Welcome to our Head Gardener’s Journal

In this monthly column, we will share technical aspects of our work and also keep you up to date about ongoing projects. If there is any topic you might want to hear more about, please ask during your next visit!

Growing Calcifuges on Neutral soil

Although we wholeheartedly support the “right-plant-right-place” philosophy, we still would not want to forego entirely the pleasure provided by the elegant blooms of azaleas and rhododendrons in the spring. Therefore, we have devised a feeding regime which allows calcifuges to thrive in our neutral soil. 

This regime consists of three elements. First, we apply a generous mulch of ericaceous compost around the base of the plants in March, followed by a slow-release ericaceous fertilizer, such as “Miracle Gro azalea, camellia & rhododendron”. From April to September, the plants are then fed every 6 weeks with a combination of seaweed and sequestered iron, such as “Maxicrop”.

Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Mulch with ericaceous compost YES
Feed with slow release ericaceous fertilizer YES
Feed with seaweed extract plus sequestered iron YES YES YES YES YES YES

This regime is not only applied to azaleas and rhododendrons, but also to camellias and hydrangeas.
It is also essential to never let the plants dry out.

Azaleas in the Rockery in May