samedi 18 juin 2011

Acid Loving Plants

Here's a fine spring display with Acers, Pieris and Azaeleas in a local municipal space.  The fountain is very refreshing  in the summer as it throws out a fine spray.  All these plants have in common is a love of acid soils.  Let me explain!

Composts for acid loving plants are called ERICACEOUS which tend to need neutral to acid ph measurements.  Such composts are called loam based composts and tend not to have lime.  The term Ericaceous is a reference to the Ericaceae, family of plants (heathers) generally intolerant of lime.

The majority of acid loving plants are originally from woodland areas and they prefer cool, shady environments with a soil rich in hummus, moist and well drained.  Such soils are fertile because nutrients are annually replenished by the recyclying of fallen leaves.  Plants that thrive on acid soils, like azaleas and rhododendrons can grow well in containers filled with lime free or ericaceous compost.

Examples of plants for acid soils:

- Acer Japonicum or Acer Palmatum, Deciduous tree (Japanese maple that can grow into very large trres or bushes or can keep in bush form if planted in a container),

- Camellia Japonica, evergreen shrub (shrub with dark green, leathery foilage and is covered in large colourful flowers in spring),

- Andromeda Polifolia , evergreen shrub (otherwise known as bog rosemary),

- Styrax Japonicus deciduous tree ( Japanese snowbell with glossy leaves turning red in Autumn),

- Cassiope Lycopodioides, evergreen shrub (heather like shrub with dark green leaves that forms a dense ground covering mat),

- Desfontainia Spinosa, evergreen shrub (Has a Holly like appearance with tubular red flowers tipped with yellow,

- Celmisia Walkeri, evergreen shrub ( has arching, spreding branches, low growing with dark green leaves and daisy like white flowers in summer),

- Erica Cinerea 'Romiley', evergreen shrub (bell heather with magenta flowers from early summer to autumn above dark green leaves),

- Magnolia, Pieris Formosa, deciduous shrub ( summer flowering with goblet shaped flowers and dark green leaves)

- Pinus Sylvestris,evergreen shrub (Dwarf, slow growing tupe of Scots Pine with bright golden yellow needle-like foilage),

- Rhododendron Luteum, deciduous shrub (mid green leaves and funnel shaped sticky sweet smelling yellow flowers),

- Skimia Japonica 'Rubella', evergreen shrub (tough plant with dark red flower buds in autumn and winter which open into white flowers with a pleasant frangrace, very popular for pots and winter arrangements),

- Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea, evergreen shrub (cowberries that spread over a wide area that produces white flowers that turn into red fruits),

- Phlox Adsurgens, perennial (a mound of light green foilage with pink/orange flowers in late spring),

- Podophyllum Hexandrum, Perennial ( Purple splashed leaves, spreading plant with white or pale pink flowers),

- Semiaquilegia Ecalacarata, perennial (delicate plant with bell shaped flowers in purple red in early summer).

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