Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Alkaline soils have high pH levels, often because they are rich in limestone or chalk. Your soil will be alkaline if you live in an area that has limestone deposits. Alkaline soils are not recommended for ericaceous and lime-hating plants. They won’t absorb important nutrients such as iron. Here we collected the best plants for chalky soil types to save your time from research.
You can test the pH of your soil with a kit at your local garden centre or online to confirm it.
Best Flowers For Chalky Soil Types
The native tree or shrub, Euonymus europaeus is spindle. The fall colours are spectacular, and brightly-coloured fruits can be found after the leaves have fallen.
Lily of the Valley
The lily-of-the valley is a great ground cover plant for alkaline soils and produces sweet scented flowers. There are many attractive cultivars available, including ‘Albostriata and ‘Hardwick Hall’.
Although it is often grown for green manure purposes, it’s worth seeing the phacelia flowers in person to see its ability to attract many pollinators. It is part of the Boraginaceae family, which also includes many other lime-loving plants such as viper’s bugloss, anchusa, and borage.
Chalky soils are great for lavender, and other aromatic plants such as rosemary, thyme, and artemisia. To get the best out of them, grow them in full sunlight.
Trifolium rubens and Trifolium ochroleucon are excellent performers on chalky soil. Most plants of the legume family (Fabaceae), dislike acid soils.
Wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare), also known as oregano, is very easy to grow if given enough sun and grown in well-drained soil. There are two cultivars that you can grow: ‘Aureum and ‘Compactum. This is a popular plant for butterflies.
Chalky soil is the best for Syringa (lilac) to grow. You’ll be rewarded with fragrant flowers and heart-shaped leaves if you plant them here.
Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium cueruleum), a beautiful native perennial, will thrive in lime-rich, moist soil. You can improve the soil by adding lots of organic matter, such as leaf mould or well-rotted manure if it is very thin.
A native evergreen grass is often referred to as blue moor grass because of its glaucous top sides. Sesleria caerulea can be grown in full sunlight and will spread slowly.
Lonicera periclymenum is our native honeysuckle and can be grown in many settings. There are also plenty of cultivars, such as ‘Graham Thomas’ and ‘Serotina’.