osmanthus fragran in alkaline soil?

lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)January 6, 2009

Does anyone having success growing these plants in alkaline soil specifically caliche/limestone rubbles soil? I am intrigued by this plant and want to plant one but not sure if it can tolerate these type of soil. Thanks.

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No. Don't plant it in the ground in alkaline soil.
You can still grow them, just put them in containers.
Check out the Container Forum.
You would be amazed how easy it is to grow anything in a container.
Get one. You'll love it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 12:26AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)


I just realized that I had that gardening book specifically for alkaline soil (Gardening Success with difficult soils -Limestone, alkaline clay, and Caliche by Scott Odgen) and there is it that it says that I can grow them as long as the soil is reasonably amended with organic material and protected from harsh afternoon sun. I'm very familiar with Al's mix from container forum. I use his modified mix to grow my trees but when it gets very hot in Texas, I have to water every day so it gets very old. It's not something I want to do with osmanthus. Maybe I will build a raised bed for it. I asked the same thing in Texas gardening forum and someone has a good success growing it in well amended alkaline soil so I'm going to ask him what he did exactly. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 8:29AM
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The do grow in the Guilin area of Southeast China, which is a thin, "karst" (alkaline) landscape. Guilin means Osmanthus forrest. Just saying.


Here is a link that might be useful: Guilin city of Osmanthus

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 3:45PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)


That place looks very nice! China always has something new that I never heard of. China sure has invested a lot into plant breeding program. I have taxodium hybrid called 'Nanjing Beauty' that the China breeders came up with and my college is the one that introduced it to USA a few years ago. I just planted one this past fall and a couple at the park across the street from my house. I'm anxious to see how they turn out!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 4:59PM
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Well, I did see a lot of osmanthus nurseries when I was there last November (2007). Not many were in bloom, but I bought some Osmanthus tea.

I do hope they can get into the nursery and plant breeding business more and out of quite so much highly-polluting factory and real estate development. Though Guilin has less manufacturing and hence less pollution than most, since it is being preserved as a tourist area. Despite its beautiful, fantastic landscape, the soil in the region has always been quite thin and poor and there are still signs of recent agricultural poverty in the region.

Going there was a fantastic opportunity -- I can hardly believe I did it. How I would like to go back and hike in the mountains there!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 12:27AM
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Lou, there's several ways to amend soil that doesn't take a zillion ingredients to acidify.
In containers and the earth.
For instance, adding Peat makes a difference. Fertilizing with acid loving plant fertilizers. Adding vinager when watering lowers pH.
I use soil-less mediums, but also add black, rich soil. For one, I haven't the time or desire to water daily, or fertilize once a week. Not with over 300 plants..No siree!
Don't give up..Toni

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 2:25AM
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