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Tips to Watering Acid Loving Plants

With regards to watering rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and other lime-detesting, corrosive adoring, ericaceous plants, they require some additional care and consideration. This is particularly valid in the late spring.

Clearly, you’ll say, plants require watering – particularly in summer. Be that as it may, ericaceous plants are more particular than most. Numerous ericaceous plants are extremely shallow established. Unquestionably rhododendron, camellia, azalea and pieris don’t deliver profound, looking roots. This implies they are near the dirt surface and, subsequently, extremely inclined to drying out, dry season conditions and high temperatures in summer.

This implies you have to play it safe to guarantee the dirt doesn’t dry out and plants are watered routinely (more often than not an intensive watering once every week) at whatever point delayed dry periods are likely. More normal watering – likely every day amid hot climate – will be required for plants developing in compartments as fertilizer dries out snappier, particularly in earthenware and different permeable holders.

Mulching around the plants with a lime-free ericaceous compost or bark will help conserve soil moisture, insulate the roots from heat and sun, and keep weeds down at the same time.

Although allowing the soil to dry out at any time of the year can cause problems with these plants, this is especially true in summer. This is the time when rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias are setting their flower buds for the following year’s floral display.

It has been shown with camellias, for instance, that allowing them to dry out for for just 24 hours at any time during June to mid-August will affect flower bud production. Then, come spring, the flower buds either don’t open, fall off or partially open and then fall off. So, keep the soil moist and feed with an ericaceous plant feed throughout this period.

Which water?

If your tap water is ‘hard’ or limey – for instance if it furs up your kettle or produces limescale deposits – watering with it will make the soil or compost more alkaline, and lead to plant problems. To get over this, use a liquid ericaceous feed at the same time as watering or use water saved in a waterbutt. Or you can try to acidify the compost. The best way to do this is to apply sulphur chips twice a year – once in spring and again in autumn.