Accidentally added lime to potting mix

Asked May 8, 2018, 1:41 PM EDT

I accidentally added lime rather than bone meal to the potting mix (Black Gold) I used to pot up my dahlias, tomatoes, and annual flowers. Is this a problem? Should I repot everything? Thanks for your help! Lin

Benton County Oregon houseplants

3 Responses

Thank you for your question, Lin. Your adding lime to the potting soil will make it less acidic, and the only one of the three plants/categories you're planting that might benefit from that would be the tomatoes (which develop blossom end rot if the soil is too acidic). Dahlias--and most other annual flowers--prefer a slightly acidic soil, close to 6.5.

Black Gold doesn't list its pH anywhere in its literature, but is largely made up of organic material, which is acidic. You have a couple of routes. Either you can re-pot the plants into Black Gold (even without bone meal, which is a source of phosphorus and protein), or you can wet the soil in the containers well, and then test the pH to see where it now is. You can use one of the inexpensive test kits sold in garden stores, find litmus paper, or use a meter (but the soil has to be really wet to test, which may not help your plants.) Or, you could do nothing.

If you just use the 'wait and see' approach, monitor your plants for yellowing, browning or different colored veins in the leaves. If any of those begin to change for the worse, re-pot ASAP. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

Hi Kristena...
Thanks so much for your quick answer and your thorough help. I will wait and see what's what. I'm planting out the tomatoes and dahlias as soon as it warms up anyway but will keep an eye on the annuals.

I really appreciate this service. I've not used it before, but will again if I have a question.
Lin

Glad to have you on board. Your government (and volunteers) at work!