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what kind of mulch to use on acid plants ?


By Isi

Middlesex, United Kingdom

i have Camelias and azaleas in pots in my patio and would like to give them a good mulch but dont know if rotten manure compost is appropriate for acid loving plants, it is December, should i mulch now whilst buds are forming ? thanks for responding !

On plant Camelias and azaleas



My only concern about "manure" is that it depends on the source. Some cow manures often include a salt content that would not be good for azaleas.

Old horse manure is kinder to things like begonias and usually can be used on most things. I would look at your parks for free leaf rakings. Or sigh, offer to rake up your own bags of Oak leaves and such.

Yes, do mulch! Buds forming are irrelevant.

I just buried my Bonsai collection (to the pot level) with leaves, as we are expecting a major Arctic onslaught.

I might strongly suggest to clump all your plants TIGHTLY together instead of mulching individually. Mulching the other way, simply will not protect the plants. Clump, and then mulch.

12 Dec, 2008


Hi Isi, i have lots of acid lovers, and i agree with Skyline, manure proberly not the best option. - good on roses, not so sure about Rhodies etc. i always mulch with part composted bark and/or leaf mulch, i find this works really well as the ph is on the acid side, and also impoves drainage, and supresses weeds, and once the worms get to work will improve the soil too. if you are in a very cold area, you need to make this quite thick, approx 3" would say. hope this helps.

12 Dec, 2008


I always use leaf mulch on my acid lovers, same as Majeekahead

12 Dec, 2008


I don't know if this will help you or not but Azaleas and Camelias grow here very well, and the one thing I have noticed is that a lot of people use pine needles as a mulch over the winter for these. Camelias bloom in the winter here with the Azaleas in the early spring.

12 Dec, 2008



Has it right. Pine needles would be great. I would also post that sometimes leaves might not be as acid as expected. Depends on the soil they are growing in. Mostly, they are.

In CA, we also had a VERY unusual mulch. It sold like hot cakes. We had a Hershy processing plant nearby. So we got huge bags of coco bean hulls. Those pallets smelled much better than the manure ones.

Thise chips were alkaline!

12 Dec, 2008

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