Acid loving plants are all around us. From fruit to flowers, shrubs to trees, lots of garden and landscape favorites thrive in acidic soil.
Plants that like acidic soil tend to do well with acid fertilizers and other soil additives that help to bring down the pH to the acidic range.
I’ve put together this acid loving plants list and tips on soil pH and plants that like acidic soil to help you prepare the best garden beds for your plants.
Let’s get started!
What Soil pH Do Acid Loving Plants Need?
Acidic plants tend to need a soil pH of around 5.5. Some acid lovers may do well all the way down to a pH of 4.5. The lower pH of 4.5 to 5.5 allows the acid loving plants to better absorb the nutrients from the soil. Slightly acidic soil improves nutrient access!
Generally speaking, soil with a pH below 7 is considered acidic. It just may not be acidic enough for specific plants to thrive. You can check soil pH with a soil pH test kit or a soil pH meter.
What Happens If Soil Is Not Acidic Enough?
For soil that is too alkaline, plants may have a hard time absorbing nutrients. This ultimately may result in poor growth or less than optimal growth. Depending on the pH and a plant’s soil requirements, plants may develop a nutrient deficiency as well.
How Can I Increase Soil Acidity?
To best care for plants that like acidic soil, you can increase the soil acidity if it isn’t currently ideal. Learning how to increase soil acidity is relatively easy with a little research. Consider adding acidic plant fertilizer / soil acidifier, pine needles, or sphagnum peat (peat moss).
Soil acidifier lowers soil pH and works well for blueberries and turning hydrangeas blue. Compost that’s decomposed thoroughly can also help to increase soil acidity. Manures and nitrogen fertilizers may also help to create more acidic soil.
Some gardeners report that coffee grounds can improve plant growth in the garden. More specifically, they often say to add coffee grounds for plants that like acidic soil. Other blogs dispute this as a myth. I don’t believe there’s a 100% guarantee on any of this coffee grounds in the garden business, so your mileage may vary.
Benefits of Acidic Soil
Besides being ideal for a variety of garden plants and landscape shrubs, you’ll find a number of acidic soil benefits.
- Improved nutrient accessibility and uptake
- Earthworm friendly environment
- Friendly ecosystem for micro-organisms that convert nitrogen for plants to use
- Balanced nutrients and trace elements
Acid Loving Plants List
Lots of plants thrive in soil that is acidic or slightly acidic. Here are some acid loving plants:
- Bleeding Hearts
- Pin Oak
- White Sage
Various other plants—flowers, fruit, veggies, trees, and shrubs—also thrive well in acidic soil. If you know of some we missed on this list, feel free to drop us a comment!
Final Thoughts: Acid Loving Plants
For best results, research and know what type of soil your plants require to reach their full potential. Plants that like acidic soil will do best in soil that meets their needs.
We have blueberry bushes in the back and they’re under some shade. I am not sure if it’s a matter of the shade or a possible pH issue, but these berry bushes won’t form buds year after year. It’s going to take a little detective work to get to the bottom of this one, I fear.
What acid loving plants are you growing? And what are you doing for them to acidify the soil or keep them happy? Let’s chat in the comments below and share tips and best practices!