I know how fish emulsion works as a foliar spray on deciduous shrubs, but will it work on needle leaved evergreens such as mugho pines and junipers? If not, what should be used for comparable result?

2 Answers 2


Foliar applications of fish emulsion, or pretty much any foliar nutrient application, is effective because the nutrients enter the plant directly through the stomata, or pores, of the leaves.

Evergreens have fewer stomata than deciduous trees but even needles contain stomata therefor foliar applications should also be effective. I couldn't find any specific research on fish emulsion and conifers but there are other studies showing foliar application of urea with positive results.


Yes it does. Just add a small amount to water and do a light mist over the leaves when it is not sunny. If it is sunny your spray will cause black spots on the leaves. The result would be leaves that are a little bit larger.

Most foliar fertilizers should be rich in micronutrients, Nitrogen(N) and Phosphorus(K). Here is a powerpoint that explains how foliar feeding works

  • There is nothing in the powerpoint reference that refers to evergreens. The plants they refer to are annuals and perennials. The question is about evergreens which have a thick waxy cuticle which is a factor that reduces the effectiveness of foliar sprays. Can you provide a reference for foliar sprays on evergreens?
    – kevinskio
    Dec 15, 2013 at 15:49
  • Yes it does p 10, and p22. Citrus sinensis is considered an evergreen. Dec 15, 2013 at 18:06
  • The question is about needle leaved evergreens. Citrus sinenesis is an evergreen that is hardy to zone 9 and considered frost tender. I cannot find anything that says that foliar sprays on needle leaved evergreens are very effective due to the waxy cuticle.
    – kevinskio
    Dec 15, 2013 at 18:24
  • Agree with kevinsky - my answer to this question would be no, the spray will be ineffective.
    – Bamboo
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:52
  • 1
    I still think its not something amateurs should attempt, particularly on a few ornamental conifers. Certainly, repeated sprayings till run off on a frequent basis will be called for, and as you say, the timing and amount is critical. Easier and safer to improve the soil beneath.
    – Bamboo
    Dec 23, 2013 at 17:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.