acidic soil

Asked May 13, 2019, 11:47 AM EDT

I live on Grosse Ile, and have 2 problems in my landscape. 1)finding things to plant that deer and/or rabbits dislike, 2) acidic soil due to pine trees. Our hydrangea leaf out, but never flower.What can I do to remedy this? What can you recommend that will help with the soil, and what can I do to keep the wildlife away from my hostas? Thank you Patrick Ward

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response


Here are lists of deer resistant plants-

Rabbit management-

We’d be happy to help you select plants- we need to know your soil type, amount of sun, moisture level.

Have you had your soil tested and do you know the pH? In general, pines and other evergreens do not make the soil acidic. Many plants prefer acidic soil, and most grow well around pH6-6.5 once you know your pH, adjustments with lime( to raise it) or sulfur(to lower it) can be made. Don’t do this blindly or problems could become worse.

The hydrangea may be one that blooms on old wood- and many of our winters kill the flower buds that were set the previous summer. You may be pruning off the flower buds, depending on when you prune it. It may also not be getting enough morning sun to flower well. Low soil potassium could be a factor.

A soil test will tell you your soil pH and nutrient levels-

As you have found, wildlife love hostas. Only excluding them with fencing, or constant application of repellents(after each rain), can save them.

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