Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia) is a pretty wildflower native to North America that makes a nice addition to perennial beds. To keep it happy, healthy, and producing those lovely, star-like flowers, feeding shooting stars the right way, with the right fertilizer, is important. Let’s learn more about fertilizing shooting star plants.
How to Fertilize a Shooting Star
Blooming in spring to early summer, shooting star is a native North American wildflower. You may see it in fields and meadows, but you can also cultivate it in your yard, especially if you are interested in native beds. As the name suggests, the delicate flowers look like falling stars, hanging high from tall stems.
Fertilizing shooting star plants is important to keep them healthy and to promote the production of the beautiful flowers, the main reason for having them in your garden. First, choose the appropriate fertilizer. A balanced formulation of 10-10-10 is fine to use, but avoid overuse because the extra nitrogen will promote leaf growth over flowers.
Another option is to use a fertilizer with more phosphorus, like 10-60-10. The additional phosphorous promotes blooming, and when applied correctly, will help your shooting star produce more flowers and also healthy foliage.
In general, you can fertilize shooting star according to the package instructions. Just avoid using fertilizer crystals on dry soil. This can cause root burn. Always fertilize with plenty of water to soak into the soil and the roots.
When to Feed Shooting Stars
After choosing your shooting star fertilizer, you need to know when it’s best to apply. Shooting star most benefits from feeding in the early spring and into late summer, while it is growing and producing flowers and seeds.
Beginning in early spring, before the blooms start to appear, apply fertilizer to your shooting star plants and then continue to do so every two to three weeks. Check with the fertilizer packaging, though, to be sure it’s not a slow-release product. If it is, you should only apply as often as the directions dictate, likely only once or twice.
Fertilizing wildflowers like shooting star is not strictly necessary unless you have poor soil. However, if you do feed these plants, you will get healthier growth and more flowers.