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Water and fertilize the chestnut tree - that's how it's done

With chestnuts, it is important to water and fertilize them regularly at a young age so that they are less susceptible to diseases and pests in old age.

A chestnut tree (Castanea) is a real eye-catcher in every garden. Because of its imposing size and the beautiful flower color, as well as the deep green and dense foliage, the chestnut is very popular with its owners both as a shade in summer and simply as an ornamental tree in spring. And depending on the type of chestnut, you can eat the fruits of the chestnut or use them for handicrafts and decorating.

The best thing about it is that it does not even place too great demands on the soil and its surroundings. The propagation and cultivation of chestnut trees are correspondingly simple. Nevertheless, if you want to plant a chestnut or already own a chestnut and want to take good care of it, there are a few points to consider.

Even if chestnuts are usually very frugal trees, the rule that healthy trees can protect themselves better against the infestation of diseases and fungi applies. In this respect, you should know the nature of the soil under your chestnut to know which nutrients your tree should be supplied with. It also makes a difference whether you have a horse chestnut or a sweet chestnut in your garden. The age of the tree also affects whether and how often you should water and fertilize your chestnut. In any case, it is important to deal with this topic if you want a tree population that not only greatly but also permanently enriches your garden.

The right location is crucial

A chestnut can, if it is to be multiplied or newly put on, placed in a piece of cotton wool and provided with sufficient moisture, will thrive wonderfully. If it is then planted in the ground, not much is still necessary - in principle, a lean ground with clay and sand is sufficient to allow the chestnut to grow. However, you should note that the poorer the soil is, the plant grows more slowly and usually does not reach the size that would be the case with a nutrient-rich soil.

If you want to plant a sweet chestnut, the soil must be significantly more nutritious anyway. Chestnuts generally prefer a weakly acidic to alkaline substrate. The floor should be well drained and deep. Depending on the nature of the soil, it makes sense to add sufficient ripe compost to the soil when planting to ensure that the tree can draw a lot of nutrients at a young age and thus develop a certain basic strength. Even if this is not absolutely necessary, it also ensures better growth and greater resistance to diseases in later years, since a strong basis has been developed.

Water and fertilize properly - that's what matters

" To water:

Nobody would think of watering a 20 or 30 year old chestnut. The chestnut develops such a strong root system in the first 10 - 15 years of life that it is hardly necessary to add water even in longer dry periods. In the case of prolonged drought, you should also consider giving water to older trees, but such extreme periods of drought are rarely experienced in Germany. Only chestnuts cannot stand when the soil is completely dry - here it is also important to water older trees if it gets warmer for a few days and there is no rain.

At a young age, however, a chestnut tree should be watered regularly if rain is not expected. Especially before the first planting, it makes sense to water a tree that you bought from a nursery sufficiently before it is planted in the ground at the place you have intended for it.

It is important that young and freshly planted chestnut trees are supplied with sufficient water during the main vegetation period. This means that with these chestnut trees, the substrate around the tree should never dry out completely, otherwise the trees would be weakened. In this respect, watering in the evening with the garden hose makes sense, especially in midsummer.

" The general rule: When watering a chestnut, you should water the soil around the chestnut. It is not enough with a watering can, several liters of water are necessary to ensure sufficient moisture for the young tree.


Many experts say that there is no need to fertilize chestnuts. And in fact, artificial fertilizer is not absolutely necessary, especially for sweet chestnuts, here a little organic fertilizer is enough from time to time to enrich the soil with new nutrients. If the tree does not suffer from pests, it is advisable, for example, to leave the leaves that fall around the tree in autumn. Lawn pruning is also ideal as an organic fertilizer - simply spread some lawn around the tree and let nature do the rest.

Horse chestnuts, however, should be fertilized regularly, especially at a young age. Here it is advisable to make sure when selecting the fertilizer that sufficient

  • Nitrogen is formed
  • Phosphorus is present
  • and potassium occurs in the fertilizer

The horse chestnut needs nitrogen for leaf health and healthy growth, phosphorus is required for flower formation and potassium helps in the development of antibodies against various tree diseases and pests. In addition to the artificial fertilizer, organic fertilizer should also be added regularly.

Both the horse chestnut and the sweet chestnut are very frugal trees that grow quickly and well with a little care, targeted fertilizer in the form of organic or artificial fertilizer and correct watering behavior and become a wonderful eye-catcher in your garden.