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Old 21-04-2005, 07:03 PM
Chris Hogg
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On Thu, 21 Apr 2005 14:58:21 GMT, "Jeremy Watts"


I have planted a pieris which is ericaceous in soil which is quite limey.
I've only just realised this and dont really want to rip it out again. My
question is will it die there?

I've given it ericaceous plant food and sequestered iron.


The main problem with putting ericaceous plants into alkaline soil is
lack of iron and manganese, which are relatively insoluble at high
soil pH's. You will see if the plant is suffering because the leaves
will turn yellow and the plant won't thrive. But it won't drop dead
overnight. Chlorosis is a slow process and will take several months to
show itself, especially as the central root ball is presumably still
acid at the moment.

Don't over-do the fertiliser, i.e. don't feed any greater amount than
you would normally do or as instructed on the packet (I wouldn't feed
more frequently than once every six weeks from late spring until the
end of summer). You will probably need to treat with the sequestered
iron two or three times a season. As the plant gets older and bigger,
you will need to treat a wider area to completely cover the root area.

Don't forget to mulch it well to keep the roots cool and moist. Use
acid leaf mould or coarse peat, although neither will make a big
difference to the pH of the underlying soil.


E-mail: christopher[dot]hogg[at]virgin[dot]net