Growing Acid-Loving Plants

Some of the most beautiful flowering and foliage shrubs thrive in acid soils.

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When to Plant: fall or early spring
At Their Best: spring
Time to Complete: 2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • organic matter, such as finished compost
  • shovel
  • all-purpose fertilizer for acid-loving plants
  • selection of acid-loving shrubs, Japanese maple, flowering dogwood, Korean rhododendron

Space the Plants

You can use any Japanese maples or rhododendrons for this design but they may have different growth habits from these, so check labels for sizes and allow space between plants for a few years' growth.

Add Organic Matter

Choose a partly shaded site, sheltered from cold, drying winds. Before planting, dig a bucketful of well-composted organic matter into each square yard of soil. Water the plants well and plant.

Caring for Acid-Lovers

Each spring, apply an all-purpose fertilizer for acid-loving shrubs, and mulch annually to aid soil moisture retention. In spring, after flowering, trim back lightly any wayward growth.

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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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