Wednesday, July 25th, 2007...12:45 pm
Acid Loving Plants
TheGardenLady received this question from Tamara -
I am looking for a list of plants that love acid soil and are edible – blueberries are one that springs to mind. Are there others? I need a range of shrubs and smaller plants to go as a border. I’m replacing a camellia that is way too big for the space it’s in, and a couple of other plants in the same area that do well but were neglected by the people who lived here before us.
You have requested plants for your garden that needs acid loving plants. The three most popular acid loving shrubs that comes to mind are rhododendrons, azaleas and hollies. There are dwarf hybrid and species rhododendrons and azaleas and also dwarf hollies if you have a small garden. You can even plant rosa rugosa in acid soil. A short list of some acid loving plants are kalmia-mountain laurel, conifers, ferns, hydrangea, magnolias. Not knowing how acid your soil is, included is a list of ph tolerant trees. I do not know where you live, but most of the soil in NJ is slightly acidic and Rutgers has an excellent fact sheet about plants needing acidic soil.
You seem more interested in edible plants. The three acid loving edible plants that spring to mind besides blueberries and cranberries are raspberries, strawberries and potatoes. Many vegetables enjoy slightly acidic soil. A list with the ph requirements of plants is this.
One of the comments in your email is that you are replacing a camellia. Most gardeners would love to have a camellia plant in their garden; they would be very proud of being an owner of one. If you have a healthy large one, there are some gardeners who might even want to take this specimen from you. If you live near NJ, Grounds for Sculpture should be contacted to see if they could take it.
Hedgleigh Gardens in Swarthmore, PA, one of the most beautiful private gardens in the country, is proud of their camellias. Charles Cresson, the owner of this three generation garden, gives tours and lectures on raising camellias. He is a hybridizer of camellias.
I hope I have changed your mind about replacing your camellia shrub. You say it is too large for your garden. Have you tried to prune your camellia? Instructions for pruning are here. Your other overgrown plants could also probably be pruned and/or divided and planted in another part of your garden or given away to some lucky person or group.
TheGardenLady would be interested in what you do with your garden. A photo and list of the plants you chose would be lovely. Also let the readers know what you have done with your healthy but overgrown plants.