Best Fertilizer for Arborvitae – Top 3 Choices

Is your garden a sight for sore eyes? There is nothing better than low-maintenance, ornamental arborvitae plants to materialize the lush green garden of your dreams.

Native to the United States, arborvitae (thuja) trees have adapted to the soil and do not require much maintenance. Thus, they are a surefire choice for people who prefer trees in their yards.

Due to their thick foliage, arborvitae trees are excellent for creating dense hedges that give you privacy. While newly planted arborvitae trees do not require fertilizers, external factors such as weather, poor soil conditions, and low nutrition can affect the overall health of these plants.

Since the right balance of essential nutrients is critical to plants, finding the best fertilizer for arborvitae can be a daunting job. The markets are flooded with several brands and types to choose from.

The wrong fertilizer could burn the roots of your arborvitae trees due to the excessive release of nitrogen, which will eventually kill them.

Top 3 Best Fertilizer for Arborvitae Plants

After careful consideration of the requirements of arborvitae plants, we came up with a meticulously curated list of the best three fertilizers available on the market. With a quick read of this article, you can save yourself the scrutiny of trying and testing hundreds of products.

1. Miracle-Gro Shake N Feed Tree & Shrub Plant Food

The Miracle-Gro Shake N Feed formula for trees and shrubs is specifically designed to provide a healthy start for arborvitae trees. The added natural ingredients help the trees grow thick, healthy foliage and produce long-lasting blooms.

The fertilizer works miraculously on both newly potted and flourished plants. It also provides nourishment below the soil, as well as above ground.

The manufacturers use natural ingredients to formulate the fertilizer, including kelp, feather meal, bone meal, and earthworm castings. These ingredients provide nutrition to the soil microbes, thus improving the overall health of your plants.

The slow-release 18-6-12 NPK (18% Nitrogen, 6% Phosphorus, and 12% Potassium) formula lets nutrients seep into the soil gradually, preventing an excessive release of nutrients and avoiding the burning of roots.

The Miracle-Gro fertilizer feeds the plants for up to three months, maintaining their health and appearance all season long. The fertilizer comes in a resealable bag so you can store it for long periods. It should be applied directly to plants in dry form around the trees’ dripline, adding water later so that the soil can absorb as much of the fertilizer as possible.


Offers a money-back guarantee

It consists of 100% natural ingredients

It is easy to use and apply

Shows highly effective results


The duration of the results may be slower than what you would expect

2. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food

The Osmocote Smart Release formula is fortified with 11 essential minerals and nutrients that mix slowly into the soil for up to six months. Therefore, it is one of the best fertilizer for arborvitae plants.

This fertilizer allows a continuous supply of nitrogen and other nutrients to the plants, encouraging the healthy and rapid growth of Arborvitae plants.

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food has an NPK formula of 9-6-12 (9% Nitrogen, 6% Phosphorus, and 12% Potassium) and comes with convenient resealable packaging. Thus, you can store the fertilizer for years, given that the granules do not come into contact with water.

The application is simple and easy. Using one spoonful for every four square feet, sprinkle the fertilizer into the top three inches of the soil. After that, make sure the soil gets a sufficient amount of water.

The plant food comes in the form of small granules that have a semi-permeable resin membrane around them. When mixed with water, the membrane allows water to penetrate and mix with the nutrients.

After the nutrients are released into the soil, the empty casing remains behind. It has no adverse effect on the soil or plant. The nutrients are released per the soil’s needs.

This plant food is not harsh and should not burn your plants. However, it does contain some non-organic ingredients.


It does not burn plants or cause any other damage

The slow-release formula provides nutrients when needed

The fertilizer is odorless

Comes in a resealable bag


The formula is not kid-friendly

It can be abrasive to the skin

3. Jobe’s Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe’s Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes for arborvitae come in pre-measured packs specifically designed to nourish and grow evergreen plants like arborvitae trees. The fertilizer comes with a slow-release formula that gradually provides essential nutrients to the roots.

The fertilizer has a 13-3-4 NPK formula (13% Nitrogen, 3% Phosphorus, and 4% Potassium) and can be added to the soil every six months. It is recommended to do this during the fall or spring season.

The formula is designed specifically for actively growing roots. To ensure that the roots can absorb as many nutrients as possible, dig small holes and insert the spikes a few inches away from the tree’s trunk. To ensure the fertilizer works correctly, water the soil before application. Be sure to place the spikes along the plant’s dripline.

This fertilizer is guaranteed to give your trees a healthy green appearance all season. Two to three of these spikes will surely provide enough nutrition for a tree with a trunk two inches in diameter.


The product is kid and pet friendly

There is no odor or messy runoff

The fertilizer is relatively easy to use

Has a slow-release formula

It provides nourishment for up to six months


Some of the ingredients are non-organic

Buying Guide — Choosing the Best Fertilizers for Arborvitae

When it comes to your plants, don’t blindly trust fertilizer manufacturers. Despite big claims and promises, not every brand can deliver what you expect of them.

There are certain factors that you need to keep in mind while investing in the best fertilizer for arborvitae, such as the ones listed below:

best fertilizer for arborvitae


The first and foremost thing to check is the reputation and credibility of a company. A well-reputed company will go the extra mile to maintain its position in the market with high-quality and reliable products.


Ingredients are another crucial factor to consider when buying fertilizer. Every plant has different nutritional requirements, and your plants must be getting the nutrients they need. A lack of nutrition will stunt the growth and vibrancy of plants. Mixed with environmental stresses, it could rapidly kill your plants.

Nutrient Release

Make sure that the fertilizer or plant food you purchase has a slow-release formula. Such fertilizers can prevent the burning of roots by gradually releasing the nutrients into the soil.

Condition of Your Soil

Be aware of the condition of your soil and buy fertilizer accordingly. While fertilizer encourages plant growth and vibrancy, it can only do so much good. Consulting a professional beforehand may come in handy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When is the best time to plant arborvitae trees?

Potted arborvitae can grow all year long. However, the best time to plant arborvitae plants is early spring or late summer. Planting arborvitae trees in later summer gives them time to adjust to harsh winter weather. In comparison, planting your trees in early spring allows them to acclimatize to scorching summer heat.

Are Arborvitae plants difficult to take care of?

Arborvitae plants are generally low-maintenance and do not require a lot of care. This makes them an optimal choice for most gardens.

How often should you water arborvitae?

Young, newly potted arborvitae plants need to be watered daily because they do not have strong roots. Once these roots are established, however, the trees require an inch of water every week. If the soil dries out, young trees will need more water to prevent dehydration. Fully grown trees are more tolerant to drought-like conditions.


Although arborvitae plants are low-maintenance and don’t require additional fertilizers, they still need proper care and a suitable environment. Many external factors can harm the health and growth of arborvitae trees. Therefore, you may need the help of fertilizers to replace lost nutrients.

Choosing the best fertilizer for arborvitae for your plants is not a decision to take lightly. Whether you are a first-time gardener or an experienced one, knowing what your plants require is of the utmost importance.

The fertilizers mentioned in the list above are guaranteed to provide you with a luxurious green garden full of healthy arborvitae trees.