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How can I grow acid loving plants when my soil is alkaline?


By Bobo

London, United Kingdom Gb

I want to plant an acer in a semi-sunny kind of woodland spot but my soil is alkaline and I don't want to use a pot. Is it possible to bury a pot in the ground - I mean is there a problem that I haven't foreseen with this method? Also, as the bottom of the pot would have holes for drainage, would this affect the quality of the soil in the pot? If so, what would I need to do to maintain the soil's acidity? Thanks very much.



I think it might be better to not plant it in a pot in the soil - the roots will escape from the bottom and spread outwards anyway. Only thing you can do is to buy a couple of bags of ericaceous compost, dig a large and deep hole, enough to take the compost, put the compost in and plant the acer in that. That should keep it happy for a year or three, and after that, you might have to apply some sequestrene tonic 2 or 3 times a year to help keep the plant healthy.I would ask, though which acer you're planting; some require more acid than others.

29 Sep, 2009


no needfor pot. youcan grow acidlove plats anyweer you like, if you:
1- chukc rusty nails on siol aroun plnt
2-sprikel"flowers of sulphur" on soil aroun aera
3-waterw ith rain water.

29 Sep, 2009


Derek's right about the Flowers of Sulphur - you could use that as an alternative to the sequestrene

29 Sep, 2009


Hi Bobo I would suggest digging a very large planting hole approx 3 times the size you acer needs and part filling this with acidic compost. Then plant your acer and continue to fill up with the acidic compost. Keep well watered and next spring/summer mulch with composted bark or the like and keep doing this. Eventually you will change that little bit of your garden into at least neutral soil... Have fun!

29 Sep, 2009


Bamboo, DerekF and Moon Grower - thanks very much - didn't know such stuff existed!

29 Sep, 2009


Interesting question Bobo, I have the same problem. I've tried burying tubs ect. but without success. I agree with Bamboo and Dereks ideas, rain water too. I bought a 'Bloodgood' three yrs ago as they told me it would be OK but though I put lots of ericaceous soil round it, it failed. Also I'm not sure that you'll get the lovely Autumn colour unless the soil is acidic.

30 Sep, 2009


sulphur wil lower the ph of soil- an anual topdres for 3yr bring ph down 2 point.

30 Sep, 2009


Autumn colour is brought about by the weather conditions. Warm sunny days and chilly nights are needed for the best colouring

30 Sep, 2009

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