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Special feeds for special plants

For some plants, ordinary feed just isn’t enough. Orchids, for example, need magnesium and other trace elements. Even fuchsias are particularly greedy feeders that need more potash than the average soil can provide when they are flowering in late summer and autumn. That is why garden centre Rushfields offers special feeds for special plants that suit their needs.

Acid-loving plants want soil with a low pH value

Acid-lovers like rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias need soil that is filled with iron and magnesium. These nutrients make sure their leaves will not turn yellow. Moreover, when these plants grow in the right soil, they will produce explosions of flowers in late spring. These are a few ways that help you create the right living conditions for acid-loving plants:

  • use sphagnum peat moss. This material retains water and nutrients that are important for the growth of your plants. Furthermore, it has a low pH value, which makes it ideal for acid-loving plants;
  • add acid fertilizer if you do not want to affect other plants that do not like acid. Start out with a mild solution and then look what effect it has on your plants;
  • use elemental sulphur to lower the soil pH. Bacteria turn the sulphur into sulphuric acid. Since sulphur takes some time to work, it is best to add it a year before planting your special plants;
  • use cottonseed meal throughout the year to keep the soil pH low. As a by-product of cotton manufacturing, it is also a great fertiliser for acid-loving plants.

These special feeds for special plants have all of the iron and magnesium that is necessary for them to grow healthily. 

How to care for plants with special needs

If you want to plant a few nice citrus trees, it is good to know that they have some special needs. Citruses like lemons, limes and calamondin oranges enjoy high-nitrogen food in summer. Use special citrus fertiliser to make sure your citrus trees get all nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and micronutrients they require. Switch to a more balanced feed in winter to avoid premature leaf fall. Slower-growing cacti and succulents need the exact opposite of what citrus trees want: low-nitrogen feeds consisting of peat, coir, mulch and perlite. Other special plants that need special feeds are free-flowering African violets. These plants need feed that is high in phosphate. Bonsai trees need root-strengthening feeds that are rich in potash. Are you not sure what feeds suit your plants best? Visit our garden centre and ask our staff for more advice about special feeds for your special plants.

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