How to adjust the soil ph before planting a magnolia

Asked August 27, 2020, 7:59 PM EDT

I added peat moss to the soil where I am planning to plant a magnolia shrub in my front yard. I got the results of my soil test and the ph is 7.7, which is alkaline. I understand that magnolias prefer acidic soil. What would you recommend? Should I add something before I plant? How do I go about changing the ph?

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

Thanks for your question. This is a really interesting subject and doesn't have a clear, easy answer. You can add sulfur to raise the pH, but it is not a quick, easy process and remember that you would ideally need to raise the pH not only in the planting hole but in the range of the mature root zone of the tree for ideal results.

I don't mean to say that you shouldn't plant a magnolia, there are many beautiful specimens in the area and yours may thrive as well. I know you want to do the best for your tree so here is a link with more specific information about soil acidification. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/reducing_soil_ph_in_landscapes

Best of luck!