MAINTAINING YOUR PLANTS:
pH is another important factor. It has a significant effect on the plantsí ability to absorb the vital nutrition. Different plants have evolved to cope with different levels of pH. At the same time, many species have specialized into rather narrow ranges, and will not be able to survive outside their preferred ranges. Adding acid or a alkaline liquid to the fertilizer can control the pH of the water. The pH of the soil must be considered. For soils with buffering effect, it will be more difficult to change pH - more about that in Soil.
plants thrive in around pH 6-7, but it is very species specific.
Here, a look at the plantís natural habitat is a really good indicator
of its preference. In general, organic matter makes soils more acid (pH
less than 7), and mineral rich soils tend to be alkaline (pH higher than
Some years ago,
I analysed the soil of a range
of terrestrial orchid species, in a
recently restored gravel pit. The small meadow contained six species,
five were only found in several small colonies of a few square meters,
while the sixth occurred everywhere. Each of the five species occurred
only in an area with a pH within +/- 0,15pH, and they each had their own
range. It was clear to me; the pH was the main reason for the speciesí
Adjusting pH is not that hard. If the soil is too acid, you add
calcium-carbonate, CaCO3. If it is too alkaline, you can add
sphagnum or water with acid water, using sulphuric acid.