How Often Should You Use Fertilizer Spikes?

Fertilizer spikes are perfect if you’re looking for a simple and effective way to feed your plants. All you need to do is remove them from their packaging and hammer them into the ground. But you may be wondering how often you should use them.

You should use fertilizer spikes once in early spring and once during fall. Generally, you won’t need to use them more than this, but some products have different requirements. Using them in spring is best because they give plants nutrients for the growing season.

Fertilizer spikes are an excellent option for gardens and take all the fuss out of fussy fertilizer applications. The rest of this article will discuss how often you should use fertilizer spikes in greater detail. It will also discuss if they dissolve over time, if they work the same as regular fertilizer, and if you can remove them from the ground.

When Should You Replace Fertilizer Spikes?

You should replace fertilizer spikes at the beginning of the growing season, which falls around early spring. It’s best to install the fertilizer spikes once you notice new plant growth. You should also replace them during fall, once the growing season ends.

Ultimately the success of your garden depends on providing adequate nutrients to your plants.

You can apply a light application of regular fertilizer at the beginning of summer, but it’s entirely optional. These nutrients will boost your plants during the growing season, but you should avoid doing so if the weather is scorching and dry because you want to avoid burning the plants

Fertilizing in fall is also essential because it will help your plants thrive when the next growing season comes around. For that reason, you should never forget to install new fertilizer spikes at the start of fall.

If you don’t, your plants will still thrive during the following spring. However, they will be more luscious and vibrant and might grow slightly faster if you use fertilizer spikes in the fall.

How Often Should You Use Miracle-Gro Spikes?

You should use Miracle-Gro spikes twice per year if using the tree and shrub variety—once during spring and once during fall. If you’re using the plant food spikes, you’ll need to replace them more frequently (approximately once every 2-3 months).

Can You Use Fertilizer Spikes Weekly?

You can use fertilizer spikes weekly, but it’s a bad idea. Your plants will likely experience fertilizer burn if you use spikes that often, and it will be expensive to use them every week. For the best results, you should install fertilizer spikes twice annually.

You should use fertilizer spikes weekly only if the instructions say so. For example, you might be using spikes with extremely low levels of nutrients, which might be acceptable to use weekly or biweekly. 

But if the instructions say to use them twice a year, you should stick to that guideline. Fertilizer burn is something you want to avoid because it can kill your plants eventually.

Do Fertilizer Spikes Dissolve Over Time?

Fertilizer spikes dissolve over time because the nutrients leave and get absorbed by the plants and trees in the surrounding area. It generally takes months for fertilizer spikes to dissolve fully, so it’s only necessary to replace them twice a year.

Many fertilizer spikes are slow-releasing, meaning they release nutrients slowly over an extended period. If you apply them to the soil at the beginning of spring, the nutrients will slowly release throughout the summer, giving your plants beautiful blooms and fruits.

The nutrients escape immediately with a regular water-soluble fertilizer, and the effects aren’t as long-lasting. For that reason, you may need to use water-soluble fertilizer more frequently than fertilizer spikes and other slow-release fertilizers.

If you were to look for the fertilizer spikes in the soil a few months after placing them there, you likely wouldn’t find them because they will have shrunk significantly.

You can read my other article on how long fertilizer spikes last here: How Long Do Fertilizer Spikes Last? The Facts Explained

Do Fertilizer Spikes Work the Same As Regular Fertilizers?

Fertilizer spikes work the same as regular fertilizers because they give nutrients to plants. However, their form and application methods are different. While fertilizer spikes are solid and you need to hammer them into the soil, regular fertilizer is generally granular or water-soluble.

So if you’re simply looking for a way to feed your plants, you could use fertilizer spikes or any other type of fertilizer. But if you want to be more in control of the ingredients you’re using, you may want to avoid spikes because they’re pre-made.

With regular fertilizer, you can spread it around as much as you want and choose ones with different levels of nutrients. But with spikes, your options will be more limited, and you won’t be able to spread them around as easily.

When it comes to how often you need to apply them, both generally need to be applied to the soil twice a year. However, some water-soluble fertilizers might need to be replaced more frequently (you need to replace many water-soluble fertilizers every 1-2 weeks).

Therefore, you should go with fertilizer spikes if you want something low maintenance that you don’t need to replace often.

Can You Use Fertilizer Spikes During Winter?

You can use fertilizer spikes during winter, but it’s usually unnecessary. Most plants are dormant during the cold winter, so they don’t need any extra nutrients. In most cases, fertilizing plants during winter wastes product, time, and money.

And if you use fertilizer spikes during fall, you will not need to feed the soil during winter. During fall, using fertilizer spikes gives your soil and plants the nutrients they need to thrive during the cold, dormant months. Adding extra during winter isn’t necessary and could even cause fertilizer burn if you use too much.

However, you can use fertilizer spikes during winter if you live in a warmer climate because the plants will never be dormant in that instance. If the weather in your region is warm all year round, your plants will continue to grow all year and could benefit from some extra nutrients that fertilizer spikes provide.

Can You Remove Fertilizer Spikes From the Ground?

You may realize that you placed your fertilizer spikes in the wrong place, or maybe you’ve installed them at the wrong time of year and want to remove them. If this is the case, removing them from the ground might be possible.

You can remove fertilizer spikes from the ground if you’ve recently installed them and know exactly where they are. You may need to dig a little to get them out. But if they’ve been there for a few weeks or months, it may be more challenging to find them and remove them.

But since they dissolve over time, removing them is not always easy. If you can’t find the buried spikes, you’ll need to wait for them to dissolve before you can apply new fertilizer.

How To Know if Fertilizer Spikes Are Dissolved

There is no definitive way to know if fertilizer spikes are dissolved, so you’ll need to make an educated guess. In most cases, fertilizer spikes will take approximately 4-6 months to dissolve once you’ve installed them in the soil. 

If you remember exactly where you placed the spikes, you could dig those areas and see if anything remains. However, the best thing to do is wait a few months; at that point, you can assume that they are absorbed. 

To avoid confusion in the future, apply the spikes once in spring and once in fall. That way, you’ll never have to wonder if they’re fully dissolved or not.


You should use fertilizer spikes twice a year in most cases. The best times to install them are during spring and fall. You should avoid using fertilizer spikes during winter because most plants are dormant during this time and don’t need any extra nutrients.

However, you can use fertilizer spikes during winter if you live in a warm climate because the plants will never be fully dormant and may benefit from the added nutrients.

Although you should use most spikes twice a year, always read the instructions to be sure.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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