|Azalea shrubs thrive in acid soil.
Photo credit: Takeshi Igarashr Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Soil pH is the measure of the acidity of soil. On the pH scale, the value of 6.8 to 7.2 is “near neutral”. A pH value less than 7 means the soil is acidic, whereas pH values higher than 7 are alkaline.
Many plants grow best in soil with a pH range of 6.0-7.5. Soil pH directly affects many aspects of plant growth and health such as:
Although many homeowners want to change the pH of their soil to accommodate a favorite plant, adding soil amendments often produces only a short lived change in pH. Better advice is to plant plants that are better suited for the existing climate and soil conditions. However, here are a few suggestions to change soil pH:
Understanding soil pH and choosing the right water-wise plants adapted to existing soil pH will greatly increase the likelihood of plant survival. Plant quality will increase and less amendment will be needed. Disease will decrease.