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Blueberry bushes
Thu 29-Mar-12
8:44 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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Terrier said:

people used to pour stale/old tea on their hydrangeas, not sure if it helped with the colour. Is tea acidic?

I've just looked it up and tea is only very slightly acidic at about pH 6, so probably not enough to affect the acidity of soil unless you're starting with neutral soil. Coffee is about pH 5 so that might have a better effect. Since I put teabags/leaves and spent coffee grounds on the compost, I might be ok. I might try to get hold of some pH indicator to see what my soil and compost is like.

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Fri 30-Mar-12
4:03 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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My mum lives in the chalky Chilterns and she puts all her tea leaves around one of a pair of identical hydrangeas (cuttings from the same bush). She was delighted to show me last year how one had pink flowers and the other blue - so it does work.

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Fri 30-Mar-12
4:12 pm
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brightspark
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My Mum told us that putting tea around acid-loving plants will be of benefit.

Our place in France is on limestone, so our magnolias have plenty of tea poured around them. Our strawberry tree was also doing rather well, until the frost got it !! eeek

I suppose you can't win them all !

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until they're in hot water.
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Fri 30-Mar-12
8:34 pm
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Xahha
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I seemed to remember something about using chelated iron, but before I looked like a numpty and putting silly stuff about hydrangeas, I looked it up- apparently aluminium sulphate reduces the pH to the more acidic value and helps turn pink hydrangea flowers to blue ones if the pH of the soil is between 5.2 and 5.5 - it turns out that chelated iron is used to prevent chlorosis, the yellowing of the leaves, so what I was about to write before looking it up, would have been rubbish!

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Fri 30-Mar-12
9:26 pm
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Terrier
York

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another old wive's tale is to put some rusty oldnails in the planting hole for acid loving plnts

Sat 31-Mar-12
4:33 pm
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mike.
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In today's Daily Mail, Monty Don is recommending putting pine needles around blueberry bushes, which agrees with what Joanna said earlier.

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Sun 1-Apr-12
6:35 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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cheers not just a pretty face whistle

Wed 9-May-12
11:10 pm
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irridium
Nottingham, England

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from the nursery where i got my last one from (cooltemperate in nott'm) i was advised that you need at least another one to pollinate them. they don't have to be from the same fruiting season as they tend to flower around the same time. the first one i bought was from Wilkinson's - Bluecrop which was only a couple of pounds but very small, say about 10" tall (their fruit bushes are v. cheap but make sure you unwrap the bag that the root ball is contained in. sometimes you'll find that there isn't much of a root system on them. also make sure the stems are green with buds on them). the recent purchase is a much bigger specimen, about 2' tall with lots of branches. that's an Ozarkblue (or something like that) for £8.50 and is planted in a big 24" diameter planter with earicaceous compost. initially, the smaller one was planted in ericaceous compost in a pot for the last two years, and since last Autumn, it got planted out at the lotti in the ground, chancing that it'll be acidic enough for for the plant. it's flowered for the first time for me and am v. pleased. the other one is too, flowering abundantly. looks like i'll be getting a crop this yr...! but i won't be greedy and let them crop fully as i'd want to wait til next year when they're better established.

 

normally, you'd find in garden centres, you can buy them singly or in packs of 3 for about £20, but they're only about 10" tall but with more branches than the Wilkinson ones, though. good luck in finding them...

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