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What Plants Thrive In Alkaline Soil

Many factors affect plant growth, including the pH level. Most plants prefer slightly acidic soil. But what do you do if your garden bed and lawn are on the alkaline side of the scale? Luckily, there are still some incredible options!

Of course, you need to test your soil first to determine where it falls on the scale. Once you know what the pH is, you have a choice to make. You can use fertilizer and other methods to change the soil chemistry, or you can go with the flow and plant what will thrive in the soil as it is.

How Alkaline Is Too Alkaline?

Treating soil with lime is one way to raise alkalinity. If there is limestone in the aquifer, it also contributes to a high pH. Sure, there are ways to bring it down. But let’s say you don’t want to go to the trouble of constantly treating it.

Any pH above 7 is alkaline but the scale goes all the way to 14. Of course, it’s hard to imagine soil reaching anywhere near that level. Instead, alkaline soil usually falls into the range of 7 to 9. Beyond that, not much of anything can survive. Higher than that, and you’re in the range of milk of magnesia and ammonia!

Flowering Plants That Thrive In Alkaline Soil

If you have alkaline soil and want to grow flowers, here are just a few of your best options:

  • Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley)
  • Lavandula (Lavender)
  • Trifolium (clovers)
  • Origanum vulgare (Wild marjoram, aka oregano)
  • Eschscholzia californica (California Poppies)
  • Lonicera (Honeysuckle vine)
  • Crocus sativus and related species (Crocus)
crocus grows well in alkaline soil

Bushes And Trees That Love Alkaline Soil

Looking for something sturdier? Some trees and bushes also do well in soil with a pH higher than 7. Some of them are:

Common (or “European”) beech (Fagus sylvatica)

  • Acer campestre (Field maple)
  • Fraxinus excelsior (European ash)
  • Forsythia
  • Crataegus (Hawthorn)
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Hydrangea
  • Aesculus spp. (Horse chestnut)
  • Osmanthus
  • Pinus mugo (Mugo pine)
  • Prunus spp. (Ornamental Cherry) 
  • Taxus baccata (Yew)
yew trees do best in alkaline soil

Vegetables and Fruits That Like Alkaline Soil

It’s not only plants that look nice that can do well in alkaline soil. You can get some great food out of it, too! Here are some of the most popular:

cauliflower and other plants with dark leaves do best when the soil has a pH over 7

Conclusion

We hope you find these lists of plants that do well in alkaline soil helpful! It’s by no means complete – there are many, many more options. Be sure to talk with your local greenhouse to get more suggestions specific to your area!