What Grows Well In Alkaline Soil

Different soils have different properties that may impact what can grow in them, and also how things grow in them.

In this short guide, we outline what might grow well in alkaline soil, along with other relevant considerations.


Summary – What Grows Well In Alkaline Soil

The main thing to be aware of with alkaline soil is the pH

There’s certain materials and amendments that can be added to alkaline soil to change the pH, or the fertility, along with other traits of the soil

The soil pH is only one factor in determining what you can and can’t grow in that soil (or, how effectively plant life might grow in a specific soil type)

Other factors to consider for growing in different soils include the general soil fertility, and the local conditions and variables such as weather and climate, as just a few major examples

Overall, each square area of soil on an individual plot of land potentially has it’s own unique factors and variables to consider that will impact soil production. And, the same can be said for the soil in the different geographic locations around the world

All alkaline soils may have general soil production principles that apply to them, but, may also have unique local variables impacting soil production as well

Read more in this guide about the main considerations for growing different types of plants in different types of soils, conditions, and geographic locations


Profile Of Alkaline Soil – Traits, Characteristics, & Features

Alkaline soil may have these general features, traits, and characteristics:

Have a pH over 7

Can contain limestone or some type of calcium/lime rock deposit underneath the soil

Chalky soil is usually alkaline


Real Examples Of Alkaline Soil, & Where It Might Be Found

chinadaily.com.cn outlines that China has different areas of saline-alkali soil across the country, that rice can be cultivated in.


Working With, Amending & Improving Alkaline Soil

Adding To Alkaline Soils

Alkaline soils can be amended or balanced to come back to neutral, or become more acidic, with the additions of acidic fruit compost scraps, or elemental sulfur, or peat moss.

The addition of ash or lime will make soils more alkaline if you have acidic soils.


Levels Of Alkalinity, & Testing Soil pH

Note that there are differing levels of alkaline soil.

Some plants for example may grow in slightly alkaline soil (just about 7), whilst some might like more alkaline soil.

So, pH range does matter. 

You can test pH with a simple pH testing kit you can buy online or at the local gardening or home/outdoors store.

You can also get soil professionally tested.


More Resources On Working With Alkaline Soils

Read more about working with and improving alkaline soil at:

Types Of Soil (provident-living-today.com)

75 Acid Loving Plants (annsentitledlife.com)

Soils & Plants That Don’t Mind Alkalinity (thespruce.com)

Plants For Alkaline Soil (gardeningknowhow.com)


A Note On Soil Types, & What Ultimately Impacts How Things Grow

Before we look at what grows well in alkaline soil, it’s important to note that all soils have a slightly different composition in each geographic location – you might get a more alkaline soil in one location, but in another location you might get a less alkaline soil, and this can change it’s characteristics

There are also different external factors acting upon the soil in each geographic area. Climate and weather are a major example of this

Additionally, there are ultimately a range of physical, chemical and biological factors that determine how well something grows in a particular spot or under particular conditions.

Soil fertility is a major factor tied to soil’s physical, chemical and biological traits, that can impact soil productivity and yield. Some soils have high natural fertility, but it’s also possible to modify or increase the fertility of some soils

This is just a guide on alkaline soils in general, without going into extreme depth about all these other factors (factors like soil fertility, soil health, soil quality, the impact of adding fertilizers and pesticides, bringing in commercial topsoil, the impact of different tilling practices, and so on).

To assess the soil in an individual location, it can help to become aware of factors like:

– What the soil is, and what is the best way to manage it

– The climate in that location (temperature, rainfall etc.) and the growing seasons (for example – the US has different planting zones),

– The plants or things you want to grow and the conditions they need 

This is of course just basic information – it’s important to research beyond these things for each individual situation.


These guides provide some basic information on figuring out what might grow well in different soils, conditions and locations:

All The Factors That Affect The Growth Of Plants

How To Know What Grows In Your Soil Or Garden

How To Know What Grows In Your Geographic Area Or Climate Zone

I Can’t Grow Anything In My Soil – What Do I Do?


Below is a collection of generalized lists of things that may grow well in alkaline soil.

It’s important that you don’t rely solely on these lists though – obviously you should do your own additional research, and make your own independent decisions.


Plants & Flowers That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil

You can find a list of alkaline friendly plants at:

75 Acid Loving Plants (annsentitledlife.com)

Soils & Plants That Don’t Mind Alkalinity (thespruce.com)

Plants For Alkaline Soil (gardeningknowhow.com)

10 Plants For Gardens With Alkaline Soil (hgtv.com)


Vegetables, Crops & Herbs That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil

Most vegetables prefer neutral, or slightly acidic soil, but some can do well in alkaline soils (homeguides.sfgate.com):







Sweet Potato







– gardeningknowhow.com




Sugar beets

Lima beans

Swiss chard




– homeguides.sfgate.com


Fruits & Fruits Trees That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil

Most fruit trees like a slightly acidic soil, or neutral soil, and not alkaline soils. But, there are a few that can tolerate alkaline soils:


Fig trees

– selfsufficientculture.com


Some cherry varieties

– homeguides.sfgate.com


Trees, Shrubs & Bushes That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil


Common, or European Beech

European Ash

Ginkgo Biloba

Horse Chestnut

Mugo Pine

Ornamental Cherry

– thespruce.com

Find the full list of shrubs and bushes at thespruce.com



Silver Maple



Green Ash

Honey Locust


Austrian Pine

Burr Oak


– gardeningknowhow.com



1. http://www.provident-living-today.com/Types-of-Soil.html

2. https://www.selfsufficientculture.com/threads/list-of-suggested-soil-ph-range-for-fruit-trees.1063/

3. https://www.annsentitledlife.com/how-does-your-garden-grow/75-alkaline-friendly-plants/ 

4. https://www.thespruce.com/soil-and-plants-that-dont-mind-alkalinity-2131000 

5. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/plants-for-alkaline-soil.htm 

6. https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/planting-and-maintenance/10-plants-for-gardens-with-alkaline-soil-pictures 

7. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/alkaline-tolerant-plants-22452.html

8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali_soil

9. https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202006/05/WS5eda4920a3108348172512d1.html


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