Miracid and other acid loving plantfood

GraceNmercyJanuary 26, 2013

Hello,

Wanted to make this post in this particular forum since I know a lot of people have experience using the product growing their azaleas.

I planted some blueberries on our property in north east TX and just planted some Allegheny chinkapin and American chestnuts and all of these thrive in acid soil. For the most part the soil in east TX is already acid, but when starting off new acid loving plants I want to make sure they get everything they need.

I've been been told that Miracid or something that's 20-10-10 or 30-10-10 is the best fertilizer/plant food that I can give them. Only problem is I've been checking stores around here locally in (Houston) including Lowe's and home depot and I can't seem to find Miracid anywhere. Home depot only sells Miracle-Gro Water-Soluble Azalea, Camellia and Rhododendron Plant Food and Ironite 12-10-10. Does anyone know if any of these work the same or should I just go online to get Miracid? Does anyone know which stores are more than likely to sell Miracid 30-10-10? Thanks in advance!

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akamainegrower

The Miracle Gro product and the old Miracid are pretty much the same. Both are owned and produced by Scotts.

More importantly, these are really not, depite zilllions of dollars in advertising to the contrary, very good fertilizers for rhododendrons and azaleas. They provide a quick shot of nutrients which is soon exhausted. (30% nitrogen is also way too high.) Much better products are those which feed slowly over an extended period of time and have a high percentage of organic content. Hollytone is very good in my experience. No doubt there are other equally good products.

It's also entirely possible that no fertilizer at all is needed. Only a soil test can provide that information.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:41AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

For blueberries, chinkapin, and chestnuts, you may get a good quick response with Miracid or its twin, Miracle-Gro Water-Soluble Azalea, Camellia and Rhododendron Plant Food. However, such soluble chemical fertilizers are not the right product nor are they cost effective for most plants. They are OK to use sometimes with rooted cuttings or seedlings in sterile media in the greenhouse, but that is all. Since they are water-soluble, they are very short lasting and soon washed away. They are much too strong for most plants and when used in the greenhouse are used in very dilute concentrations.

Adamainegrower is absolutely correct is recommending a product with solid nutrients and organic nitrogen such as Hollytone. Also, only apply at half the rate on the package.

The reason for organic sources of nitrogen, is that many chemical sources of nitrogen will kill mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae are fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with roots (or rhizoids), aiding plant nutrition. They are especially important to acid loving plants and help supply iron to these plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizing Rhododendron and Azaleas

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:21AM
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GraceNmercy

So the Holly Tone would be the best product to use on the blueberries, chinkapin and chestnuts? I only go up to the place once or twice a month to check on the plants and they're growing throughout 33 acres of scattered pasture and forest land. I know the blueberries should produce this year, but I want to give them as well as a wild huckleberry bush something to help boost production. Also want to make sure the chinkapin have everything they need since there is a possibility that they can produce a nut or two this fall.

This post was edited by GraceNmercy on Sun, Jan 27, 13 at 11:55

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:53AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Yes.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:34AM
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Oldcutup

I'm new to this Forum. I joined to pass on some of the trials and tribs I have had with keeping my Azaleas healthy and blooming.
Fifteen(15)years ago, when we landscaped our yard we planted 14 different evergreen azaleas. All were planted around the large oaks that surround our house.
I planted them in peat moss and Black Cow. They have become the show piece of our yard in the early spring.
Over the years I have tried to do the miracid thing and dumped peat moss over the roots at feeding time. I always cut them back by 1/3 after they finish blooming.
Now that they have been established and they have a good ground covering of oak leaves I only use Milorganite and Ironite over the plant base two time a year.
I'm attaching a picture of one Azalea (Garden State Red) that never showed much promise. Last spring I dosed it with the above fertilizers and here is what it looks like now. It is beautiful. The first to bloom this year.
I hope you like what I have added. I'm from Virginia and love the Azales in that part of the country. I'm very proud of my success with them here in Florida.

This post was edited by Oldcutup on Fri, Feb 1, 13 at 13:45

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:21PM
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