Plants For Acidic Soil

Here in New England our soils are quite acidic (soils with a pH below 7.0 is considered acidic) in part due to the pine and oak forests. When the leaves and needles of these trees break down the resulting organic matter raises the acidity of the soil. This article lists and briefly describes some popular and beautiful landscape plants that are suitable for gardens with acidic soil. This list is not complete however as there are many other plants which grow well in acid soil conditions. To find out if your soil is acid or alkaline, a soil test is needed.

Heather (Calluna vulgaris) is a low growing evergreen ornamental plant with white, pink, or red flowers. Slightly moist soil required for good growth. Zone 5

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is also a low growing plant which prefers moist soil and partial shade. Leaves of this groundcover are evergreen. Bright red berries appear in fall. Zone 4

Azalea (Rhododendron sp.) is a very common garden shrub with and endless number of varieties and colors. Azaleas bloom in spring and prefer moist soil and partial shade required for growth. Zone 6

Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) is an evergreen shrub with grows well in seaside gardens. Their gray berries are fragrant when crushed. Prefers full sun. Zone 5

Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) produces edible, blue fruit which will attract birds. Red fall color. Full sun or partial shade. Zone 4

Redvein Enkianthus (Enkianthus campanula) is a beautiful, shade tolerant shrub which can reach 30 feet. Its white, drooping flowers bloom in spring. Scarlet fall color. Prefers moist soil required for healthy growth. Zone 5

Fothergilla (Fothergilla major) can reach 10 feet and offers brilliant yellow to scarlet fall color. Grows best in full sun or partial shade. Zone 5

Heath (Erica carnea) is a low growing evergreen with small, red or white flowers in early spring. Prefers partial shade and protection from winter sun and wind. Zone 6

Junipers (Juniperus sp.) are needled evergreens with many cultivars available in varying forms and heights. Grows in dry soils and full sun. Zone 3

Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana) is a broadleaved semi-evergreen with white flowers in early spring and bronze fall color. Prefers partial shade and protect from winter sun and wind. Zone 5

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is a great broadleaved evergreen. Pink, white, or red spring flowers in spring. Grows best in partial shade. Needs protection from winter sun and wind. Zone 5

Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica) is another broadleaved evergreen. Its spring flowers are white. Grows in partial shade. Rhododendrons also prefers protect from winter sun and wind. Zone 6

Rhododendron (Rhododendrons sp.) is a showy broadleaved evergreen with large spring flowers which are available in a wide range of colors. Protect from winter sun and wind. Zone 5

Silver-bell (Halesia carolina) is a small tree which grows to about 40 feet. Its white, bell-shaped flowers bloom in spring. Zone 5

Summer-sweet (Clethra alnifolia) is a great shade tolerant shrub with fragrant mid-summer flowers. Attractive fall foliage. Tolerates a wide variety of soils. Zone 5

American Holly (llex opaca) is broadleaved evergreen with red fruit on female plants. Protect from winter sun and wind. Requires well-drained soil. Zone 6

Sweet Bay (Magnolia virginiana) forms large, fragrant, white flowers in late June or July. Zone 5

Related Articles: Shade Gardens, Shade Perennials, Woodland Gardens