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Plants Directory
Acid Loving Plants (Ericaceous Plants)
  • Acid loving plants originally come from woodland areas and prefer cooler or less shady environments. They prefer soil that is leafy, humus rich and moist but well drained.
  • If you want to grow acid loving plants (like Azaleas and Rhododendrons) but your soil is alkaline, you can build a raised bed filled with ericaceous compost or grow plants in containers. However you will need to be prepared to top dress annually with more ericaceous compost or peat and test you soil for acidity.
  • Acid loving plants like camellias rhodendrons azaleas pieris and heathers can now be planted all year round because they are now grown in pots. The one exception to this is in times of severe frosts.
Planting

Where to Plant
  • Choosing the correct site and soil for this group of plants is important and will benefit the development of the plant enormously as it grows.
  • Acid loving plants are best grown in dappled or semi shade in a soil with a PH value of 5 to 5.5.You must first test the PH value of your soil.
  • When preparing to plant acid loving plants, you should first test freshly tilled and prepared soil, so that you know just how acidic or alkaline it is. You can purchase soil test kits at your local CountryLife store. Follow the test instructions carefully.
  • The desired PH value can be achieved by adding peat moss and sulphur chips to the soil.
Planting
  • Begin by digging or tilling the soil to a depth of about 12 inches, ensure that the planting hole is large enough to accommodate a layer of lime free compost below and around the plant which will give the plant the best possible start.
  • Water the soil well beforehand.
  • The soil should be loose and crumbly, high in organic matter, and free of large rocks and stones and weeds. 
  • The aim is to have soil that is light enough for roots to move through, yet heavy enough to hold moisture and provide a solid spot for plants to anchor themselves in.
Plant Care
  • After planting, feed regularly with miracid or similar product. Protect flower buds on camellias and azaleas with cotton fleece from frost in springtime.
  • Top dress around acid loving plants using Ericaceous Compost. Take care not to dig this in around your plants, as you may cause damage to the roots. 
  • As with many shrubs water well for at least one year following planting to ensure plants become established
  • Top Tip - Always mix the Rhododendron, Azalea and Camellia Liquid Concentrate Plant Food with rainwater, as they hate hardwater from the domestic tap. 
  • Prune after flowering.
  • Mulch with dressing of Brown gold in autumn