Are you wondering what are the acidophilic plants? Did you know camellias, hydrangeas or some ferns Are they acidophilic plants? You may think you know very little about acid-loving plants, but the truth is that you have surely had the opportunity to have them at home or enjoy their colorful flowers and leaves on more than one occasion. In addition, these plants are widely used to decorate exteriors or interiors due to their great ornamental value. Both their showy flowers and the intense coloration of their leaves give them a truly unique appearance, sometimes even, as in the case of camellias, they almost look like artificial flowers due to their long duration and perfection.
For all these reasons, at EcologíaVerde, we want to explain what are acidophilic plants, examples and their care. Here we show a acidophilic plant guide with the information you need to improve your knowledge of botany and gardening.
What are acidophilic plants
What plants prefer acid soil? That is, what are acidophilic plants? The acidophilic plants Most of them come from Asia, especially from countries like China and Japan. Their classification is given to them for growing optimally in acid soilsspecifically, in those whose pH is between 4.5 and 6.5. Thanks to this, the plant can be properly nourished to obtain a future flowering and stay in good condition. These plants also need a climate that remains humid throughout the year, so it is normal that in places like Spain or in some areas of South America they do not fully adapt.
Acer palmatum or Japanese maple
The one commonly known as japanese maple or momiji (in Japanese), is one of the most characteristic small trees of autumn thanks to the spectacular coloration of its palmate leaves. The intense red that the leaves take on with the arrival of the cold dresses streets and gardens, creating truly magical corners. In fact, this acidophilic tree It is also one of the most used species in Japan to create bonsai, since they tolerate pruning quite well. It also needs regular watering and be placed in a place where sunlight does not hit it directly. It is advisable to subscribe during the spring and summer months.
Erica spp and Calluna spp or heather
This is another one of examples of acidophilic plants. In fact, heathers are characterized by being the more acidophilic plants within its own classification.
the heathers They are well known for their colorful flowers ranging from pink to white, through purple and even magenta. They bloom during the summer and are used in landscaping to create ornamental shrubs that add a splash of exotic color. To achieve spectacular flowering, we recommend keeping them constantly irrigated, planting them in a pH 7 soil and use organic fertilizers or fertilizers rich in phosphorus after the summer.
Here we tell you everything about heather care.
Gaultheria procumbens or ebúrnea
The acidophilic plant known as ebúrnea is a creeping and perennial sub-shrub capable of reaching up to 60 cm in height. One of its peculiarities is that its leaves turn slightly red in autumn. This, added to a flowering during the months of May and September, make it a widely used species in gardening. Once fertilized, the bell-shaped flowers give rise to a red drupe that remains on the plant until the arrival of winter. These are some advice on caring for eburnea:
- Water it frequently so that the soil is always moist but not waterlogged.
- Fertilize it with manure before planting and every year coinciding with the general fertilization of the garden. You can make a contribution of mineral fertilizer during the flowering season.
- It does not need pruning.
Camellia japonica or camellia
Also known as japan roseis one of the acidophilic plants most representative and striking due to their spectacular flowers that, even after falling, remain perfect for a while, giving an almost artificial sensation. They are usually white, red or pink in color and contrast sharply with their large dark green leaves.
They can be had both as a bush and as a tree, depending on the pruning. These plants do not tolerate excessively hot summers well, especially if they are very dry, so we will have to ensure that they are always in a humid and semi-shaded environment. Here you can learn more about How to care for camellias.
Daphne odora or daphne
It is a bushy plant that is well known for the pleasant aroma that its whitish flowers give off. Although these are small, they manage to create a point of interest thanks to the color of their leaves, which contrast with the flowers. In addition, it is very easy to grow in a pot. As for your most basic care, the acidophilic plant daphne It needs regular watering, therefore, and to avoid excess moisture, we advise you to cover the soil around the plants with organic mulch to always keep the roots fresh.
Tips for caring for acidophilic plants
Apart from the care mentioned before in each case, here we leave you some plant care tips for acid soils or acid-loving plants:
- Acidophilic plants need a special substrate for them whose pH is low, normally never above 7, since they do not grow in alkaline or high pH soils.
- The substrate for acidophilic plants we can easily find it in specialized stores. Always used to ensure that your plant has a soil with a pH between 5 and 6. These are generally made with a base of blond peat, perlite and vegetable compost.
- By preferring pure water, we advise you to take advantage of rainy days so that it is watered naturally.
- To prevent the leaves of acid soil plants from turning yellow, it is important that you use iron sulfate to acidify the soil. To do this you only need to dissolve between 1 and 3 grams of it and dissolve it in approximately a liter of water. 1 gram dissolved in 1 liter of water.
- We can also use citric acid to acidify the irrigation water and make sure it will help lower the pH.
- Try not to place them in full sun if the summer is humid and in partial shade if it is too hot. This will prevent the leaves from drying out.
- Always use specific fertilizer for acid plants. Some of the ones we recommend are earthworm humus or organic compost.
- you can create your own homemade fertilizer for acidophilic plants using apple cider vinegar. You only have to pour a tablespoon of vinegar for every liter of water.
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