Is Bone Meal Good For Hydrangeas? (+Alternatives to It)

If you are looking for some good fertilizers for your Hydrangeas, you may find a Bone meal as a choice.

In this post, I will discuss whether is Bone Meal Good for Hydrangeas and would discuss it in detail to help you know about this fertilizer, its pros and cons, its alternatives, and all you need to know.

Is Bone Meal Good for Hydrangeas

Let’s get started!

Is bone meal good for Hydrangeas?

Yes, a bone meal can be good for hydrangeas. This is a natural source of phosphorus which promotes the overall health of the plant. It not only helps the plant to bloom but also increases the flowering season. However, the bone meal has low nitrogen and no potassium. Therefore, you cannot use it to replace other fertilizers but use it as a supplement only. 

What is a Bone Meal?

Bone meal is exactly what it sounds like- ground powder of decomposed animal bones(1). This is an organic fertilizer containing Phosphorus and Calcium in high amounts. It acts as a food supplement for blooming plants like hydrangeas.

The NPK ratio of bone meal is 3:15:0. It indicates that Phosphorus is in extremely high amounts while nitrogen is low and potassium is zero. 

What Makes Bone Meal a Good Choice for Hydrangeas?

A bone meal is a good choice for hydrangeas because it is a natural source of phosphorus, an essential nutrient for healthy plant growth.

Phosphorus is especially important for plants that are flowering, as it helps to promote the development of strong root systems and healthy flowers.

Additionally, bone meal releases nutrients slowly over time, which means that it can provide a long-lasting source of nutrition for your hydrangeas.

This slow release of nutrients can also help in reducing the risk of over-fertilization, which can be harmful to your plants.

Instruction to Add Bone Meal to Hydrangeas

In this section, I will discuss the instruction to add bone meal to Hydrangeas.

When should I add bone meal to my hydrangea?

Hydrangeas are typically fertilized in the early spring, just as new growth emerges. You can add bone meal to the soil at this time to provide the plant with additional phosphorus, which can help promote healthy root growth and flowering.

It’s best to follow the instructions on the bone meal packaging for specific application rates and guidelines. 

Cost of Bone Meal Fertilizer

The cost of bone meal fertilizer depends on the brand and quantity you are purchasing. You can get one in the range of $1 to $10 per kg. 

Quantity of Bone Meal to Use

Adding 3 cups of bone meal to every 100 square feet or 1 tablespoon for every two square feet of acidic soil works great for this plant. You can increase or decrease the amount slightly to suit the specific needs of your plant.

How to Use Bone Meal on Hydrangeas

  • Check your soil whether it is acidic or not. Use a pH tester but depend on the soil. pH should be 5.5-6.5 to apply the fertilizer. 
  • Put the required cups of meal bone depending on the quantity of the soil. Sprinkle and mix it well with the soil. 
  • Lightly add little water to the soil. 

Can you use too much bone meal?

Like any fertilizer, it’s important to use bone meal carefully and in moderation. Using too much bone meal can cause a buildup of nutrients in the soil, which can lead to a phenomenon known as “fertilizer burn.” This can damage or even kill your plants by causing the leaves to turn yellow or brown, the stems to become weak, and the roots to rot. 

Can you put the bone meal on top of the soil?

It’s not recommended to put a bone meal on top of the soil. When it is applied to the surface of the soil, bone meal is more likely to wash away or be blown away by the wind. Additionally, leaving the fertilizer on the surface of the soil can make it more attractive to pests, such as mice or rats, which can dig it up and potentially damage your plants. 

How long does it take for a bone meal to break down in soil?

The bone meal takes a longer time to break down than other fertilizers. In normal conditions, it may take a few months to break down in soil.

Does bone meal attract rodents?

Yes, bone meal can attract rodents, such as mice or rats. This is because the bone meal has a strong, appealing scent that can be attractive to these types of animals.

Additionally, bone meal is often high in protein, which can make it an attractive food source for rodents. To avoid attracting rodents, it’s best to mix bone meal into the soil at the base of the plant.

Pros and Cons of Using Bone Meal on Hydrangeas

The pros of using bone meal on hydrangeas include:

  • Bone meal is a natural source of Phosphorus(P), which is an essential nutrient for healthy plant growth.
  • It can help to promote the development of strong root systems and healthy flowers.
  • Bone meal releases nutrients slowly over time, which means that it can provide a long-lasting source of nutrition for your hydrangeas.

The cons of using bone meal on hydrangeas include:

  • Too much bone meal can cause a buildup of nutrients in the soil, leading to “fertilizer burn” and potentially damaging or killing your plants.
  • Bone meal can attract rodents, such as mice or rats, which can dig it up and potentially damage your plants.
  • Using too much or too little can impact the effectiveness of the fertilizer.

Overall, the pros of using bone meal on hydrangeas can outweigh the cons if it is used carefully and in moderation.

Alternatives to Bone Meal which you Can also Consider

There are several alternatives to a bone meal that you can consider for use on your hydrangeas. Some of these alternatives include:

Alternative to Bone MealDetails
CompostCompost is a great alternative to bone meal, as it is a natural source of nutrients that can help to promote healthy plant growth. It is also environmentally friendly, as it can be made from a variety of organic materials, such as food waste, yard waste, and other plant materials.
Blood MealBlood meal is another natural fertilizer that can provide plants with a boost of nitrogen, which can help to promote healthy growth and flowering. It is also high in protein, which can be beneficial for plants that are flowering or producing fruit.
Rock PhosphateRock phosphate (a.k.a Phosphorite) is a natural mineral that is a source of phosphorus, which is an essential nutrient for healthy plant growth. It is also slow-release, which means that it can provide a long-lasting source of nutrition for your plants.
ManureManure, such as cow manure or horse manure, can be a good alternative to bone meal. It is a natural source of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which can help to promote healthy plant growth. Manure can also improve the structure of the soil, making it more fertile and better able to support healthy plant growth.