Rhododendron soil - mix azalea substrate yourself
- Garden soil for rhododendrons and azaleas
- Substrate and rhododendron earth
Rhododendrons and azaleas are available in abundant variety for every garden soil and for every tub substrate. All with somewhat different demands on the substrate, which does not always have to have an acid pH - so rhododendron soil and azalea substrate can be mixed well. In this guide we will tell you how.
Rhododendrons and azaleas have claims to the soil, each species and species a little bit different. That's why the best soil is mixed for rhododendrons and azaleas themselves, and then they learn what matters:
Garden soil for rhododendrons and azaleas
The garden soil for rhododendrons / azaleas should be as follows:
- Slightly acidic for most rhododendrons / azaleas , up to pH 5.0
- A good normal garden soil has a pH between 5 and 7
- The highest nutrient availability for plants is at pH 6.3 to 6.8
- For average rhododendrons would therefore be acidified
This works by incorporating acidic wood fibers and decayed (beech, ash, oak) leaves, needle litter and composted bark or by acidic fertilizer / soil additives (ammonium sulfate, aluminum sulfate, sulfur, must be precisely dosed). Also, Epsom salt lowers the soil pH, 150 g to 10 liters of water / square meter by about 1 °. In pharmacies there is indicator paper for the determination of pH values.
The soil must be loose, permeable to water, but also water-storable. Light sandy soils are loose, airy and permeable to water. However, if the soil is too water permeable and too nutrient poor, it should be improved by nutrient rich compost. Heavy loamy soil and compacted soil should be loosened with sand, coniferous or foliage compost. Total compacted soil should see no rhododendrons, but green manure, which rooted and loosens the soil really nice. In the course of this green manure soil life forms, which continues the relaxation. This soil life is finally delighted with rhododendron plants with some compost and always beautifully protected by delicious soft mulch.
Coniferous trees on the edge of the property on humus rich (forest) soil provide an ideal location for rhododendrons. Especially for garden soils with normal / basic pH values, there is Inkarho-Rhododendron, which tolerates pH values up to 7.5. Some rhododendron-ponticum hybrids also grow in soils with a pH of up to 7.
Tip: The fact that rhododendron needs peat is an invention of the peat-degrading (polluting) industry, rhododendron would energetically contradict. Rhododendron needs good crumbly, nutrient-rich soil, and peat is no longer crumbly, but hard as concrete, and so nutrient-poor that a lot of synthetic fertilizer is mixed. He is so sour, usually so sour, that he will be whitewashed before the sale - the whole thing about the peat is a remarkably pointless game.
Substrate and rhododendron earth
Even for buckets there are different rhododendron / azalea varieties with different demands on the tub soil, so you have the choice:
Mix normal garden soil with a pH around 6 with chaff of oak leaves, needle litter. These chaff loosen and at the same time lower the pH slightly. How far you have to minimize it depends on garden soil and rhododendron species.
If you do not fancy pH measurements or pH calculators: Buy a lime tolerant rhododendron. Such rhododendron varieties are also available for buckets. It is best to buy the container plant from a nursery near you, where it was reared locally. So you can be sure that she can cope with the basic conditions on site.
For lime tolerant rhododendrons, you can fill a normal, good soil into the bucket. So garden soil, which is possibly made with a little coarse compost nice and easy. Maybe even humus rich forest soil (the humus rich soil at all), if that is available in your area. A bit of earth for your own use may get in the woods. Of course, when the forester is reachable, demands never hurt and surely he knows a good spot.
Otherwise: Do not use soil that has been stored on wood. Because this is usually treated with toxins. Likewise, you should not use soil from lanes, because there are practically no more bottom dwellers in it. The soil under pure coniferous stands (spruces) is usually too acidic.
Good soil for mixing the substrate for an acid soil loving average rhododendron:
- Forest soil in mixed deciduous forests is usually alkaline (calcareous)
- This makes it suitable for so-called Inkarho rhododendrons, which also tolerate calcareous substrates
- To keep the substrate nice and loose, you can mix everything that is coarse and organic: (bark) compost, wood chips, sand, gravel, straw manure, horn shavings, leaves (possibly with an effect on the pH value)
- not too loose, some water must also be stored
Tip: Acid-loving rhododendrons are sometimes only planted in pots, because the healthy garden soil should not be acidified. The alternative: a raised bed that is filled with a substrate of low pH, which also provides tall rhododendrons space, and the actual garden soil does not need to be changed in pH.