The pH of a soil is the measure of its acidity or alkalinity. Essential plant nutrients like iron become more or less available depending on the soil pH. So your soil's pH can affect the health of your plants.
To determine your soil's pH, bring a soil sample to your county Extension office for a soil test. Once you have the results, you can choose plants that are adapted to your conditions. Most plants do best in a slightly acidic soil, but some, like blueberries and azaleas, prefer strongly acidic soils.
It's also possible to alter the pH of your soil by adding supplements like lime or sulfur. But the effects may be temporary, and applying too much lime or sulfur can damage your plants.
- Landscape Plants: Changing Soil pH
- Landscape Plants: Soil pH Testing
- Soil and pH: Master Gardener FAQ
- Calcareous Soils In Miami-Dade County
- Soil pH and Fertilizer FAQ (PDF)
- Soil pH and the Home Landscape or Garden
- Soil pH and Tree Species Suitability in the South (PDF)
- Soil Preparation and Liming
- Soil Testing and Interpretation for Florida Turfgrasses
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Changing Hydrangea Color
- Florida Soils
- Salt-tolerant Landscapes
- Soil Health
- Soil pH and Nutrient Availability
- Taking a Soil Sample