The main applications of John Innes Composts and recommended methods of use are as follows:

Sowing Seeds

  • Fill seed tray or pot brim full with John Innes Seed or No.1 Compost, strike off level and firm gently to a level just below the rim.

  • Water with a fine rose and allow to drain.

  • Sow thinly and evenly, then cover if recommended on the seed packet.

  • Cover the tray or pot with glass or clear plastic and keep in a warm shaded place until the seeds germinate.

  • Once leaves have appeared remove covering and water using a fine rose.

Pricking Out

  • Fill seed tray with John Innes No.1 or No. 2 Potting Compost but do not water.

  • Make holes with a dibber.

  • Separate the seedlings carefully and plant in straight lines, taking care to hold by the leaves, not the stems.

  • Gently firm around the seedling and water well using a fine rose.

  • Stand the tray in a bright position, out of direct sunlight.

Potting on

  • Water the plant and allow to drain.
  • Put some John Innes Potting Compost into the bottom of new pot.
  • Invert and carefully tap out the plant from existing pot.
  • Keep the root ball intact and put it on the compost in the centre of the new pot.
  • Pour more compost in around the root ball, then firm gently, ensuring new compost fills the gap between root ball and pot wall.
  • Leave at least 1cm space below the rim for watering. Water using a fine rose.

Planters & window boxes

  • Make sure that the drainage holes are not blocked, then cover the bottom with a layer of horticultural grit to prevent water-logging.
  • Fill up to about 3cm below the rim and firm lightly.
  • Make holes for the root balls of the plants and then ensure that the spaces around the roots are filled.
  • Firm gently and top up with compost, leaving a 2cm watering space below the rim.
  • Water well and do not allow to dry out.

Ericaceous plants (lime hating)

The normal John Innes Potting Composts Nos 1, 2 and 3 are NOT suitable for most lime-hating subjects such as Azaleas, Heathers and Rhododendrons etc.

The John Innes Ericaceous compost is a specially formulated sterilised loam-based, lime-free compost with essential plant foods for such plants. It is a traditional loam-based formula with added lime-free grit ideal for all acid-loving calcifuge plants such as; Azaleas, Camellias, Ericas, Heathers, Magnolias and Rhododendrons.

John Innes Ericaceous Compost can be used indoors or outdoors, in pots or containers or planting out into the garden.

Taking Cuttings
Fill pot level, insert cuttings spaced so that leaves do not touch. Gently firm compost around cutting and water using a fine rose. To maintain humidity put a plastic bag or dome cover over the pot or place in a propagation unit. Keep in a warm well-lit place, out of direct sunlight. Water when compost looks dry or if cuttings wilt. 

Potting Established Plants 
Only re-pot in the growing season - between early Spring and Autumn. Water the plant and allow to drain. Partly fill the new pot, tub or planter with fresh compost, leaving enough room for the root ball. Place the plant in the middle of the pot and fill around with compost, firming gently. Leave at least 1cm (0.5 inch) below the rim of the pot to allow adequate space for watering. Water well. DO NOT ALLOW TO DRY OUT. 

Position 
Plants need light for growth, but avoid excessive direct hot sunlight for sensitive plants. Allow fresh air circulation but avoid fumes, draughts and hot dry air. A moist atmosphere is beneficial. Avoid excessive heat, cold shocks or any sudden changes of temperature. 

Planting out 
Line the hole with enough compost to completely surround the roots. Place the plant in position and fill the hole with more compost. Firm gently and water well. 

Feeding 
John Innes Ericaceous Compost contains enough plant food for 6 to 8 weeks after potting, depending on the plant and the season. Thereafter feed every 7 to 14 days during the growing period with a liquid ericaceous fertiliser. 

Compost Storage 
Close the bag after use to keep it moist and to prevent contamination. Store in a cool dry place away from weed-killers. 

 

Benefits of John Innes Ericaceous Compost 
When compared with most peat-based or peat-substitute soil-less composts for growing established lime-hating plants in containers, John Innes loam-based Ericaceous Compost is generally:

  • Easier to Water - J.I. Compost take up water more easily and need watering less frequently. 

  • Higher in Nutrients - plants suffer less in J.I. Compost if feeding is overlooked. 

  • More Stable - the natural weight of J.I. Compost provides greater stability and resistance to wind. 

  • More Tolerant - J.I. Compost can cope with wider fluctuations in feeding, watering, and weather. 

  • Longer Lasting - J.I. Compost lasts for a longer time before it is necessary to water and feed plants.

  • Multi-Purpose - John Innes Ericaceous can be used for all types and sizes of acid-loving plants. 

Compost Storage

  • Close the bag of compost after use to keep it moist and to prevent contamination.
  • Keep it in a cool dry place away from weed-killers.
  • John Innes Compost should not be stored from one season to another as the nutrient content may become unbalanced.

Plant Care

Position

Plants need light for growth, but avoid excessive direct hot sunlight for sensitive plants. Allow fresh air circulation but avoid fumes, draughts and hot dry air. A moist atmosphere is beneficial. Avoid excessive heat, cold shocks or any sudden changes of temperature.

 

Feeding

John Innes Potting Composts contain enough plant food for 1 - 2 months, depending on the plant and the season. Feed regularly during the growing period with a proprietary liquid fertiliser. Do not allow to dry out!