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I have two Rhododendrons growing vigorously in ericaceous compost in pots on my patio. They will soon outgrow their pots.
I intend transplanting them into my garden but my soil is not suitable for Rhodedendrons. I intend transplanting plants into larger cheap plastic pots topping up with ericaceous compost, digging two large holes & planting plant & POT in the holes. This is to try & prevent contamination of the ericaceous compost with my alkaline garden soil. This is something I have thought up (I am a novice gardener) & have no idea whether it will work.
Any advice? Experts only please as these plants are my wife's favourite. If anything happens to them I am a dead man.
If OK what is the best time of year to do it?
You will probably still need to water them if they are plunged still in their pots. The roots cannot range far enough to be able to use rainfall properly.
Right plant in the right place - if your soil is that alkali then keep them in the pot.
If you really must then how alkali is your soil? Most soil in the UK is naturally acidic to neutral.
What I did is have ericaceous soil around the plant, then mixed ericaceous and surrounding garden soil around that. That is less of a shock for the roots. You can apply ericaceous feed/iron seq when needed - good feeding is key. You can tell when they need a feed (normally spring) as the leaves begin to go pale and yellow.
I planted out my rhodo into the garden by digging a hole 3 times the size of the pot and filling this with ericaceous soil into which went the plant. It is now 5 feet tall and just as wide and flowers profusely every year. Have hardly ever fed it, nor added more soil, except to water when very dry.