Plants for Poor or Alkaline Soil

Written by kim dieter
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Plants for Poor or Alkaline Soil
Flowering clematis vines are tolerant of high pH and poor soils. (Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Alkaline soils have a pH greater than 7. Poor soil could have a variety of problems including low fertility, salinity, shallow depth or inadequate drainage. Plants that tolerate alkaline soils may also tolerate other challenging conditions.

Trees, Shrubs and Vines

High pH and poor soil-tolerant trees include chokecherries, Russian olive, Austrian pines, Eastern red cedar, junipers and green ash. Lilacs, lavender and creeping juniper are tolerant shrubs, while clematis and honeysuckle are tolerant vines.

Flowers and Ornamental Grass

A number of perennial flowers grow well in alkaline and poor soil. These include yarrow, sweet william, salvia, coral bells and daylily. Tolerant annuals include cosmos and moss rose. Many ornamental grasses are high pH and poor soil-tolerant, including pampas grass and little bluestem.

Vegetables and Herbs

Beets, peppers, spinach and cabbage grow successfully in soils with a pH of 8. Parsley and thyme are herbs tolerant of alkaline soils.

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