Hedging plants for acidic soil
Acid soils are those with a pH of less than 7, usually caused by the breakdown of lots of organic material such as fallen leaves. In this section we show a selection of hedging plants that are best for acid soils. One great choice for native hedging is beech plants, which we have available in both green and copper forms. The soil in beech woodland areas typically has a pH in the 3.5-4.5 range, so beech are very well suited to acidic ground. Chamaecyparis conifers, also known as false cypress, are also at home on acid soils, giving a traditional conifer appearance with soft-textured foliage and a slow to average growth rate. Other conifers that do well on acid soil are yew, another UK native with soft, rounded needles and fleshy red berries that thrives in sun or shade, and Thuja, which is an easy to grow, unfussy, evergreen conifer similar in appearance to Leylandii but slower growing, making it easier to maintain as a hedge or screen. Thuja has a pyramidal growth habit with flattened sprays of miniature, fan-shaped foliage that has an almost fruity aroma when crushed. For bright, glossy berries and thorny stems, pyracantha is a perfect choice for an intruder-proof perimeter and many varieties of holly plants will serve the same purpose on acid soil with their spiny leaves and winter berries.
Whilst the most scientific way to measure the pH of your soil is with a soil testing kit, the easiest and cheapest way is to see how samples of your garden soil react to the addition of, firstly, vinegar and, secondly, baking soda (using separate samples for each). See our article on understanding your soil for more details. We generally recommend choosing types of plants that are well suited to the acidity of your soil, rather than trying to change it. Any artificial change to acidity will only be temporary and will need to be repeated over time. You can use the product filters on the right to further refine your search by sun/shade preference, flower colour, eventual height and spread, hardiness and more.