When should I stop fertilizing before the winter?

in Frequently Asked Questions

You should discontinue fertilizing perennials around July 31 so the plants can slow down and go into winter dormancy.

Do not purchase temperature-released fertilizers that continue to release beyond this date.

If you continue to fertilize, the plants may continue actively growing/expanding, making them more susceptible to cold/frost injury as their growing points/new shoots are still too tender when temperatures start dropping.

Plants take a while to transition between soft, fertilizer-driven new growth and thick, mature, cold-hardy foliage.  By continuing to fertilize, you may keep them stuck in the ‘grow more!’ stage and not transition them properly into the ‘finish growing, prepare for winter’ stage.

For more information on fertilizing hostas, visit our Hosta Care Calendar and Hosta Care and Maintenance posts!