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Old 22-04-2005, 03:40 PM
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On Fri, 22 Apr 2005 09:10:09 +0100, "Charlie Pridham"

~"Chris Hogg" wrote in message
.. .
~ On Thu, 21 Apr 2005 14:58:21 GMT, "Jeremy Watts"
~ wrote:
~ Hi,
~ 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.
~ question is will it die there?
~ I've given it ericaceous plant food and sequestered iron.
~ thanks
~ 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.
~ --
~ Chris
~Chris is obviously a "Glass half full" person, me I would cut my losses now!
~you might get away with a pot if your water supply is not alkaline but in
~the ground it will never thrive, always look poorly, then die. although the
~treated in Chris's bit above will delay the event a number of years.

I inherited a stunted, yellowing pieris when I moved into my house,
which is on chalk (I also acquired several other acid-lovers which the
previous owners had bunged in, probably to make the garden look

I dug them all up and put in pots. The pieris was really tiny (about
6" high) at first so went in a window box with some acid-loving
gentians, and after a couple of years was big enough to move into a
much bigger pot.

I now have a 5' tall plant which is currently amazing - covered in
flowers and new red leaves. And still happily in a 15" pot! I water
with rainwater from a butt, and with ericaceous fertiliser every
couple of weeks.

I'd dig it up now, shake off as much limey soil as possible and pot on
in ericaceous John Innes compost.


Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone,
you may still exist but you have ceased to live.
Mark Twain

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