Azalea, like any other plant, requires individual selection of soil for growing. Rhododendron, the second name of the flower, is demanding on the composition of the soil, which must have high acidity. Otherwise, the plant will not give the necessary flowering, it will look unhealthy, it may get sick or die. After all, it is from the earth that flowers receive the necessary nutrients.
Which land does he love and which one does not?
Azalea substrate should be acidic to create the necessary conditions for obtaining nutrients.
It is contraindicated to grow an azalea in a soil mixture with an alkaline medium, the plant dies immediately.
The required composition of the soil for planting
Rhododendron prefers potting mix consisting of:
- coniferous land;
- mineral substances;
- river sand;
Read about planting rhododendron on the site and at home here.
What should be the acidity and how to acidify?
The composition of the substrate of different plant species differs from each other, the land suitable for azaleas also has some characteristics. Symbionts live in its roots - these are fungal microorganisms that help the flower get food from the ground. The death of the inhabitants can lead to the death of the plant itself. Therefore, the soil mixture for rhododendron should be acidic, normally the pH should be in the range from 3.5 to 5.5.
To ensure the required level of acidity, coniferous soil must be present in the composition of the substrate for the flower.You can acidify the earth by adding to it:
- pine bark;
- chopped needles;
- leaf humus;
What do you need - a finished product or a self-made one?
The grower should choose which soil mixture to plant the rhododendron in on his own, based on his preferences, because both a self-prepared substrate and a ready-made one are suitable for azaleas. It is better for novice gardeners to purchase a mixture at a flower shop, this will save time and energy. Moreover, in stores you can choose a substrate from various manufacturers, which differs in price and quality.
Over time, the nutritional properties of the soil mixture decrease, therefore, the substrate purchased in the store is recommended to be used within one year.
Is the substrate suitable?
From other plants to rhododendron
Rhododendron is a capricious plant, demanding on the soil. The composition of the soil, which is chosen for less capricious flowers, is not suitable for her, but other indoor plants will perfectly take root in the land suitable for growing azaleas.
What can be planted in the ground for a rhododendron?
Only those plants that prefer an acidic environment can be planted in the soil for azaleas.
These plants include:
- hydrangea, etc.
Description of the mixture
Not all store-bought soil is suitable for planting a rhododendron. When buying a ready-made substrate, you must carefully study the description of the finished formulations.
The following mixtures can be found in stores.
Antarium potting soil is suitable for growing azaleas. You can buy it if there is no separate soil for sale specifically for rhododendrons. Otherwise, it is better to buy a special soil, because the azalea is more capricious and demanding.
Garden of miracles
The composition of the nutrient substrate for the rhododendron of the St. Petersburg firm "Garden of Miracles" contains vermicompost. The firm offers a loose, light, acidic substrate that is excellent for growing plants that prefer acidic soil.
Fasco soil is a professional specialized product made specifically for rhododendrons.
- lowland and high-moor peat;
- complex fertilizer with the necessary microelements.
Selection of the finished composition
It is not difficult to choose a ready-made substrate for rhododendrons, because the soil mixtures sold in stores already have the necessary elements for the development and flowering of the plant.
Before buying potting mix, you should pay attention to the label, date of manufacture and composition.
Soil mixtures are divided into two types:
- plants that promote growth, they contain a large amount of minerals;
- intended for sowing seeds and propagating flowers in a vegetative way, they contain a minimum of nutrients (read more about the propagation of azaleas here).
Step by step instructions: how to make a soil mixture at home?
Consider how to prepare the soil for rhododendrons on your own, which peat to choose for the mixture and other nuances.
A prerequisite for planting an azalea is the presence of coniferous soil in the substrate.
Besides, you can add to the mixture:
- crushed charcoal;
- sphagnum moss;
- steamed pine bark;
- river sand;
- perlite or vermiculite;
- expanded clay.
- Shredded pine bark can further acidify the soil.
- Sphagnum moss should be washed, dried and chopped. Its addition to the potting mix helps to decontaminate the soil.
- Crushed charcoal also disinfects the soil, so it can be used alone or in conjunction with sphagnum moss.
- Perlite or vermiculite and river sand loosen the soil, increasing its air and moisture permeability.
- Expanded clay is necessary to create a drainage layer, which should be at least three centimeters when planting an azalea.
To prepare the substrate, you must mix:
- 2 pieces of leafy land;
- 2 parts of coniferous land;
- 1 part of high-moor and low-lying peat;
- 1 part of heather land;
- 1 part river sand.
The structure of the resulting soil mixture should be:
- with a high humus content;
- retain moisture well.
Possible errors and ways to solve them
Preparing soil at home is a difficult process, since all proportions of a large number of components must be strictly observed. Therefore, when compiling a soil mixture, several mistakes can be made, the most common of which are:
- The soil turned out to be heavier than necessary. To grow azaleas, light and loose soil is needed, therefore, in heavier soil, the plant will die due to difficult nutrition. There is only one solution to the problem - this is a transplant or transfer of a flower into the correct soil.
- The soil does not have the required acidity. An acidic environment is necessary for the life of symbiont fungi, therefore, in an alkaline environment, they will die, which means that the azalea will not survive due to the lack of necessary nutrients. In this case, the soil must be acidified with special additives, or a plant transplant must be organized.
- Added a lot of peat.
Peat makes the soil heavier and more water-absorbing, which will lead to stagnation of moisture in the soil.
This can lead to root rot. There is only one solution to the problem - this is the transplanting or transshipment of the flower into the correct soil.
Azalea is a graceful and vulnerable plant, in order for it to grow quickly and bloom beautifully, it needs a suitable soil. The soil is very important, because the plant receives nutrition and moisture from it. In addition, the metabolic processes in the body of the azalea depend on the soil.