Different soils have different properties that should be considered when growing different things in them.
In this short guide, we outline what might grow well in acidic soil.
Summary – What Grows Well In Acidic Soil
The main thing to be aware of with acidic soil is the pH
There’s certain materials and amendments you can add to acidic soil to change the pH, or other traits of the soil
The soil pH is only one factor in determining what you can and can’t grow in that soil – there’s also other factors to consider, with climate/weather conditions being one major one
Overall, each individual geographic area (in different regions, States/Provinces, and so on) of soil needs to be assessed individually with all it’s own unique factors and variables to determine what does and doesn’t grow well in it. There may be growing principles that apply to acidic soils generally, but, individual growing variables can change that to different extents
Characteristics Of, & Profile Of Acidic Soil
- Have a pH under 7, with extremely acidic soils have a pH closer to 3.5
- Peat soil is usually acidic or contains acidic water, and loam can sometimes can be slightly acidic
Working With, Amending & Improving Acidic Soil
Acidic soils can be amended/balanced to come back to neutral, or become more alkaline, with the additions of ash or lime.
Soil can be made more acidic with the addition of acidic fruit compost scraps, or elemental sulfur, or peat moss.
Note that there are differing levels of acidic soil. Some plants for example may grow in slightly acidic soil (6 to 6.5), whilst some might like more acidic soil. So, pH range does matter.
You can test pH with a simple pH testing kit you can buy online or at the local gardening or home/outdoors store. You can also get soil professionally tested.
Read more about working with and improving acidic soil at:
- Types Of Soil (provident-living-today.com)
- 75 Acid Loving Plants (annsentitledlife.com)
- 13 Plants That Grow Well In Acidic Soil (thespruce.com)
- Alkaline Soil, & Plants That Don’t Mind Alkalinity (thespruce.com)
A Note On Soil Types, & What Ultimately Impacts How Things Grow
Before we look at what grows well in acidic soil, it’s important to note that all soils are slightly different in composition depending on the location, there are different external factors acting upon each soil, and ultimately, there are many physical, chemical and biological factors that determine how well something grows in a particular spot or under particular conditions.
This is just a guide on acidic soils in general, without going into extreme depth about all these other factors (factors like soil fertility, soil health, soil quality, fertilizer added, top soil added, pesticides added, tilling practices and so on).
It would do you well in the long term to get information on the soil in your location (what it is and what is the best way to manage it), the climate in your location (temperature, rainfall etc.) and the growing seasons (for example – the US has different planting zones), the plants or things you want to grow and the conditions they need – and come up with a specific plan for your situation.
These guides provide some basic information on figuring out what might grow well in different soils, conditions and locations:
- All The Factors That Affect The Growth Of Plants
- How To Know What Grows In Your Soil Or Garden
- How To Know What Grows In Your Geographic Area Or Climate Zone
- I Can’t Grow Anything In My Soil – What Do I Do?
Plants & Flowers That Grow Well In Acidic Soil
- Bleeding Hearts
- Bunchberry Native Ground Cover
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- Heath & Heather
- Oakleaf Hydrangea
- Holly Plants
- Daphne Shrubs
- Bottlebrush Shrubs
- Viburnum Bushes
- Colorado Blue Spruce
- Mountain Ash
- Magnolia Trees
- Dogwood Plants
Read a longer list of acid soil loving plants at
Vegetables & Crops That Can Be Grown In Acidic Soil
- Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Corn
Read more about vegetables that can grow in acidic soils at offthegridnews.com
Fruits & Berries That Grow Well In Acidic Soil
- Blueberries thrive in types of soils of 4.5 – 5.0 pH.
Read more about fruits that can grow in acidic soils at offthegridnews.com
Trees & Shrubs That Grow Well In Acidic Soil
- Willow Oaks
- Pin Oaks