Group Title: Department of Soils mimeo report
Title: Soil reaction (pH) preferences of certain plants grown in Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091541/00001
 Material Information
Title: Soil reaction (pH) preferences of certain plants grown in Florida
Alternate Title: Department of Soils mimeo report 61-2 ; University of Florida
Physical Description: 7 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Breland, H. L ( Herman Leroy ), 1916-
University of Florida -- Dept. of Soils
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Department of Soils, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: April 14, 1961
 Subjects
Subject: Crops and soils -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Soils -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Herman L. Breland.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "April 14, 1961."
General Note: "(58-4 revised)."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091541
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 310369754

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DEPARTMENT OF SOILS IIMEO REPORT NO. 61-2
(58-4 Revised)


April 14, 1961


SOIL REACTION (pH) PREFERENCES OF
CERTAIN PLANTS GICWN IN FLORIDA

by

Herman L. Breland


Department of Soils
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Gainesville, Florida






SOIL REACTION (pH) PREFERENCES OF CERTAIN PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIID

Herman L. Breland
Asst. Soils Chemist
Soils Dept. Ag. Exp. Sta.


Soil reaction plays a very important part in the economic production

of crops in Florida. Although this fact is widely known, and is backed

up by numerous research findings, its importance has not been fully real-

ized. At the present time only about one-half million tons of liming ma-

terials are being used in the state annually, Information obtained by

The Soil Testing Laboratory shows that about O0 percent of the soil sam-

ples tested have a pH of 5., or below. This pH is generally considered

to be low for many crops. There may be some misunderstanding about the

optimum soil reactions for certain plants as the available information

is widely scattered in various publications. Therefore, the grower may

not have ready access to this information. For this reason a list has

been compiled for a ready reference (Table .l).

The soil reaction represents the hydrogen-ion concentration or

active acidity of the soil. It does not represent the exchangeable hydro-

gen which is a measure of the titratable or total acidity. Therefore,

the soil reaction does not necessarily indicate the calcium content but

it is generally a good indication of whether or not the soil needs liming.

It is common practice to speak of soils as being "acid" or "alkaline",

"sour" or "sweet" and of having a "low pH" or "high pH', All of these

terms are rather indefinite since they do not specify as to the degree

of acidity or alkalinity. Therefore, the soil reaction (pH) may be de-

fined as the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the soil. The pH scale





-2-


extends from 0 to lI, with 7 being the neutral point. As the pH decreases

from 7.0 the acidity increases and as it increases above 7.0 the alkalin-

ity increases. The pH scale is logrimathic, therefore, each change of

one unit on the pH scale represents a ten-fold change in the active acid-

ity or alkalinity.

In general, the pH range of soils extends from about 3.5 to 8.5, but

pH values beyond these extremes are sometimes found. Most cultivated

soils will fall within the pH range of 4.5 to 7.5. Some plants grow best

in a rather narrow pH range, while others will tolerate a rather wide

range, However, pH is not the only factor that should be considered in

the production of crops, Such things as favorable temperature and light,

water control, insect and disease control, good soil, adequate plant nu-

trients, etc., are all factors that must be taken into account if good

plant growth is to be obtained.

The pH of the soil may be raised by applying a liming material (high

calcic or dolomitic limestone, hydrated lime, marl, slags, shells, etc.,

Table 2), in the correct amount (Table J). If the soil pH is too high it

may also be lowered one unit by applying sulfur or aluminum sulfate at

approximately one-third the rate of liming material required to raise the

pH one unit.





- 3 -


Table 1 .
Soil Reaction (pH) Preference of certain
Plants Grown in Florida

Annual Flowers Optimum pH Range*

Butterfly Flower 6.0 7.5
Calendula 5.5 7.5
Candytuft 6.0 7.0
Carnation 640 7.5
Cosmos, Common 540 7.5
Hollyhock 6.0 7.5
Larkspur 5.5 7,5
Marigold 5.5 7.0
Morning Glory 6.0 7.5
Nasturtium 5.5 7,5
Pansy 5$0 6.5
Petunia 5.5 770
Phlox 5.0 6.0
Poppy 6.0 7.5
Snapdragon 5.5 7,0
Sweetpea 5.5 6.5
Zinnia 5.5 7.5

Perennials Flowers

Amaryllis 5.5 6.5
Aster 5.0 7.0
Begonia 5.5 7.0
Caladium 6.0 7.5
Canna 6.0 7,5
Chrysanthemum 5.5 6.5
Crinum 5.5 6.5
Daffodil (Narcissus or Johquil) 6.0 6.5
Dahlia 6.0 7.0
Daylily 6,0 7.5
Helianthus annus 5.0 7,0
Lilies 5*5 6.5
Lycoris 5.5 6.5
Moraea 5.5 6*5
Physostegia (False Dragon-Head) 5.5 6.5
Shrimp Plant 5,5 6,5

Shrubs and Vines

Abelia 6,0 7.5
Arborvitae 6.0 7.5
Azalea ,.5 6.0
Bamboo 5.0 7.0
Banana 5,0 7.0

This does not mean that plants will not grow at pH values beyond
these, but the range given is considered to be the most favorable
provided that other soil conditions are also favorable.







Shrubs and Vines (Continued)


Bougainvillea 5.0 6.5
Boxthorn 5.0 6.5
Boxwood, Japanese 6.0 7.5
Camellia 5.0 6.0
Century plant 5.0 6.5
Cherry Laurel 5.0 7.0
Coontie 5.0 6.5
Crape Myrtle 5.0 7.5
Croton 5.0 7.5
Elaeagnus (Silverthorn) 5.0 7.5
Feijoa 5.0 7.5
Flame vine 5.5 7.0
Gardenia 5.0 6.0
Hibiscus 6.0 7,5
Honeysuckle 4.5 7.0
Ivy, English .5 7.5
Jasmine 5.5 7.0
Ligustrum (Wa Privet) 5.0 7.5
Oleander 6.0 7.5
Pittosporum 5.0 7.5
Podocarpus 5,0 6.5
Poinsettia 6.0 7.5
Sea Grape 5,0 6.5
Viburnum 5.5 7,0
Wax Myrtle 5.0 6.5
Weeping Lantana 5.0 7.5
Wisteria 5.5 6.5
Yaupon 5.0 6.5
Trees

Camphor Tree 6,0 7.5
Dogwood 5.0 7.0
Holly, American 5.0 6.0
Holly, Chinese 5.5 6.5
Holly, Japanese L.5 6.0
Kumquat 5.5 6,5
Loquat 5.5 6.5
Magnolia 5.0 6.0
Mimosa 5.0 7.5
Palm, Cabbage 5.5 7.5
Palm, Pindo 5,0 7.5
Palm, Queen 5.0 6.0
Palm, Royal 5.5 7.5
Rosebud Tree 5.5 6.5
Sausage Tree 5.5 6.5
Sycamore 6,0 7.5


Optimum pH Range








Optimum pH Range


Carpet
Bermuda
Brome
Centipede
Fescue, fine-leaved
Fescue, Meadow
Italian Rye
Johnson
Orchard
St. Augustine
Zoysia

Cereals

Oats
Rice
Rye


Legumes


Alfalfa
Beans, Velvet
Clover, Alsike
Clover, Crimson
Clover, Ladino
Clover, Sweet White
Clover, White
Cowpeas
Crotalarie
Kudzu
Lespedeza, Jap.
Lespedeza, Kor.
Lupine, blue
Lupine, white
Lupine, yellow
Soybeans
Vetch


5,0
6,0
6.0
5.0
6.0
5.5
5.5
5.0
6.0
6.0
6.0


5.0
5.0
5.0


6.0
5.5
5.5
5.5
5.5
6,0
5.5
5.5
5.5
5.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.5
5.0
6.0
5*5


6.0
7.0
7.5
6.0
7.5
7.0
6,5
6.0
7.0
To0
7.5


7.5
7.0
7.5
7.0
7.0
7.5
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5
7.0
6.5
7.0
7.0


Field and Vegetable Crops


Asparagus
Beans, Lima
Beans, snap and wax
Cabbage
Carrots
Cotton, upland
Corn
Cucumber
Lettuce
Mustard
Peppers
Potatoes, white


(For scab


5.5 -
5.5 -
5.5 -
5.5 -
5.5 -
5.0 -
5.5 -
5.5 -
5.5 -
5.5 -
5.5 -
5.0 -
control


6.5
6.5
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.0
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5
pH to 5.6)


Grasses





-6-


Field and Vegetable Crops (Continued) Optimum pH Range

Potatoes, sweet 5.5 6.0
Radishes 5.5 6.5
Rutabaga 5.5 7.0
Strawberries 5.5 7.0
Sugar Cane 5.0 7.5
Squash 5.5 6.5
Tobacco, shade 5.3 6.3
Tobacco, flue-cured 5.3 6.3
Tomatoes 5.3 7.0
Watermelons 5.0 6,0
Turnips 5.5 6,8






-7-


Table 2 .

The Neutralizing Value of Several Liming Materials.


Formula Calcium Carbonate Equivalent
(C.C.E,)


Limestone
Dolomite
Hydrated Lime
Oyster Shells
Basic Slag
Marl
Gypsum


CaC03
CaCO~'MgCO3
CaOH)2
CaC03
CaO P20$*Si02
CaCO3,MgCO3
CaSO4


Table 3.

The Approximate Amount of Limestone to Supply to
the Different Soils to Raise the pH one Unit.


Soil


Lbs/A


Well-drained Sands
Poorly-drained Sands
Well-Drained sandy loam to loamy sands
Organic Soils


1000 2000
2000 LOO
3000 6000
6000 or more


Lbs/lO1sq ft

22.9 45.9
45.9 91.8
68.8 -137.7
137.7 +


Material


100
108
135
95
70 -
50-
0


lbs/cu yd


1.2
2.5
3.7
7.4


- 2.5
- 5.(
- 7.1
+




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