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Even though you are one of the best farmers in the world or you are highly knowledgeable about planting fruit trees, you still need to use fertilizer at some point. The probable exception is that you know that the soil you use is extremely fertile with tons of necessary nutrients for plant growth and development. Yet, it is not the case most of the time.
Because of this, you need to figure out the best fertilizer to use for your fruit trees. After all, you do not want them to be vulnerable to malnutrition and expose them to many chemicals.
What you want is to provide better yield and high-quality fruits. It will only be possible if they have enough nutrients to ensure healthy production and strong roots. Here are some of the best fertilizers to use.
Top 8 Best Fertilizer for Fruit Trees Review
- Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Organic Fertilizer – Best Overall
- No products found. – Best Value
- Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food – Editor’s Choice
- Espoma Organic Tree-Tone Plant Food
- Southern AG Citrus Nutritional Spray
- Urban Farm Fertilizers Apples and Oranges
- EB Stone Organics Citrus and Fruit Tree Food
- JR Peters Jack’s Classic Citrus FeED
- 1 #1. Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Organic Fertilizer – Best Overall
- 2 #2. No products found. – Best Value
- 3 #3. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food – Editor’s Choice
- 4 #4. Espoma Organic Tree-Tone Plant Food
- 5 #5. Southern AG Citrus Nutritional Spray
- 6 #6. Urban Farm Fertilizers Apples and Oranges
- 7 #7. EB Stone Organics Citrus and Fruit Tree Food
- 8 #8. JR Peters Jack’s Classic Citrus FeED
- 9 Dr. Earth
- 10 Scotts Miracle-Gro
- 11 Organic
- 12 Inorganic
- 13 Soil
- 14 Organic
- 15 Form
- 16 Nutrients
- 17 Budget
- 18 What Kind of Fertilizer Is the Best for Fruit Trees?
- 19 How to Apply the Fruit Tree Fertilizer?
- 20 When Is the Best Time to Apply Fertilizer on Fruit Trees?
- 21 Related posts:
#1. Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Organic Fertilizer – Best Overall
- Available Weight (pounds): 1, 4, 12, and 25
- Analysis: 5-5-2
- Organic: yes
- Genetically modified: No
If you are looking for a known brand, you will never go wrong with Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Organic Fertilizer. It is the first fertilizer that comes to mind for most people regarding organic fertilizers because of its effectiveness and fast-acting results.
It contains a special formula for fruit-bearing trees, fruiting vines, and berries. What makes it amazing is that it works even in backyard soils and containers. It also works with initial transplanting after hole digging and can be used any period of a year.
This fertilizer is organic and contains non-GMO ingredients. That is why you can trust that it does not contain any synthetic ingredients, including animal waste, that is why it is not as stinky as other organic fertilizers. It is also child-friendly and pet-safe.
Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Organic Fertilizer is fast-acting. You can see the results after two months of feeding.
It is no surprise that this fertilizer almost has perfect characteristics because environmentalists created it. It is formulated by Milo Shammas, who is the founder of Dr. Earth.
This fertilizer has micronutrients and has Trubiotic. The Trubiotic refers to the patented healthy soil microbes with mycorrhizae. This feature makes nutrients more absorbable for soil, making the plant resistant to drought.
It is approved by various organizations, such as the OIM, OMRI, CCOF, and NOP. That is why you are sure that it is 100 percent organic.
|Usable even in fruit-bearing plants, not just trees||Lower NPK than others
|Encourages bearing fruits and flowers|
|Fast-acting for up to two months|
|No stinky smell |
#2. No products found. – Best Value
No products found.
No products found.
- Available Weight (pounds): 1.5, 4, 6, and 16
- Analysis: 3-5-5
- Organic: yes
- Type: granular
The Jobe’s Organics Fruit and Citrus Fertilizer With Biozome is the best for soil preparation, trees, new plantings, and seeds of nut trees and citrus fruits. It is a fast-acting fertilizer that takes only two to three months of applications. Besides that, it is organic, and you can trust that it contains no synthetic chemicals, making it kids and pet friendly.
It is USDA approved and OMRI listed. You are sure that it is one of the best for organic gardening.
The only problem is that it contains processed manure, making this fertilizer stinky. However, it contains all the necessary nutrients and organic matter that improve soil quality. It contains sulfur, phosphorus, calcium, nitrogen, and potassium.
This fertilizer also contains bone meal rich in phosphorus and calcium, which are essential nutrients for the roots, fruits, and flowers to grow.
This fruit and citrus fertilizer also contains a feather meal that has nitrogen that makes leaves greener and promotes healthy plant growth.
What makes this fertilizer unique from the others is the Biozome content, which is the reason for its fast-acting result. This component is a combination of mycorrhizal fungi, good bacteria, and Archaea that improves the long-term soil quality that supports plant growth. Aside from these functions, it also makes the plants resistant to disease, drought, and insects.
|Contains Biozome for a fast breakdown of nutrients ||Stinky smell due to manure component
|Contains special formula for a citrus tree||Lower in NPK compared to others|
|USDA approved, and OMRI listed|
|Excellent for nut trees too|
#3. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food – Editor’s Choice
- Available Weight (pounds): 4.5 and 8
- Analysis: 12-4-8
- Organic: natural
The Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food is your next option if you are looking for an all-purpose fertilizer usable in fruit trees. Besides fruit trees, you can apply this fertilizer to houseplants, shrubs, vegetables, and flowers.
It contains natural ingredients that include calcium, which is essential for providing stronger cell walls for better-quality fruits and vegetables. It also makes the plant resistant to disorders, such as calcium deficiency.
This fertilizer promotes root development and better resistance that boosts water efficiency.
This fertilizer requires up to three months of application. If you follow the instructions well, your plants will not burn.
What makes this plant food even better is that you can use it for in-ground or in-container plants.
|All-purpose and usable for in-ground and in-containers||Possible of burning if instructions are not followed
|Thorough release of nutrients||No calcium component
|Easy to apply||Low phosphate level|
- Available Weight (pounds): 4.5, 18, and 36
- Analysis: 6-3-2
- Organic: organic and natural
- Type: granule
If you do not like the Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food, you might want to consider the Espoma Organic Tree-Tone Plant Food if you are looking for an all-purpose fertilizer. This plant food is excellent for feeding and planting ornamental, shade, and fruit trees.
This fertilizer contains 15 essential nutrients that include calcium. You can also find other natural and organic ingredients; that is why you can trust that it is environment-friendly. Because of the nutrition components it has, this fertilizer can aid in the overall development of a tree.
The slow release of nutrients is one of the causes of its efficiency. This fertilizer also contains bio-tone, which refers to microbes that provide a long-lasting effect.
Because it is natural and organic, it does not contain sludges, fillers, or toxic components, although it contains manure that causes a slightly unpleasant smell.
|Complete in essential nutrients||Slightly unpleasant smell
|A slow release of nutrients||Low in NPK|
- Available Weight (pound): 1
- Analysis: 1.2 percent iron, 1.2 percent manganese, 4.1 percent magnesium, 1.7 percent zinc, and 4.1 percent sulfur
- Type: liquid foliar application
If you are looking for a fertilizer that you can apply on the leaves, you will like the Southern AG Citrus Nutritional Spray. It is usable for ornamental and fruit trees of almost any kind. Unlike other many fertilizers, this one works by spraying it on the leaves.
Its main purpose is to prevent plant disorders, particularly the ones that cause yellowing on plants.
This fertilizer contains five major essential nutrients for plant growth: iron, zinc, magnesium, sulfur, and manganese.
|Prevents plant deficiency symptoms||Not the best option if plant growth and development is the goal|
|Contains five major nutrients||No NPK indicated
- Available Weight (pounds): 8.35, 4.18, 2.09
- Analysis: 4.5-2-4.2
- Organic: organic and hydroponic-grade minerals
- Type: liquid
The Urban Farm Fertilizers Apples and Oranges is your best option if you are looking for a concentrated liquid fertilizer that you can use for a long time. Aside from practicality, this fertilizer offers fast growth and increased fruit production.
This fertilizer is partly organic and partly contains hydroponic-grade mineral salts. The major ingredients are bat guanos, mycorrhizae, earthworm castings, Vitazyme, amino acids, sea kelp, hydroponic-grade mineral salts, and humic acid.
Aside from the mentioned ingredients, this fertilizer also contains calcium that is helpful for citrus plants. Its humic acid component is functional for improving the presence of nutrients, while the mycorrhizae make these nutrients more accessible.
The manufacturer of Urban Farm Fertilizers Apples and Oranges is confident about this fertilizer because of its high concentration. They are confident that one part of it is enough to contain the necessary formula to apply to the plants. For example, 1 tablespoon per gallon or 1 quart per 64 gallons.
They are also confident that their fertilizer contains enough NPK to aid plants’ growth. Although you can see on the labels that it is lower than the others, it still contains more than enough NPK compared to generic 20-20-20 dry fertilizers.
According to its manufacturer, its liquid formula weighs more than its dry counterpart, and the basis of this ratio is percentage weight. They said that when they tested their fertilizer, they found out that Urban Farm Fertilizers Apples and Oranges is 15 to 20 percent stronger, equivalent to 16-8-16 of its equivalent.
|Complete in essential nutrients||Unsuitable for direct root application
|Increased fruit yield||Needs dilution|
- Analysis: 7-3-3
- Organic: organic and natural
- Type: granular
The EB Stone Organics Citrus and Fruit Tree Food is a blend of natural and organic components and is certified organic. This fertilizer is usable for citrus, fruit trees, fruit vines, shade trees, ornamental vines, flowering trees, and berries.
This fertilizer encourages growth, lush foliage, production, and enhanced microbial activity.
It contains chicken manure, alfalfa meal, potassium, soil microbes, bat guano, etc.
You can use it on different growing platforms.
|Best for indoor plants and trees||Not the best for outdoor plants and trees|
|Fast-acting in roots ||Takes time to see a visible effect
|Easy to apply ||Contains manure
- Available Weight (pound): 1.5
- Analysis: 20-10-20
- Type: granular
The JR Peters Jack’s Classic Citrus FeED contains a special formula for citrus crops, particularly the tropical ones.
It has enhanced micronutrients that are essential for branches’ strength, fruit production, and green leaves. It also includes a spoon for easy measurement.
|Contains special formulation for citrus plants||Not all ingredients are organic.
|High in NPK||Needs dilution
To successfully plant a fruit tree, you need knowledge and skills. Fertilizers are there only to help you reach your goal of having a generous yield of best-quality fruits. However, you do not want to use mediocre fertilizers for your plants, especially if you aim for the best results.
Because of this, you should not settle for less.
Although there are tons of excellent fertilizer varieties on the market, having many options can overwhelm your decision. That is why this article wants to help you find out which fertilizer to try first to see if it will work well on your plants.
This article’s top pick is Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Organic Fertilizer. The only problem with this fertilizer is that it contains lower NPK than its competitors. Otherwise, it is almost perfect.
It is organic, and it contains no GMO. It is kids-friendly and pet-safe too.
Besides that, you do not have to suffocate yourself from a stinky odor because it does not contain animal waste. Even so, it is fast-acting, and it contains all the essential nutrients to encourage growth and disorder resistance in fruit-bearing plants.
Best Fertilizer Brands for Fruit Trees
If you cannot find any recommended fertilizers mentioned in this article, you may want to check out the other fertilizers from the following brands. These brands have an excellent reputation that most farmers and gardeners trust.
Dr. Earth has been famous for its organic products that are essential for planting different plant varieties. It includes organic soils, insect control, and fertilizers. That is why if you are looking for items needed for planting that are also organic, Dr. Earth is your best bet.
Milo Shammas was the one who formulated several of Dr. Earth’s products and also the founder of this company. Dr. Earth has been around for almost 29 years.
According to him, the purpose of this company is to improve people’s lives. That is why it prioritizes people while protecting the planet. For him, profit only comes next.
Miracle-Gro has been around for decades. It was founded by Otto Stern and Horace Hagedorn in 1951 and lived in the principle that creating a beautiful garden does not require you to be a pro. In 1995, the company merged with Scotts.
Scotts Miracle-Gro owns several brands that include Scotts, Earthgro, Gro Scotts, Osmocote, Miracle-Gro, to name a few. The company lives in the purpose to provide goodness to everyone in every part of the Earth. This principle is what they call GroMoreGood.
Besides gardening products, Scotts Miracle-Gro provides products under the pest and weed control, hydroponics, and lawn care categories from the different brands it owns.
Organic Versus Inorganic Fertilizers
Fertilizers come in different varieties, but they commonly come in two forms or sometimes the hybrid of these forms. Knowing the differences between organic and inorganic fertilizers will help you determine the better one to use for your plant type and determine the possible results from using either.
The first thing that you should know about these two types of fertilizers is the similarities. Both organic and inorganic fertilizers provide the essential nutrients that plants need to grow. When it comes to nutritional content, both have it.
What makes organic fertilizers different is that they work slowly. However, you can trust that the plant will grow naturally and healthily. Aside from that, none of the ingredients are harmful to the environment because of their natural components.
Although organic and natural are not the same per se, natural fertilizers fall under this category too. The nutrients found in these fertilizers are not refined or extracted. They are in their natural forms, although compost and manures are commonly processed.
That is why organic fertilizers’ typical compositions are powdered minerals, manures, compost, bone meal, or seed meal. Because of their natural characteristic, the ratio of nutrients is difficult to determine.
However, most organic fertilizers nowadays contain healthy microbes that aid in breaking down nutrients for faster absorption. That is why organic fertilizers can improve the soil quality and its water and nutrient retention capabilities, making your fruit trees grow healthy over time.
You also do not have to worry about the possible buildup of toxins from chemicals and salts that may have a detrimental effect on plants. Overfertilization is also not an issue because of the slow-release characteristic of this type of fertilizer.
Inorganic fertilizers are known as chemical or synthetic fertilizers. Most of them come from fossil fuels or petroleum products. These fertilizers are fast-acting.
Manufacturers also provide detailed analysis to determine the necessary ratio of nutrients needed, measuring this fertilizer type easy to understand.
Aside from environmental issues, the other problem in using inorganic fertilizers is that it does not provide the soil’s needed nutrients. It only provides the ones needed for the plant’s growth but not to the soil. This issue can have a long-term negative effect on the soil because of the continuous depletion of nutrients due to frequent planting induced by this fertilizer type.
Overfertilization may happen, and continuous application can backfire and kill the plants because of the possibility of toxins buildup in the soil, which can also creep its way to fruits and vegetables.
Although the choice is up to you, knowing which is better between the two types is apparent. Even the effects of organic fertilizers are not as instantaneous as the inorganic ones. Organic fertilizers maintain the ecosystem and allow the plants to grow healthily and naturally while also fertilizing the soil.
Meanwhile, although the results are fast with inorganic fertilizers, it is unhealthy for the plants and even animals and humans to eat the fruits and vegetables from them.
Factors to Consider When Buying Fertilizer for Fruit Trees
Because the best fertilizer for fruit trees still depends on the plant variety, you should know the different considerations when purchasing one.
Aside from the fertilizer, you also need to consider the quality of the soil. Fertilizer is useless if you use poor quality soil or soil that is not suitable for your plant. That is why you should check your plants’ specifications and determine the best soil to use for it.
You also need to determine the right pH, which is typically between six to seven.
As mentioned, you should opt for organic fertilizer because it will help not only on the plants you currently plants but also the future plants. It is because organic fertilizers also fertilize the soil, not just the plant. You are also sure that you will get the best-quality fruits free from arsenic, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals.
Even though you may choose to create an organic fertilizer yourself, it is advisable to buy the already made ones because they have all the necessary nutrients your fruit plant needs.
Fertilizers come in different forms for some reason. The different fertilizer forms are:
The granules are easy to apply because you only have to distribute the proper amount of fertilizer. Fertilizers of this form commonly have a single ingredient, although many have several ingredients.
What you only need to remember about this form is that you should water it after the application. Because it is in the form of granules, it has to soften to break down and disperse the soil’s nutrients to benefit the roots.
Fertilizers in liquid form are commonly concentrated and need to be diluted. There are different fertilizer products on the market in liquid form. That is why it is best to read the instructions before the application, although one ounce per gallon is the most common.
Like the granules, the spikes are easy to apply. You only have to apply it once to twice a year by inserting it around the drip line or the outermost part of the tree canopy, where the water drips the longest.
It is convenient because reapplication is not a must.
Fertilizers that come in a spray form are typically used to replenish the trace elements lost. It is usually applied on the leaves, and the typical form used for citrus fruits.
If it is your first time buying a fruit tree fertilizer, you might encounter the ratio in the form of number-number-number, 3-5-6, as an example. This ratio refers to the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) rating. The ratio refers to the percentage of the presence of these nutrients in the fertilizer.
In this example, this ratio means 3 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphorus, and 6 percent potassium. If you subtract the sum of these amounts (14 percent) to 100 percent, the total will be 86 percent, referring to the other ingredients.
The NPK is also known as the macronutrients in fertilizers, so they are the typical fertilizer analysis basis.
To know about it, you can look at the nutrition table located on the packaging that contains all the ingredients of a fertilizer. The remaining ones not indicated on the lists are fillers.
Commonly, it is ideal to purchase a fertilizer with a balanced ratio. However, it all depends on the plant variety. For example, citrus plants are nitrogen feeders, so you need to find a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen ratio on these plants. It would help if you also observe possible nutrient deficiency to determine which nutrient should be present on a fertilizer.
Aside from these macronutrients, plants can also benefit from the following nutrients, which may also present in fertilizers:
Now that you know about the NPK ratio, what you need to learn next is how you can save money by using it as a basis. What you need to remember is that fertilizers are more expensive, the heavier it gets. That is why you need to consider the formulation.
For example, there are two fertilizers available on the market. One fertilizer is in a 4-pound bag and has an NPK ratio of 16-8-8, and the other one is in an 8-pound bag with an NPK ratio of 8-4-4, half the ratio of the 4-pound bag. Commonly, the eight-pound bag is more expensive than the four-pound bag.
If this is the case, it is wiser to purchase the four-pound bag with twice the eight-pound bag ratio.
What you want for your fruit trees is for them to grow healthy and strong. If they have such characteristics, you can trust that it is all worth it. You will enjoy delicious and high-quality fruit yields because of your effort.
Aside from your knowledge and skills, it is crucial that you also have the right tools. By using the best fertilizer is one example. It plays a major role in your fruit trees’ growth and fruit production.
Although there are many excellent fertilizers on the market, this article aims to help you narrow down your options. Its best pick is the Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Organic Fertilizer. It is organic, and it does not contain any toxic ingredients that can harm the plants or anyone.
Although it has lower NPK than the others, it contains all the necessary ingredients to aid your fruit trees’ proper development. It also contains Trubiotic that makes the absorption of nutrients faster.
Unlike most organic fertilizers, this fertilizer does not have an unpleasant smell because it does not contain animal waste.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Kind of Fertilizer Is the Best for Fruit Trees?
The best fertilizer for trees usually contains a balanced ratio of NPK or nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is essential for the plants to maintain their green color. The chlorophyll is the one that provides the plants’ green color that is essential in photosynthesis. Phosphorus plays a vital role in transferring energy from one part to another, making it an essential nutrient to strengthen the flowers and roots. The potassium helps in metabolism and the regulation of the water pressure of the plants’ cells. Aside from NPK, an excellent fruit tree fertilizer should contain trace elements, like zinc.
How to Apply the Fruit Tree Fertilizer?
Fruit tree fertilizers come in different forms: liquid, spray, granules, and spikes. Each of these forms requires a different way of application. An essential way to determine the proper application is to read the instructions for the right amount. It is because not all products are the same, and each fertilizer may have different components even though they are the same in forms. Generally, the liquid form is concentrated and needs dilution. The spray forms apply to the leaves. Granule forms only require distribution, and spike forms require insertion around the drip line.
When Is the Best Time to Apply Fertilizer on Fruit Trees?
The perfect period to apply fertilizer to young fruit trees is before the growing season. It is to provide the nutrients it needs to prepare for its growth. That is why the perfect time is the early spring or the late winter, which are the periods before the growing season. The standard rule is not to apply fertilizer during the fall unless the tree shows a sign of nutrient deficiency. Winter is also an unideal time for fertilizer application. However, if the tree is older, apply a half-strength fertilizer in the fall. It will provide all the nutrients it needs in spring.