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Acid plant gardening.

This not a complete list as many plants will do ok in all types. How ever it will give you some idea. An Acid bed in a great feature in any garden. Or even in very limey areas use containers a few big azalea or rhododendrons in nice big ceramic pots can be stunning.

Providing that the soil is not like battery acid (the acid side of neutral pH 4-6) there is a massive range of great plants that will thrive in these conditions. Many other plants will tolerate acid soil ,excluding only those that positively demand alkaline conditions. If your soil is very acid it may fail to support even really acid lovers careful applications of lime will be required to moderate the acidity and get it down to the ideal range. If you want to grow acid loving plants (like Azaleas and Rhododendrons) but your soil is alkaline, the best solution is to create a raised or lined bed filled with ericaceous compost on perforated polythene or the grow plants in containers. Be prepared to top dress annually with more ericaceous compost or peat and test the soil for acidity. Lowering the acidity of lime rich soil is difficult but flowers of sulphur can be applied or chelated iron compounds can be used to help prevent iron chlorosis (yellowing sickly look to the leaves)which is a common and regular problem of some plants growing on acid soils.


acid plants gardening with acid soil

A large Rhododendron in a container.

Most Acid plants get the acid from tannis that leach out of materials breaking down in the soil, this with a lack of lime occurring in the ground or water table can create these conditions. Many acid plants are found growing on hill sides or in boggy conditions and depend on rain water or run off for there supply.

Peat is a natural additive and will help regulate acidity but has almost no nutrient value. Tea bags (used) can be added when planting and will help with the colours of the plant. I keep my old tea bag and put them in a big 20 liter bucket out side the door, the rain water makes a nice light tea tonic for the plants and every so often i sling it over some.
The old tea bags i use on the compost heap or when planting.

Used sequestered iron tonic at least once in the spring and again ideally after flowering.





Acer palmatum
Amelanchier canadensis, shadbush, serviceberry
Amelanchier lamarckii
Anemone quinquefolia, wood anemone
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, bearberry
Aronia arbutifolia or A. melanocarpa, chokeberry
Baptisia australis, blue false indigo
Callicarpa dichotoma, purple beautyberry
Calluna and Daboecia species
Calluna vulgaris, heather
Camellias (many types in stock)
Celastrus scandens, bittersweet
Chamaecyparis obtusa, hinoki cypress
Chionanthus virginicus, fringe tree
Cimicifuga americana, bugbane
Clethra alnifolia, sweet pepperbush
Convallaria majalis, lily of the valley
Coreopsis sp., tickseed
Cytisus scoparius, scotch broom
Dicentra eximia, fringed bleeding heart
Enkianthus campanulatus, red-veined
Epigaea repens, trailing arbutus
Erica spesies, Erica carnea varieties will grow in alkline soil.
Erythronium americanum, dog-tooth violet
Fothergilla Gardenii, dwarf fothergilla
Franklinia alatamaha, franklin tree
Galax aphylla, galax
Gaultheria procumbens, wintergreen
Gaylussacia sp., huckleberry
Gentiana sino-ornata
Gypsophila paniculata, baby’s-breath
Halesia carolina, silverbell
Hydrangea macrophylla hortensis, blue-flowered Pink one linked.
Ilex sp., holly, winterberry, inkberry
Kalmia angustifolia
Kalmia sp., mountain laurel, sheep laurel
Lagerstroemia indica, crape myrtle
Leucothoe catesbaei and L. axillaris
Liatris graminifolia, blazing-star
Lindera benzoin, spicebush
Lobelia cardinalis, cardinal flower
Magnolia solangeana (tolerates acid soils)
Magnolia sp., magnolia
Meconopsis betonicifola
Mitchella repens, partridgeberry
Myrica pensylvanica, bayberry
Osmunda cinnamomea, cinnamon fern
Pachysandra terminalis, Japanese spurge
Paxistima canbyi
Peris (many in stock)
Picea sp., spruce
Pieris sp., andromeda
Pinus sp., pine
Platycodon grandiflorus, balloon flower
Polygonatum pubescens, solomon’s-seal
Populus tremuloides, quaking aspen
Pteridium aquilinum, common brackenfern
Pyrocanthas (perfers acid)
Quercus sp., oak
Ranunculus repens, creeping buttercup
Rhododendron sp., azalea, rhododendron
Rhododendrons (hundreds in stock to choose from)
Rhus sp., sumac
Rubus allegheniensis, blackberry
Salix babylonica, weeping willow
Shortia galacifolia
Skimmia japonica Rubella
Smilax rotundifolia, greenbrier
Sorbus americana, American mountain ash
Stewartia koreana and Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Styrax japonica, Japanese snowbell
Tsuga, hemlock
Vaccinium sp., blueberry
Xanthorhiza simplicissima, yellow-root
Zenobia pulverulenta, zenobia