Q&A: What to grow in acidic soil

Camellia
Camellia
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Q: I want to grow some new flowering shrubs but I have tested the soil in my garden and it is quite acidic. Have you any suggestions what will grow?

A: There are a surprising number of plants which thrive in acidic soil, and as long as they get sufficient light, water and the occasional feed, they will survive for years.

Camellias are among the most beautiful of all flowering shrubs and although they may look tender, they can cope with just about anything English weather can throw at them

Plant them out of cold winds and where the early morning sun can’t reach them, and you should have the perfect plant – fantastic flowers as early as February (depending on the variety) and glossy green foliage.

Fothergilla are slow-growing shrubs whose leaves go out in an autumnal blaze of colour. They’re not evergreen, and, before new leaves appear in spring, small, fluffy white flowers burst out. They grow best in light shade, but to make the most of that brilliant autumn colour, try to find a spot where it will get full sun late on in the year.

Pieris are a familiar sight in many gardens where they offer year-round interest. In spring, it’s bell-shaped white flowers, followed by new leaf growth which starts off vivid red before calming to pink, cream and, finally, green.