Acidic soil - Knowledgebase Question

Orland Park, Il
Question by conniemarie2
April 7, 2010
Which perennials will produce brighter colors with an acidic soil?
Can I add used coffee grounds as a natural solution to make ground soil more acidic, promote bigger plants, brighter blooms?


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Answer from NGA
April 7, 2010

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Some of the flowering plants that thrive in acid soils include Hydrangea, Iris kaempferi, Erica, Lewisia, Tropaeolum (flame flower), Dierama (wandflower), Lupin, Calceolaria, Primula, Narcissus, Lilium speciosum, Muscari, Gentian, Andromeda (Bog Rosemary), Begonia and Shortia. I've also had good results with vinca minor and ajuga as groundcovers in my acidic soil. Coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen but don't provide much in terms of acidity. Peat moss or pine needles used as a mulch can help acidify soils. A soil test can help you pinpoint your soil's pH. 7.0 is neutral, 6.5 is slightly acid; below 6.0 is considered acidic enough for acid loving plants, with the exception of blueberries which thrive in soils ranging from 4.5 to 5.5.
Hope this information is helpful.

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