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Pieris plants.

Hi I wonder if anyone could give me some of their valuable advice.I have just bought 3 lovely Pieris plants,one is Forest Flame,& the other two are Little Heath.I know they are acid loving plants,& my soil is mostly clay, but over the years I have managed to break it down quite a bit by digging in lots of top soil,& it’s not too bad now,the drainage is a lot better.My question is,would it be ok to dig  in a couple of bags of Ericaceous compost,in the area I have cleared for the Pieris plants.I know I could plant them in pots,but I am reluctant to do this, as have too many pot on my patio as it is.Any advice, gratefully received.Many thanks.


  • chickychicky Posts: 10,381
    edited March 2021
    Pieris really need acid soil, and a couple of bags of ericaceous compost will not help for longer than about six months.  You say your soil is clay, but do you know its PH?  Clay can be acid or alkaline.  I would suggest testing it first - you can buy soil testing kits at GCs or online for about £10-20.  Then you’ll know what you’re dealing with.  If your soil PH is above about 6.5 then I would grow your pieris in pots.
  • Many thanks Chicky,I’m going to the garden centre today,so will pick up a soil testing kit,as I don’t want to spoil these lovey plants.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,409
    My soil is clay based and very wet, but it is also acid. You need to do a soil test, they are cheap and easy to use and you may find you don't need to do anything.
    If your soil is very alkaline  you will need to resort to pots, as trying to change your soil PH long term with additives is not usually successful.
    If the results are nearer neutral, then plant your Pieris and help to keep them healthy by giving them the occasional feed of Sequestrene or chelated iron which supplies the minerals locked up and unavailable to plants in very alkaline soils.
  • Thank you Buttercupdays for your advice.I did purchase a soil testing kit on Friday,& found out that the PH balance is between 5.5 & 6.So I planted my,Pieris yesterday.Im really pleased about this, as I also love Azaleas & Rhododens.
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