How to make the soil more acidic
I would like to know how to make the soil more acidic, which blueberries like!
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You are correct! The best fertilizer for blueberries is the Azalea, Camellia and Rhodendron food which is for acid loving plants. This fertilizer is special because it typically has 1% Sulfur in it which is what we use to acidify soil. We use pelletized lime to send the soil pH up for our lawns and use Sulfur to send our soil pH down for our Blueberries.
How to make the soil more acidic I would like to know how to make the soil more acidic, which blueberries like! Like 0 Comment 1 Stay updated Report You
Potting Soil for Acid-Loving Plants
Just like providing the right amounts of sunlight and water, proper soil acidity is an essential factor in making sure your plants thrive. For container plants that love soils a little lower on the potential hydrogen (or pH) scale, acidic potting soil can be a big boost for keeping those blossoms big and those leaves green. Keep that important soil acidity in mind when growing popular acid-loving potted plants like rhododendrons, wake-robins (Trillum erectus), ferns, azaleas, hollies and camellias among others.
Know Your Soil
Potting soil and soil mixes, as with other types of soil, typically fall into one of three categories: acidic, neutral or alkaline. Measured on a pH scale of 0 to 14, acidic soils have a pH of lower than seven (while seven is neutral and higher than seven is alkaline or basic).
You can easily test your container plant’s soil at home using a soil-testing kit, readily available for about $10 or $15 online or at your local brick-and-mortar garden center. When you purchase a potted plant, its preferred pH level (not to mention other care instructions) will typically appear on the included tag or label. Likewise, many premixed potting soil varieties list their pH level right on the package.
Keep in mind that it’s not actually acid that makes plants thrive. When a plant flourishes in acidic potting soil, it’s really benefiting from the nutrients contained in that low-pH soil.
Elements of Acidic Potting Soil
Many manufacturers offer potting soil blends that are explicitly labeled for use with acid-loving plants. While these are often a safe bet, shopping for potting soil isn’t always so easy. If you’re planning to grow a plant that favors acidic soil in a container, it pays to keep an eye out for certain elements in the potting soil you purchase.
Expanded shale, for instance, can be a big boon, as shale is one of the key acid producers in soils that occurs in the natural world. The same goes for decomposed granite. Like shale and charcoal, it can also be used as a drainage bed for potted plants that like acidic soils.
Likewise, look for mixes that have added ingredients like cottonseed oil meal. Commonly used as a fertilizer, this natural additive slowly releases nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium into the soil and lowers pH levels. It’s also safe to use for most plants without the risk of burning them.
Amending the Soil
Green thumbs love tall tales, and the topic of acidic potting soil isn’t free from common gardening myths. No, yellow leaves don’t always mean that the pH is off (it may indicate an iron deficiency), and adding pine needles to the pot won’t make the soil more acidic.
However, some soil amendments genuinely can make a worthwhile difference in helping along low-pH-loving plants. These and other additives can lower pH levels and help you and your little green friend on the road to acidic potting soil:
- Aluminum sulfate
- Ammonium sulfate
- Coffee grounds
- Coir (a more sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to sphagnum peat moss, which is also effective)
- Elemental sulfate
- Iron sulfate
- Nitrogen-based acidic fertilizer
Individual plant care needs vary widely, so always introduce soil amendments gradually to stay on the safe side, retesting the soil’s pH levels as you go. Aluminum sulfate and iron sulfate can in some cases be harmful to certain species. If you’re unsure of your particular plant’s aversions, stick with natural soil additives like coir and coffee to start.
Potting Soil for Acid-Loving Plants. Many varieties of houseplants, fruit trees and vegetables prefer to grow in acidic soil. Acidic soil has a pH lower than 7.0. For example, a soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.0 is classified as strongly acidic. Home gardens often do not have the type of soil acid-loving plants need …