About half of the soil of France are acidic or very acidic. Brittany, Normandy, the Vendée, the Ardennes, the Vosges mountains, Northern Alps, Massif central, Pyrénées, Landes, Corsica: if you live in one of these regions, there are great chances that your garden will only accept plant adapted to these soil conditions of the specific. The season being favourable for planting of trees and shrubs, especially with the relatively mild and sunny as we predicted Meteo Consult for the next 15 days, it is important to take this factor into account before making your choice. Rest assured, the range of possibilities is extensive, as evidenced by the beauty of the parks and gardens located on soils with low pH, that is to say, between 4.5 and 6.5 on a scale of 1 to 14.

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The pH, or “potential of hydrogen” measures the amount of hydrogen ions (H +), an element that plays a vital role in the assimilation of minerals (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, trace elements) that feed on the plants. The plant, known as acidophilus, are fond of. Conversely, others just little when they are not practically allergic to H+ ions, it is the case of the viburnum or dogwood who appreciate the calcareous soil (pH between 7.5 and 8.5). It is said that these plants that they are alcalophiles or calcicoles.

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The heaths are plants of the land acids by excellence. There are hundreds of species and varieties, distributed in several genera botanical: Erica, Calluna , and Daboecia. The ling, scots heather, or heather-common ( Calluna vulgaris ), that is frequently encountered in the grasslands or the edges of woods, use as a indicator. His presence alone means that the soil on which it grows is acid. But thanks to the work of plant breeders and nurserymen, today, there are no less than 400 varieties that can be grown in the garden or in a pot on her balcony.

Contrary to popular belief, camellias are not, strictly speaking, plants of the land of heather. 72783539/tsach – Fotolia

Among plants called the “land of heather”, requiring a pH between 5 and 6, are, of course, the rhododendrons and azaleas ( Azalea indica ). Plants of semi-shade or woodland informed, these shrubs also require land well-drained, especially in winter to avoid waterlogging. But as they are, for the most part, from regions with high rainfall (China, Japan), their water needs are important in the summer. It is thus important to ensure the regular watering in case of drought.

Less known, the laurel mountain (Kalmia latifolia) is another éricacée very acidophilus, a native of North America, which flowers in may-June at the same time or just after the rhododendrons. Just as the andromeda campanulate ( Enkianthus campanulatus ) to the pretty flowers in bells streaked with pink, which ought to be more cultivated.

Contrary to popular belief, camellias are not, strictly speaking, plants of the land of heather. These beautiful shrubs, whose flowering can be spread from November to April playing on their impressive genetic diversity (between 100 and 250 known species in the world, according to botanists, and more than 300,000 varieties and cultivars!) accept pH slightly above 6. Just like the hydrangeas and the hydrangéas with which they coexist very well. But they need, in addition, aluminum salts, naturally present in the land of slate or granite, for blue staining.

Water rain water Enkianthus flower of bellflower. Koichi Oda under a CC license

then Comes a range of shrubs acidophilus that could be described as moderate. This is the case of the magnolias asian deciduous, such as the splendid magnolia star ( Magnolia stellata ) whose flowering at the beginning of the month of April is a true delight. The andromeda of Japan ( Pieris japonica ), prized for its long clusters of white flowers in fall and spring its young leaves and dark pink, even goes so far as to settle for a neutral pH. Finally, are you pleased with the daphne fragrant ( Daphne odora ), especially the variety ‘Marianni Rogbret’ foliage is variegated green and yellow. The winter flowers of this shrub, exudes a unique aroma, very appreciated at this time of the year. Same thing for her “brother”, the daphne bois-joli ( D. mezereum ) which flowers a little later.

Last recommendations: all of these plants, with the exception of daphne, are allergic to the limestone. In case of doubt, water them with rain water. Finally, if your lawn is moderately acid, do not amend it with the land of heather’s business-the quality usually leaves something to be desired. Prefer the peat blonde that retains far more water or a mixture of potting soil planting and river sand non-calcareous.

Your appointment “garden” to do (mostly) not to be missed

• 9 to 17 February: exhibition and sale of orchids, Vacherot & Lecoufle, floral Park of la Source, Orléans (Loiret).

• 14 February to 11 march: 7th exhibition “a Thousand and one orchids’, a large greenhouse of the Jardin des Plantes, Paris.

• 16 February: Conference “Gardening au natural: solutions exist”, espace Jean Vautrin, Bègles (Gironde).

• Until 28 February: exhibition “winter Gardens”, the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire (Loir-et-Cher).

• 28 February-3 march: Exhibitions “Pool & garden” and “My house, my desires”, Parc Chanot, Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône).

• 2 to 4 march: 560e frequently asked trees and plants, Lisieux (Calvados).

• march 12: conference Day on the biocontrol organized by the SNHF “methods for gardening au natural”, Pa Toulouse, Castanet-Tolosan (Haute-Garonne).

• 14 march: Symposium “Boxwood, issues, renewal and renaissance gardens”, the conference centre, Orléans (Loiret).

• 20 march: “Seed to plant: what are the stakes for our future?” MOOCS organised by the Groupement national interprofessionnel des semences (Gnis) and Agrocampus-ouest. Registration is open (click here).

• 29, 30 and 31 march: international Competition of floral art, “Elegance floral”, salle Claude Nougaro, Revel (Haute-Garonne).


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