Plants for Acid Soils

As a result of mineral content or decaying vegetation, some soils are especially acidic and may be particularly pronounced where drainage isn't good.

Each soil type—sandy, rich, poor, clay, for example—requires a different degree of amendment. Heavy clay soils tend to require more than sandy soils. Frequently, garden beds need to be treated over time to improve them. It's very difficult to create just the right soil type in one season. Testing the pH is fairly easy and will provide a baseline for corrective action.

While soils can be amended with additions of lime, it's often more practical, especially in areas of your yard or garden that you don't actively garden, to add plants that are tolerant of acid soils.

The following listing of plant materials is generally best suited to warmer zones, but many of the herbaceous plants can be treated as seasonal interest, tender perennials, or overwintered in the greenhouse.

Trees, Plants, and Shrubs for Acid Soils

Trees Shrubs Vines Herbaceous Plants
Clethra arborea
Embothrium coccineum
Liquidambar (species)
Litchi chinensis
Magnolia grandiflora
Pinus (species)
Quercus chrysolepis
Quercus virginiana
Sequoia sempervirens
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Stenocarpus sinuatus
Taxodium distichum


Abelia floribunda
Arbutus unedo
Azalea (species)
Azara microphylla
Berberidopsis coralline
Boronia elatior
Brunfelsia calycina
Camellia (species)
Daphne odora
Entelea arboreacens
Ervatamia nervosa
Eurya (species)
Fabiana imbricate
Fuschia (species)
Gardenia (species)
Heterocentron roseum
Hydrangea macrophylla
Illicium floridanum
Ixora chinensis
Leucothoe axillaries
Luculia gratissima
Mackaya bella
Magnolia stellata
Myrica californica
Myrtus ugni
Oehna multiflora
Osmanthus fragrans
Pimelea ferruginia
Rhododendron
Ruellia devosiana
Ternstroemia japonica
Thea sinensis
Tibouchina (species)
Vaccinium virgatum
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata
Gelsemium sempervirens
Lonicera sempervirens
Philadelphus mexicanus
Polygonum auberti
Stizolobium deeringianum
Tropacolum pergrinum
Vitis voinieriana
Acaena microphyllia
Acanthus mollis
Achimenes longiflora
Allium schoenprasm
Anemone coronaria
Aquileia chrysantha
Begonia (species)
Beloperone guttata
Bergenia (species)
Bessera elegans
Caldium picturatum
Centaureum massoni
Cineraria cruenta
Clitoria ternatea
Coleus blumei
Cyclamen inidcum
Delphinium nudicaule
Dicentra spectabilis
Dodecatheon clevelandi
Francoa ramose
Gladiolus hortulanus
Gloxinia speciosa
Haemanthus (species)
Helleborus lividus
Iris delta species
Iris hexagona
Iris kaempferi
Iris pseudacorus
Leucojum autumnale
Lilium longiflorum
Lilium testeaceum
Lotus corniculatus
Miscanthus sinensis
Nerine (species)
Penstemon australis
Pteris aquiline
Schizocentron roseum
Stachys floridana
Thalictrum dipterocarpum
Tropaeolum speciosum
Viola (species)
Watsonia iridifolia
Zantedeschia (species)
Zephyranthes (species)

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