Will Geraniums Grow in Ericaceous Compost?

Geraniums are plants that typically grow best in soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.

However, if you want to plant them in ericaceous compost, which is soil that has high acidity, there are a few things you will need to do to make sure they can grow.

Ericaceous compost may contain toxic nutrients to geraniums, making it difficult for them to grow and thrive.

To remedy this, you will need to adjust the compost’s pH level to match the needs of your geraniums.

This can be done by adding lime or other alkaline-based materials to the soil to reduce the acidity and create a more suitable environment for the plants to grow.

Once you have created the right soil conditions, your geraniums should be able to flourish.

Optimal Soil Conditions for Geranium Cultivation

When choosing the ideal soil for planting geraniums, it’s important to consider the soil’s pH level and nutrient content.

Geraniums prefer a soil pH of 6.5, considered neutral but can tolerate a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5.

However, ericaceous compost, which has a high acidity, may not be suitable for geraniums and cause the plants to struggle.

In this case, you can mix in some other types of soil to reduce the acidity to a more manageable level.

In addition to pH, the NPK ratio is another important factor to consider. NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, the three main nutrients in the soil.

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A 5-10-5 NPK ratio fertilizer about a month before planting is recommended to provide the best-growing conditions for your geraniums.

After planting, switch to a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10. These steps will help ensure that your geraniums receive the right nutrients for healthy growth.

When planting geraniums, it is recommended to use soil with a loamy texture, as this type of soil provides good plant drainage.

This is important for preventing waterlogging and promoting healthy root growth.

Avoid using fertilizers with high nitrogen levels, as this can negatively impact the number of flowers produced by the geraniums.

It’s best to provide fertilizer to the plants twice a year, in the spring and autumn, to promote healthy growth and blooming.

Although geraniums perform best in ideal soil conditions, they are considered a hardy species. They can tolerate being planted in soil that is not ideal as long as the pH level is suitable for their growth.

A pH of 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal for geraniums, and they can tolerate slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5.

By maintaining the correct pH level, even in poor soil conditions, your geraniums should be able to grow and flourish.

Impacts of Growing Geraniums in Ericaceous Compost

When growing geraniums in ericaceous compost, it is important to closely monitor the plants to assess their response to the compost.

Based on the plants’ reaction, you can determine if they are thriving or if any issues need to be addressed.

If problems arise, it is important to act quickly to minimize their impact on the health and growth of the geraniums.

Maintaining a close watch on your geraniums and taking quick action when necessary is crucial for ensuring that they have the ideal growing conditions and a high chance of success.

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This means paying attention to factors such as soil pH, watering, and fertilization and making adjustments as needed.

If you notice that the soil is too acidic for the geraniums, you can mix other types of compost to balance the pH and provide the plants with the necessary nutrients.

By taking these steps and staying vigilant, you can ensure that your geraniums are given the best possible environment for growth and flowering, increasing their chances of thriving and producing beautiful blooms.

What Is the Ideal Compost for Geraniums?

For container-grown geraniums, it is recommended to use a peat-free multi-purpose compost with an added slow-release fertilizer.

These plants can create a stunning display with other summer bedding plants, grown in good compost and kept well-watered.

Geraniums are relatively hardy and can withstand being planted close to other tender plants when grown in favourable conditions.

Do Geraniums Prefer Acidic Soil?

Geraniums do not thrive in soil with a pH below 6.0, as this low pH causes the plant to absorb excessive amounts of iron and manganese, leading to leaf burn and speckling.

Light-coloured geranium varieties, such as those violet, pink, or white, tend to be more sensitive to magnesium deficiencies and will show symptoms before the red varieties.

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency in geraniums include the yellowing of leaves between the veins, stunted growth, and a reduction in overall plant vigour.

Is Epsom Salt Necessary for Geranium Growth?

Geraniums require magnesium to grow properly. If there’s a lack of magnesium, the plant may experience necrosis of leaf tissue, curled leaves, and other symptoms.

It’s recommended to use Epsom salt as a drench to alleviate magnesium deficiency.

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The recommended ratio of Epsom salt to water is 1 pound of Epsom salt for every 100 gallons of water.

This means that for every 100 gallons of water, 1 pound of Epsom salt should be added.

This ratio is often used when using Epsom salt as a fertilizer or plant supplement, as it provides the right amount of magnesium and sulphur to promote healthy growth.

Is It Suitable to Use Ericaceous Compost for All Types of Plants?

Ericaceous compost has a low pH level, typically between 4.5 and 5.5, which is ideal for growing plants that thrive in acidic soils.

These plants include heathers, camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, and blueberries. The compost is made from ingredients such as peat, pine needles, and bark, which are naturally acidic.

This compost provides the right nutrients and soil structure to promote healthy growth and flowering of ericaceous plants.


When planting geraniums, it is important to have the right type of soil to ensure their healthy growth and survival.

While geraniums are relatively hardy plants and can tolerate various growing conditions, they still require a specific pH level in the soil to thrive.

The biggest challenge when planting geraniums in ericaceous compost is that it is often too acidic, which can negatively affect the growth and health of the plants.

When planting geraniums, paying attention to the soil conditions is key to their success and healthy growth.

If problems arise, it may be necessary to change the soil composition to correct the pH levels.

This can be done by adding amendments such as lime or dolomitic limestone to raise the pH level and make the soil less acidic.



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