Heather

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Jack Sparrow, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Jack Sparrow

    Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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    I have just picked up a couple of pots of Heather. I have read that they need acidic soil. I used to have heather in my rockery. To the best of my knowledge that was just ordinary top soil. How will it take in multipurpose compost?

    G.
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Well, I can grow the winter/ spring flowering ones in my garden and my soil is not acid.
      Dont think I'd use MPC for long term potting, if that is what you intend?

      Best to have some soil in the mix, maybe some added ericaceous JI.
       
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      • Loofah

        Loofah Well used member

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        Topsoil might be OK, depends on the prevailing soil type which you can test. Don't use MPC as it's alkaline
         
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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          Also, MPC doesn't have enough nutrients. :noidea:
           
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          • Jack Sparrow

            Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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            I'm a bit stuck then. The best I can do is to pot them in ericaceous compost .

            G.
             
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            • pete

              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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              Ericaceous JI is pretty difficult to find in my experience.
              But it is out there.
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                I'd be inclined to mix half compost with half garden soil.
                 
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                • luciusmaximus

                  luciusmaximus Total Gardener

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                  I've got a Spring flowering heather that I planted in cheap multi purpose compost this spring. It' appears fine. I want to plant it into the garden but no space yet. The compost has peat in it. I didn't know Heather's were fussy about their soil types :heehee:.
                   
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                  • Perki

                    Perki Super Gardener

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                    If I remember correctly summer flowering Heather require acidic PH conditions but Winter / Spring aren't to fussed . The winter flowering group is Erica which should tolerate neutral to slightly alkaline conditions.

                    MPC can be used @Jack Sparrow for a temporary solution say for over the winter into spring but if its a permanent planting john innes / soil based compost would be the way to go.
                     
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                    • Nikolaos

                      Nikolaos Gardener

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                      My Erica carnea does well in heavy, rather alkaline clay soil, just coming into flower and is an excellent bee-friendly plant. It's Calluna that's far less versatile and needs well-drained acid soil, I think. Surely standard ericaceous compost would do the trick? :dunno: I didn't think Callunas grew in very fertile, moisture-retentive soil in the wild because my native British wildflower book mentions heaths, moors and mature conifer woodland as natural habitats of Calluna vulgaris. What do the labels on your heathers say @Jack Sparrow?

                      Nick

                      DSCN0952[1].JPG
                       
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                      • pete

                        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                        I dont think heathers require a rich soil, as @Nikolaos says they tend to grow in pretty poor soils naturally.
                        I just tend to think a JI compost, with soil, tends to be better long term, in pots, as opposed to an ericaceous peat based one.
                         
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                        • pete

                          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                          Having said that, even if they do show signs of chlorosis it's simple enough to water once a year with sequestered iron to sort the problem out.
                           
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                          • Nikolaos

                            Nikolaos Gardener

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                            I see what you mean, thanks for elaborating @pete. :)

                            Nick
                             
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                            • Jack Sparrow

                              Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                              @Nikolaos They came from a discount centre. They didn't have labels. They are in compost for now. If they survive the winter I might try to find them a permanent home in the garden. If need be, I have plenty of spare soil that I can mix into a pot.

                              G.
                               
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                              • Jack Sparrow

                                Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                                Thanks to everyone who commented. I really appreciate it.

                                G.
                                 
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