Most gardeners frown when they hear about acidic soil, but they seem to get excited as soon as they hear the words “heather earth”, synonymous for them with colorful gardens with a special charm. In reality, acidic soil is not necessarily “heather soil”.
And some plants do prefer to grow in acidic soil (but certainly not in poor soil that does not retain water as is the case with pure heather soil): Acer, Magnolias, Flowering hornbeams… Acidic soils are no more difficult to cultivate than others, you just have to choose plants that like it.
16 plants to grow in acid soil
It is possible to change the pH of a soil, but it is also interesting to take advantage of this situation. A number of plants appreciate acidic soils (these are acidophilic plants, often called: heather soil plants); take advantage of this to grow them!
Azaleas are a beautiful flowering shrub, ideal for adding a touch of color to your landscaping. They only bloom in the last part of spring or the first part of summer.
However, when they bloom, they offer beautiful colors. When flowering is over, they still offer beautiful green leaves that will bring life to your garden. We have planted them in front of rosebushes in our front yard and they keep our house all year round.
If you are looking for a plant that can be a bush or a hedge, rhododendrons are exactly what you need. They flower in summer but are evergreen plants.
Therefore, they will be an interesting and lively addition to your landscape.
But if you want an acid loving plant in your garden that will also attract pollinators, this is your plant. Bees love them and so do you!
This plant is another relative of the azalea bush. It produces flowers similar to roses and will bloom only in spring.
However, these bushes do not manage the frost well. If you live in a colder climate, you must take this into account before planting.
4. Japanese Pieris
The Japanese Pieris produces huge bouquets of beautiful flowers in spring. It is also an evergreen tree.
For these reasons, it would be an excellent addition. You will either have a living plant that will make your yard and garden attractive. Or you will have beautiful flowers. Either way, it’s a victory for your landscaping.
Hydrangeas are pink, blue or white. The good thing about this plant is that, when it is cultivated in a very acid soil, it changes the colors of the flowers.
Therefore, you can have a variety of flowers of different colors on a plant. Hydrangeas are not capricious and can be grown in almost any type of soil. They like water and are perfect for places that receive a lot of rain.
These beautiful flowers make you want to smile with one look. They have a cheerful yellow head that comes out of the ground at the first signs of spring.
They repel a strong but delicious fragrance. Moreover, it is easy to grow daffodils because they come from a bulb. Plant the bulb in the ground and you will have daffodils for years to come.
This plant liking the acids is the one which likes to stretch its leaves and to extend. It is the reason why it is an excellent choice to go around alleys and other zones.
Also, if you have weeds that invade an area of your acid pH with the soil, plant heather. They are excellent for smothering weeds. In addition, the flowers they produce are appreciated by pollinators.
These flowers come in yellow, orange or red. They bloom constantly and are perfect to add instant appeal to your property.
Nasturtiums are annuals, but they go to seed at the end of the growing season. When this happens, they deposit a massive amount of seeds. You shouldn’t be surprised if they come back year after year.
When my husband and I lived in our first home after our marriage, we had a neighbor who planted a magnolia tree in his flower bed. It was absolutely beautiful. Over the years, it grew around the corner from their house and added a ton of charm.
If you have acid soil, try planting this little tree. It will grow over the years, and that should be taken into account when planting. Magnolia trees produce beautiful pink or white flowers that have a unique rounded shape.
Marigolds are the flower of all flowers. They are bright and will easily draw your attention to them. If you need to brighten an area of your garden with acid soil, marigolds should be your favorite.
However, even though they provide color, they offer many other benefits to your garden. They are excellent for deterring insect pests and are useful for many other flowering plants, fruits and vegetables.
It is a shrub that likes acid soils. It also produces pretty white flowers with a delicious fragrance.
When they bloom in spring and summer, they produce the traditional white bloom. However, in the fall, this shrub will produce purple, red, yellow and orange flowers.
Holly is a beautiful plant to furnish your home all year round. It is a beautiful green singer that replaces the beautiful flowers that you plant during the hottest months.
However, in winter, it gives a touch of color to a dull landscape because of the beautiful red berries it produces.
This plant is not easy to cultivate. They are traditionally cultivated in the south because of their sensitivity to the colder temperatures and their desire of humidity.
Because of their specific needs, they can be difficult to cultivate and require more maintenance in other climates. If you are not afraid of a little extra work, this is a beautiful shrub for your landscape that also produces beautiful flowers.
This plant is an option which likes the acids and which is easy to maintain. It is also an advantage twice as pleasant, because it will return year after year.
These plants bloom in purple, blue and white. They also adore the humid climates which make of it an excellent choice for those who receive a lot of rain.
Begonias were one of my grandmother’s favorite flowers. She planted them in her garden almost every year.
They are beautiful, bright flowers that brighten up your landscaping. They are easy to grow and love acidic soils.
If you want a plant that produces colorful foliage instead of waiting for it to bloom, this could be a great option for you.
Caladium produces vibrant and colorful leaves. They have streaks of green, white, red and pink on them. They look great in beds and used for borders. In addition, they add a subtle touch of color to your garden.
What is acidic soil?
From a chemical point of view, soil is defined by its acidity or alkalinity. This state is measured by the pH, on a scale from 1 to 14. The pH of a fertile soil, where microbial life develops optimally and where soil elements are best assimilated by plants, is between 6 and 7. The pH of an acidic soil is below 7 (a medium low in bases*), that of a basic soil is above 7 (rich in bases).
How to recognize an acid soil?
The chemical analysis of the soil and the best way to know the acidity of your soil. It can be done with the help of analysis kits available in garden centers.
The observation of spontaneous flora also provides information on the nature of the soil on which it grows: for example, Roman chamomile, broomrape, common rush, wild pansy and rumex (with obtuse leaves – Rumex obtusifolius) are plants that generally thrive on acidic soils.
Some plants have a hard time growing in our gardens or on the contrary they grow in an exuberant way. The nature of the soil has a lot to do with it.
Many plants thrive in acid soil. Among the trees, the maples with their flamboyant colors in autumn or the magnolias with their always spectacular flowering. They should preferably be planted in isolation to take full advantage of the show. We give you a list of 16 plants which will be pleasant in an acid environment.