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Can acid loving shrubs be planted amongst non-acid lovers if given a top dressing of ericasious compost or should they be grouped together in ericasious soil.




Answers

 

Best to plant them in acid soil or ericaceous compost Stroller. Or plant them in a pot of ericaceous, and then stand the pot in amongst the non-acid lovers (that's what I do :))

28 Nov, 2009

 

Depends on the plant? if you dig a big enough hole and put in ericous compost?
I have a couple of small shrubs growing quite happily this way such as Skimmia and Pieris. But dont think you could do it with many.

28 Nov, 2009

 

Out of interest - Do you give your acid lovers a top dressing of ericaceous compost in Spring?

28 Nov, 2009

 

Nope no need where we live :-)

28 Nov, 2009

 

I give them sequestrine and a leaf mould mulch.

28 Nov, 2009

 

Acid loving plants will cope quite well with neutral to acid soils. Ours is neutral and we grow everything together. Certainly, if your soil is alkaline then you do need to plant in ericaceous compost, so check your soil pH.

28 Nov, 2009

 

I do Dawn, I scrape away round the shrub and replace as my soil is clay. I also do this with my Laburnum after a grower told me it would like it.

28 Nov, 2009

 

I tried an experiment in my garden and in the alkaline soil i created a big ericaceous filled hole and planted acid lovers in it and they didn't do well 'at all' !
So i think it just comes down to exactly what level of ph you have there as whether they'd manage it.

28 Nov, 2009

 

I'll get some Sequestrene Seaburn, thanks for that.

28 Nov, 2009

 

Thanks all, at the moment there together in one bed, best to leave them there I think.

28 Nov, 2009

 

I'm on clay too Drc - looks like I need to check my ph!

28 Nov, 2009

 

I've tried it over the years but find it not worthwhile, I now grow just a few in pots near a water butt. I even buried a dustbin ful of ericaceous compost that cost more than the plant but no good. OK Azaleas are nice, Gentions too but there are far more lovely plants that grow in Alkaline than acidic, why bother?

28 Nov, 2009

 

I sometimes wonder if the solid clay soil beneath the slightly alkaline top soil is acid. I've never tested it as it's so hard.

28 Nov, 2009

 

Clay soil is often acidic (except in my son's garden in Cambridgeshire, where the clay is mixed with chalk!).

28 Nov, 2009

 

That's reassuring Owdboggy. My acid loving plants are "OK" in clay and I have been adding well rotted muck, so I'm hoping if I take Seaburn's advice and give them some sequestrine, that will help too.

28 Nov, 2009

 

I was given a camellia and as it has a treasured memory with it, i had it in big pot for years. It then went into the ground and as i am on chalk i have to pamper it twice a year. so far so good.
but in principle I agree heron. work with the soil not against it in essence.

28 Nov, 2009

 

I hope your camellia continues to thrive Seaburn :-)

28 Nov, 2009

 

Camellias are a little more accommodating than rhododendrons Seaburn.

28 Nov, 2009

 

This is a difficult one to answer, Stroller! Depends, basically, on the Ph of your garden soil - if you have a relatively neutral ph, there shouldn't be any problem at all, if its slightly more alkaline, you may need to give sequestrene a couple of times a year to the acid loving ones. Here in my part of London, Pieris, for instance, grows quite happily in amongst other shrubs which aren't acid dependent. Think this might be a case of "suck it and see" - unless you want to do a ph test on your soil.

29 Nov, 2009

 

One tip I was given by an acknowledged expert on Rhododendrons is that the lime in a soil 'locks up' the manganese which these plants need. So, the answer is to see if you can get hold of a pile of Rh. ponticum cuttings (the weed one which is taking over Wales), shred the leaves and use it as a deep mulch round your more precious Rhodo's. Not had to try this as our soil is slightly acid with huge amounts of old lime mortar and brick rubble in places. So, where acid lovers thrive depends on how much stuff I dig up when planting them. If I hit a lot of rubble then I go elsewhere.

29 Nov, 2009

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