I bought a couple of slightly acidophilic plants, and my soil is neutral, and also I don't like to use any chemicals.

Would it be a good idea to plant them at the base of rain downspout? (The plants like lots of water, so wetness won't be a problem)

  • How are acid-loving plants and a downspout connected? – Stephie Dec 13 '17 at 18:46
  • Water flows from downspout over 70cm wide 'sidewalk' directly to the soil where I mean to plant this plant. – VividD Dec 13 '17 at 18:53
  • Hint: I wear shoe size 10. Also, winter in Alaska will be harsh and long this year. ... Just kidding! :))) I realized that you actually asked about logical conection, not physical. The logical connection is that rain is slightly acid. (It gets acid while falling through athosphere.) @Stephie – VividD Dec 13 '17 at 19:25

This is an easy one. Downspouts are usually next to concrete foundations and having the water flowing over a concrete shield...alkaline. The lime in concrete affects the soil near the foundation raising the pH.

This is the worst place for acid plants. I understand, I think, that you thought lots of hydrogen atoms that would make the soil more acidic. What kind of roof material do you have?

I would make a plant bed elsewhere and add sulfur to that soil to lower the pH a little more. Do you have a pH meter or two? There are also fertilizers made for plants that do better with the pH down to 6 or 5.5. Mulch with peat moss, very acidic (but kind of a no no as peat bogs are being depleted). Lowering pH is tougher than raising it I am afraid. Those plants will be fine in neutral or 7.0 and you can continue to add sulfur until you are at the pH you want and then just maintain that level just for that plant bed.

Chemistry is everything. Chemicals make up all the world and life around us. Sulfur is sulfur. I'd be aware of fillers, however. The only chemicals I know that are bad are pesticides, fluoride, chlorine, lead, arsenic those kind of obvious 'bad' chemicals. Not fertilizers or lime or sulfur.

  • The roof is made of terracotta tiles. It is said that average pH of rain is 5.6. Honestly, I find it a little incredible that just flowing over 70cm concrete would suddenly change rain's pH to be more than 7. – VividD Dec 13 '17 at 21:15
  • That concrete is constantly 'dissolving' and lime is leached out and into the soil. Soil in contact with literally a 'brick of lime' will have the pH raised. I am talking about the soil's pH where you want to plant plants that need 5.5 to 6.5 pH. Not the water. Water does affect the soil. Where is it that you live? Have you tested the pH of your soil? What plants are indigenous? Why did you put together acid loving plants and the down spout? If I were you, Vivid, I would get some professional tests of my soil done before investing too much money. I gotta go look up your Pine's pH... – stormy Dec 13 '17 at 21:37
  • Pinus pinea will thrive in neutral soil up to slightly alkaline or slightly acidic. The primary soil requirement is drainage! You must have told us where you live by now, why am I not able to remember...?? Grins, I do not think 10 feet from your home is a great place for this tree. It is resistant to breakage but conifers can be messy as a specimen next to the house; needles, cones, squirrels eating those cones, pollen, pine nuts, clogging roof gutters...I thought we were looking at this tree as a focal point viewed from your home? – stormy Dec 13 '17 at 21:56
  • What are these acid loving plants that like a lot of water to include water logged soil during the rainy season? Liking lots of water rarely means being an aquatic plant. – stormy Dec 13 '17 at 22:00
  • This question is about Clethra alnifolia. Pinus pinea is from other questions. I am considering several locations for 'pignol' (this is my name for Pinus pinea, pronounced in italian way). One of these places is a very sunny currently empty corner, but it is close to the house. Also, I discovered that 60km from my place, there is a private yard with 3 pignols! They grew a little slow, 7m in 30 years, but all are healthy and fruiting, have umbrella crowns, which all sounds fine to me. I already tested the soil, and got recommendations. @stormy – VividD Dec 13 '17 at 22:19

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