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Hanging baskets can make an attractive, eye-catching feature in your garden or around your home when the right plants that complement your space are grown. Can you use ericaceous compost for hanging baskets and grow acid-loving plants to provide an out-of-the-ordinary hanging basket?
Ericaceous compost can be used to grow plants in hanging baskets if the plants selected prefer to grow in acidic soil. Using ericaceous compost in hanging baskets with non-acid-loving plants will result in the plants being unable to absorb nutrients correctly and not growing well.
Ericaceous compost has a particular purpose in the garden, as does a hanging basket. Can these gardening items be merged to grow plants that typically prefer acidic soil in the hanging basket? We will guide you through the best way to grow plants in hanging baskets with ericaceous compost.
Is Ericaceous Compost A Good Choice For Hanging Baskets?
There is no doubt that hanging baskets can make an attractive addition to a deck, a patio, or even hung from trees in your garden.
Most plants typically grown in hanging baskets, such as Fuchsia or Petunias, do not require acidic soil. So if you are looking for a plant that is a little different, choosing an acid-loving plant for your hanging basket could be a good alternative.
The type of plant you can intend to grow in the hanging basket will determine the type of compost best suited for use in the hanging basket.
The type of compost required is determined by the soil pH requirements of the plants you grow in the basket.
Can You Use Ericaceous Compost In Hanging Baskets?
While ericaceous compost is designed to provide the ideal growing conditions for certain acidic-loving plants, it may not be the best choice to use in all hanging baskets.
This is because hanging baskets are often designed to drain quickly, and ericaceous compost can retain too much water, which can lead to root rot and other issues. Consider all the needs of the plant before using ericaceous compost in your hanging baskets.
Many of the plants typically grown in hanging baskets, such as petunias and geraniums, do not require acidic soil and can be harmed by ericaceous compost’s high acidity. Ericaceous compost should only be used for plants that require a low pH level growing environment.
Ericaceous compost can be viable for certain plants and under the right conditions. Know your plant and its growing requirements before using ericaceous compost, which can be expensive and detrimental to the plant if it is unnecessary.
What Hanging Baskets Work Best?
Hanging baskets can add a pop of color and greenery to outdoor or indoor spaces and are often used to decorate porches, balconies, and patios.
Many different types of hanging baskets are available, including those made from wire, plastic, or wicker. The type of hanging basket you choose will depend on your personal preference and the needs of the plants you plan to grow.
For example, wire baskets allow for good drainage and air circulation, while plastic baskets can retain moisture better and are more lightweight.
One thing to remember when using hanging baskets is that the growing medium tends to dry out more quickly than other types of planters.
This is because hanging baskets are often exposed to more wind and sun, which can cause the soil to dry out faster. This makes choosing a soil mix that will retain moisture and provide good drainage important. Ericaceous compost can benefit in this regard due to its water retention capabilities.
Hanging baskets can be planted with various plants, including trailing species that will spill over the sides of the basket and create a cascading effect, which can add to the inside and outside aesthetics of your home.
Some popular plants for hanging baskets include petunias, lobelia, geraniums, and fuchsias. It’s important to select plants that are well-suited to the conditions of your outdoor space, including the amount of sunlight and wind exposure.
What Acid-Loving Plants Are Best For Hanging Baskets?
While ericaceous compost may not be the best choice for all hanging baskets, there are some acid-loving plants well-suited to this type of soil that can thrive in hanging baskets.
Ericaceous plants, including heather, rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias, require acidic soil to thrive, but not all ericaceous plants are suitable for growing in hanging baskets.
When planted in soil with a pH above 6.5, these plants may struggle to absorb the necessary nutrients and develop yellow leaves or stunted growth. This is why ericaceous compost is necessary for these plants, as it provides the ideal pH level for their growth and development.
We have selected some ericaceous plants that we have found to grow well in hanging baskets with ericaceous compost in the growing medium to provide the correct soil pH.
The following are the plants we recommend.
- Lobelia. Lobelias are a good choice and are popular for growing in hanging baskets, with delicate blue or white flowers cascading down the basket’s sides. They prefer moist, well-draining soil and can benefit from regular deadheading to encourage new growth. Their ideal pH range is 5.5 to 6.5, making them ideal for growing in ericaceous compost.
- Calibrachoa. Calibrachoa is part of the nightshade family, and the blossoms come in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, red, and yellow. The flowers resemble petunias in shape and size. Calibrachoa prefers soils acidic soils with a pH between 5.0 to 6.5. These plants are very pH sensitive and will not grow in soil with a pH above 6.5.
- Begonia. Begonias are a popular choice which I have found to grow well in hanging baskets, with delicate blooms in shades of pink, red, and white. They prefer well-draining soil and can benefit from regular deadheading to promote new growth. Their optimal soil pH range is 5.5 to 6.5.
- Osteospermum. Osteospermum, often called Cape Daisies or African Daisies is another excellent choice to plant in hanging baskets with ericaceous compost. The delicate, prolific blossoms can range in color from various shades of yellow to pink or white. The preferred soil pH for Osteospermum is between 5.5 to 6.5.
- Ferns. Ferns are a way to add bright green foliage to your home or garden and grow very well in hanging baskets. Their preference for a soil pH between 4.0 and 7.0 makes them ideal candidates for growing in ericaceous compost. Ferns like moist conditions and prefer high organic matter in the soil; the soil must be well-drained but must not dry out, so position them where they will be out of the wind.
When choosing plants for your hanging baskets, it’s important to consider the specific needs of each species and ensure that they are well-suited to the conditions of your outdoor space.
By choosing acid-loving plants that are well-suited to ericaceous compost, you can create a beautiful and thriving hanging basket display that will add a pop of color and greenery to your home or garden.
Check out: Do Box Plants Need Ericaceous Compost?
While ericaceous compost can be a great option for acid-loving plants, it may not be the best choice for all hanging baskets. Hanging baskets are designed to drain quickly and may not benefit from the water-retaining properties of ericaceous compost.
When choosing plants for your hanging baskets, be sure to choose plants that prefer to grow in low-pH soil before planting them in soil with ericaceous compost. Take the time to choose the right soil and plants for your hanging baskets, and you can create a beautiful and thriving display that will complement your home and garden all season long.