I have several emerald and gold euonymous shrubs that are a year old and still very small. Should I fertilize them this fall? I have read conflicting info on fall shrub fertilizing and would appreciate your input. Thanks! - Carolyn
Normally newly planted shrubs do not need fertilization. Young shrubs need time for their roots to settle in as opposed to putting on top growth. And too much fertilization could interrupt this process. Excessive nitrogen can prompt weak top growth, which in turn may be just what some insects are looking for to munch on.
Before you do any fertilization, I would suggest a soil test specific to the area where the euonymous are planted. That way you will know exactly what elements you need, or don't need. In the realm of fertilization, less is very often more. That said, the time to fertilize would be in the early spring, when new growth starts, not the fall.
At this point, it would be more important would be to make sure the plants are adequately mulched and go into the winter well watered, so as to avoid winter desiccation on the top growth, and allow the roots to continue growing.
Hope this helps.
Carole-Johnson County Extension Master Gardener