It doesn’t matter if you already have a well-kept garden that needs a tropical touch to it or if you are a first-time gardener- one can never go wrong with cordylines. But what if one wishes to use ericaceous compost for cordyline?
Will your cordyline die or wither away if you use ericaceous compost? Will your cordyline leaves turn brown due to such compost? Read more to find out!
What Is Ericaceous Compost?
Ericaceous compost is an acidic compost blend used for the growth of certain types of plants. This compost is purely made up of organic matter and is primarily suited for plants that thrive in acidic soil.
With a pH level lower than 7.0, ericaceous compost is acidic. Although some plants do not grow in acidic soil, several plants do grow in acidic soil, one of them being Cordyline.
The name ericaceous comes from the ‘Ericaceae’ family of acidic plants.
Some plants that require ericaceous compost or ericaceous soil to grow are Rhododendrons, Trillium, Camellias, Bilberry, Azaleas, etc.
What Are Cordylines?
Cordyline is a genus that includes over 20 species of plants that are evergreen woody-stemmed shrubs.
Cordylines have the most striking leaves in plants. While some cordylines have leaves with shades of deep green, other young cordylines have hot pink coloured leaves with hue-coloured stripes to add a tropical feel to one’s garden.
They can grow up to a height of 30 feet, depending on the species of the plant. When they shed their leaves, they appear like short palm trees due to their striking focal points.
Even though cordylines have an architectural appearance and are grown for their foliage, they also bear clusters of light-coloured flowers in summer.
Cordylines are perennial in conditions that suit them and hence they do not require attentive care. This makes them a good choice for casual or beginning gardeners, who can plant cordylines and leave them to grow by themselves.
Cordylines can be planted in different styles from Mediterranean borders to containers and small gardens.
Benefits Of Ericaceous Compost
The growing use of ericaceous compost is not without its benefits. Below are explained the beneficial aspects of using ericaceous compost.
Perfect For Potted Plants
Ericaceous compost is found to be optimum for potted plants since the compost can be regulated and does not mix with other soils as in garden beds.
Furthermore, ericaceous plants thrive in indoor pots as the compost holds on to its acidity longer than in garden beds. including cordylines as the acidic content can be minutely monitored indoors.
Best For Acidic-Plants
Ericaceous compost is well-suited for gardeners who have acid-loving plants such as heather. Even if ericaceous compost is added to regular beds, acid-loving plants thrive and grow healthily.
Ericaceous compost is highly organic and therefore plants can receive nutrients from such compost without the need for frequent feeding. Ericaceous compost acidifies the soil and certain nutrients are released to be absorbed by roots in the right proportions.
This availability of nutrients to the roots depends on the acidity of the soil. Ericaceous compost has the right amount of acidity to avoid nutrient deficiencies that lead to poor growth of plants.
Ericaceous compost retains moisture for a long period and hence it creates moisture-enriched soil. Plants grown in ericaceous compost can preserve moisture and grow even if they are watered just weekly.
Keeps Pests Away
Another benefit of ericaceous compost is that they keep pests away. This pattern can also be seen in ericaceous plants where gardeners do not have to worry about pests damaging their precious plants.
Can You Use Ericaceous Compost For Cordyline?
Ericaceous compost is good not only for cordyline but any other plant which can grow under acidic soil circumstances. However, one peculiar property of cordyline is that it can grow in any type of soil, irrespective of the soil’s acidic or alkaline nature.
However, it would be wise to check if the soil needs to be neutralized in case of extreme acidity or alkalinity. A pH check would be necessary as adding ericaceous compost to an already acidic soil might make the soil too acidic.
Cordyline grows well in soil that preserves moisture for longer durations and drains without clogging. Ericaceous compost is capable of both moisture retention and excellent permeability, making drainage possible.
Due to the above properties, if you have ericaceous compost and want to put it to good use for cordylines, you can do so without worrying about the health of the cordyline.
However, cordylines can also do without ericaceous compost and any organic compost or garden compost will work wonders for your cordyline.
How To Make Ericaceous Compost?
There are various ways to make ericaceous compost for cordyline.
One of the methods is to add pine needles and leaves of citrus to regular garden compost.
This will increase the acidic content in the soil and make the soil more acidic than alkaline.
Another way to acidify soil is to add acidifying materials like sulphur powder to garden soil. However, such a method should be carried out only after accurately determining the pH level of the soil.
How Should You Plant Cordyline?
Cordyline is a plant that may require more care for its survival even after using the right type of compost and soil.
Thus, it needs to be planted in a perfect spot and environment where it is protected from heavy winds. Additionally, some species of cordyline work well with direct sunlight while some species do not grow and wither away in direct sunlight.
Do not forget to water the cordyline frequently during the summer as it would need moist conditions to grow. Avoid leaving cordyline outdoors during winters as they don’t fare well with frost.
Once you know what kind of minerals are best suited for a plant’s growth, gardening becomes much easier. Cordyline is one exceptional plant that grows in all kinds of conditions.
Ericaceous compost provides many benefits that can enhance the growth of cordylines. Ericaceous compost for cordyline is also beneficial if the soil is alkaline and has to be acidified.
However, cordyline is not difficult to grow and even gardeners who are just hobbyists can also take care of its growth.
- O’Rourke, T. (2019, September 20). Ericaceous compost. Horticulture Magazine. https://horticulture.co.uk/ericaceous-compost/
- Sellmer, J., & Sanford, D. L. (n.d.). Soil management in Home Gardens and landscapes. Psu.edu. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://extension.psu.edu/soil-management-in-home-gardens-and-landscapes