
The Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed for Azalea, Camellia, and Rhododendrons also comes in a 8 lb. refill bag. But being I only have 3 acid loving flowering plants and the container holds 4.5 lbs. of fertilizer, I'm sure I won't be needing the refill bag for quite a while. I guess I won't have to worry about running out soon of this Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed Fertilizer for my Rhododendrons and my Azalea.
As with any fertilizer, it's always best to keep the container in a safe place and out of the reach of childrens hands.
Do I recommend the Miracle-gro Shake'n Feed for Azaleas, Camellia and Rhododendrons?
I sure do recommend this fertilizer, even though you may have to adjust the way that you use the applicator, It's still a high quality fertilizer that releases a slow plant food that's important for beautiful flowers, lush green foilage and also strong root growth. Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed for Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendrons plant food will provide all of your acid loving outdoor flowering plants the proper nutrients that they need for proper growth for up to 3 months during their growing season. I'm sure that the next time that your plants have blossomed after being fertilized with the Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed for Azaleas, Camellia and Rhododendron Slow Released Plant Food, you can expect a spectacular show of flower blossoms.
As always thanks for reading!