Chicken manure pellets can be used on hydrangeas in early spring and summer. After hydrangeas have gone dormant over the winter they will grow well with a boost of nitrogen in early spring. The bare stems will burst to life with new leaves. Stop adding chicken pellets after the first month of summer to promote flower growth.
This article will explore the benefits of chicken manure pellets for hydrangeas, how to apply them and when you should stop.
Benefits of chicken manure pellets for hydrangeas
Here are the top benefits of chicken manure pellets for hydrangeas in your garden at home. Use this gentle fertilizer to boost nitrogen levels in the soil at the start of spring to support the plant to grow new leaves.
They are a gentle fertilizer
Chicken manure pellets are high in nitrogen by are a gentle, slow release fertilizer that is great for hydrangeas when they are coming out of dormancy. In the spring hydrangeas will be forming new leaves ready to green up and support flower growth over summer.
Adding pelleted chicken manure at the start of spring will give them the nitrogen boost they need to grow new leaves and stems. Chicken manure pellets will release nitrogen slowly and will only need to be added once or twice over spring.
Liquid fertilizer on the other hand is delivered and absorbed quickly and can be too much nitrogen in one go for your hydrangeas. Pelleted chicken manure is a gentle way to deliver nitrogen and other nutrients to your hydrangea without burning them.
They will help with leaf growth in spring
Pelleted chicken manure is the nutrient boost your hydrangeas will love in early spring to help with leaf growth. Nitrogen will help the leaves to form on the plant and support photosynthesis which aids in the plant creating its own food from the sun.
Pelleted chicken manure is an easy way to feed the plant in spring with a natural fertilizer that will also support root and stem growth. I buy one that is mixed with seaweed to support root and soil health at the same time.
They will help to improve the soil
Pelleted chicken manure will help to improve the soil your hydrangeas are growing in slowly over time. The organic material in the pelleted chicken manure will feed the soil bacteria who will break down the chicken manure and the nutrients inside to make them available for the plant to absorb.
Worms will move in to break down the chicken manure and the soil bacteria mixing through the organic material and aerating the soil. After a period of time the soil will be full of organic matter, will drain freely and your hydrangeas will grow large and strong.
How to fertilize hydrangeas with chicken manure pellets
To fertilize hydrangeas with chicken manure pellets apply 1-2 handfuls to the plant around the root zone. Do this at the start of spring and again at the end of spring. This will give the plants plenty of nutrients to grow new leaves and return to their bright green bushy shape.
Best time to give chicken manure pellets to hydrangeas
The best time to give chicken manure pellets to hydrangeas is at the beginning of spring. Another application of pelleted chicken manure can be give in later spring to feed the plant for the rest of the year.
Where to put the pelleted chicken manure on hydrangeas
To apply pelleted chicken manure to hydrangeas use a rake to pull back any mulch underneath. Sprinkle the pelleted chicken manures around the outside ring of the hydrangea drip line. The feeder roots of the hydrangea will be mostly in the outer drip line ring.
Avoid placing too much fertilizer near the hydrangea central stem as it will be less likely to be absorbed by the plant and can just sit there on the soil. It can also encourage fungal infections or rot if it sits against the central stem.
When you should not use chicken manure pellets on hydrangeas
When you have first planted out hydrangeas and improved the soil you will not need to add any additional nitrogen fertilizer until the next spring.
Avoid adding chicken manure pellets to hydrangeas in the cooler seasons of fall and winter. The hydrangeas will go dormant over this time and will not absorb the extra nitrogen. When the plant is ready to add new leaf growth, chicken manure pellets can be sprinkled around the root zone.
The pelleted chicken manure can then be covered with bark or straw mulch.
Can chicken manure pellets damage hydrangeas?
Chicken manure pellets can provide too much nitrogen if to hydrangeas if they are given too often over the summer months. Stop adding pelleted chicken manure in summer to allow the plant to absorb the nitrogen tipping the balance to reduce the nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium ratio to promote flowers.
If the nitrogen levels are too high the hydrangeas will grow lots of green leaves and forget about flowering. Avoid adding chicken manure pellets too late in the summer season so it moves into the flowering stage.
Chicken manure pellets and hydrangeas | Summary
Chicken manure pellets are a fantastic natural fertilizer for hydrangeas and can be give to the plant early spring when the new leaves are growing. This will give the plant a boost of nitrogen to grow new leaves and prepare it for growing new flowers.
By the start of summer the plant will have used up most of the nitrogen tipping the balance to a higher phosphorus and potassium ratio to promote flowering. If your hydrangea has lots of leaf growth and little flowers by summer, swap to a flower promoting fertilizer that will increase phosphorus levels.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.