11 Best Plants for Acidic Soil

Plants that are ideal for acidic soils and gardens

Instead of trying to change your garden’s acidic soil, why not pick plants that love it? If your garden soil is acidic, finding the right plants can save you a lot of work compared to making the soil less acidic. By choosing plants that like acidic conditions, you won’t have to keep trying to adjust the soil’s acidity, which might mean less adding of lime to make it less acidic or sulphur to keep it acidic. Acidic soil has a pH lower than 7 and might not let plants get all the nutrients they need, but there are many plants that do really well in it!

If your area has naturally acidic soil, it’s a good idea to grow plants that do well in that kind of ground. Luckily, there are lots of plants that not only can handle, but actually thrive in acidic soil. Here are our 11 best picks for plants that will love your garden’s acidic conditions!


  1. Do I even have acidic soil?
  2. Is acidic soil good for my garden?
  3. 11 plants that like acidic soil

Do I even have acidic soil?

Acidic soil often comes from organic matter breaking down, like lots of fallen leaves in a forest – an example being soil in beech forests usually has a pH of 3.5 to 4.5. While these are indicators of having acidic soil, the easiest way to check is with a pH test.

The pH may vary even from one part of your garden to another, so to get more reliable results you should take readings from more than one area of your flower beds.

Is acidic soil good for my garden?

Whether acidic soil is good for your garden depends on what you plan to grow and do in it. Acidic soil, with a pH below 7, is ideal for plants that thrive in lower pH levels, such as blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendron – these plants benefit from the soil’s natural composition, including higher concentration in vitamins such as iron and manganese.

A bonus! Some weeds struggle to grow in acidic soil too, so whilst you won’t be able to grow every plant, there’ll be less weeds in your garden. If you’re looking to increase the pH level in your soil, see our guide.

11 plants that like acidic soil

Not many plants thrive in extremely acidic conditions, but there are several that flourish in soil with a low pH, as long as it contains the necessary nutrients they require. Since acidic soils can affect nutrient availability much like moist soils impact water accessibility, opting for plants that do well in acidic environments might also be beneficial for these specialised conditions.

  1. Rhododendrons
  2. Hydrangeas (for blue flowers)
  3. Camellias
  4. Magnolias
  5. Japanese maples
  6. Pieris japonica
  7. Calluna vulgaris
  8. Ceanothus
  9. Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus)
  10. Trillium erectum
  11. Liriope muscari


Rhododendrons love acidic soil because it helps them soak up all the nutrients they need. They bloom with beautiful flowers, showing their happiest selves in lower pH!

Hydrangeas (for blue flowers)

Acidic soil is their secret for turning Hydrangea flowers brilliantly blue. It changes the colour by affecting aluminium absorption, making your garden pop with bold colours.


They thrive in acidic soil, which keeps their leaves green and flowers bright. This soil helps them avoid yellow leaves, a common problem in the wrong pH.


These trees love acidic soil, which boosts their growth and flower production. It’s like giving them their favourite food, making them grow strong and beautiful.

Japanese maple

Acidic soil brings out the best in their leaf colours, making them more vibrant. It’s perfect for these maples, helping them stay healthy and colourful.

Pieris japonica

Known as “Lily-of-the-valley bush,” it blooms wonderfully in acidic soil. The soil helps it produce more flowers, adding beauty to your garden.

Calluna vulgaris

Also known as heather, it loves acidic soil, making it a great choice for adding texture and colour to acidic gardens.


These shrubs are perfect for acidic soil, where they produce stunning blue flowers. They’re low maintenance, thriving in the right soil type.

Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Bilberries love acidic soil for their growth and berry production. It’s their ideal environment, leading to tasty and healthy berries!

Trillium erectum

Also known as wake-robin, thrives in acidic soil, where it blooms with unique, attractive flowers. It prefers the forest-like conditions of acidic soil.

Liriope muscari

This tough plant does well in acidic soil, staying lush and producing beautiful purple flowers. It’s a groundcover that adds beauty without fuss.

About the Author

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The Alsoils Team

For more than three decades, Alsoils has been a trusted name in delivering superior soil, compost products and offering landscaping services. Based in Hampshire, Alsoils caters to a diverse clientele, including both homeowners and businesses. Our team are experts in all things gardening, so you can be sure you get the very best advice for topsoil, compost, manure and so much more!

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