What are Ericaceous plants
Ericaceous subjects are characteristically calcifuge (lime-hating) and therefore naturally found growing in acidic soils such as marshes and heath land. Calcifuges cannot cope with alkaline soils, because of the effect of pH on iron availability. Under alkaline (pH greater than 7.0) conditions iron becomes increasingly unavailable causing the classic symptoms of interveinal leaf chlorosis (yellowing) known as “lime-induced chlorosis”. This in turn leads to poor growth lost potential.
Ericaceae is a large family of flowering plants with some 4,250 species in 124 genera Those of particular importance to mankind include Camellia, Cranberry, Blueberry, Pieris, Rhododendron (and Azaleas), and heathers such as Erica for example.
There are also many non-ericaceous calcifuge plants including, Acers (maple), most Magnolia cultivars, Skimmia and Raspberries. These plants also benefit from using special ericaceous feeds
Special nitrogen requirements
Calcifuges have different nitrogen preferences to other crops. They are not able to utilise the nitrate (NO3) form effectively but rather prefer the ammoniacal form (NH4). Whilst both nitrogen forms are taken up, the latter remains unused; so, if applied in fertilizers it is effectively wasted.
The best nitrogen sources for calcifuges are ammonium sulphate (readily providing NH4) and urea (which is naturally broken down to NH4).
Otherwise the fertilization of Blueberries is fairly straightforward but they are particularly sensitive to iron deficiency and care should be taken to avoid shortages.
Recognising their special requirements, Solufeed has designed and developed a water-soluble fertilizer optimized for Ericaceae.
The essential features are as follows:
- Nitrogen present in the ammoniacal and ureic form; no wasted nitrate.
- Acidifying Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) source to help control pH and neutralize bicarbonates.
- Iron and other metal micronutrients as EDTA. FeEDTA to prevent chlorosis.
- Dissolves rapidly and completely even in cold water.
- Cost effective.
Total nitrogen (N) 12.0 %
Ammoniacal (NH4) nitrogen 10.7 %
Ureic nitrogen 1.3 %
Phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) soluble in water 10.0% (P: 4.4 %)
Potassium oxide (K2O) soluble in water 10.8% (K: 9.0 %)
Magnesium oxide: 4.4% (Mg:2.7)
Boron (B) soluble in water 0.015 %
Copper (Cu) as EDTA 0.017 %
Iron (Fe) as EDTA 0.060 %
Manganese (Mn) as EDTA 0.034 %
Molybdenum (Mo) soluble in water 0.001 %
Zinc (Zn) as EDTA 0.027 %
Directions for use
Prepare a solution by dissolving 1 gram of Ericaceous Plant Feed per litre of water (5 grams in a typical watering can) and water plants as normal ensuring sufficient volume is applied to soak down to the roots. Repeat at 10 – 14 day intervals throughout the growing season. Do not stop after flowering as this is the time when next year’s buds are being laid down and still need nutrients.
Ericaceous Plant Feed can also be applied through automatic diluters, please consult the device directions for use.
Always read the label before using any product.
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