Ivydene Gardens Plants:
Plants for Chalky Soils List

Perryhill Nurseries sells Plants for a Purpose in these lists:-

Soil over chalk and limestone is almost invariably alkaline (Limey). It is usually fairly fertile, but can be shallow and consequently dries out quickly. In such cases, use drought-tolerant plants, such as ones that grow in dry soil conditions (see plants in the Dry section of the Moisture column of the soil type, aspect and moisture list page).


Chalk and Limestone Gardening by Sarah Coles (ISBN 1 86126 738 X) shows how to improve the soil and which plants flourish on alkaline soils - chalk and clay.

Acid soil is most common in places that experience heavy rainfall and have moister environments. Areas in red have acidic soil, areas in yellow are neutral and areas in blue have alkaline soil in the World Map. Find Me Plants has further details on other plants for alkaline soils, when you set Soil ph in Part 1: Surveying the planting area to Alkaline (chalky) soil. Plants for Chalky Soils from Royal Horticultural Society.

Action to assist in Chalk soil maintenance:-

  • Mulch the beds with a 4 inch (100mm) deep layer of Spent Mushroom Compost to improve fertility and drainage; preferably in the Autumn in between the existing plants, and top it up each year after that. This will stop the chalk soil from drying out through the action of sun and wind on its surface, and to provide chalk and carbon to aid in soil formation and fertility.
  • If starting a new lawn or bed, rotovate the wet chalk soil, add the 4 inch layer of Spent Mushroom Compost mulch and rotavate that in. Heel and rake the ground for a new turf (or to be seeded) lawn, before laying or seeding it. Insert plants in new bed, before installing the irrigation system and then applying a 4 inch layer of this mulch on top of it.
  • Mow the existing lawn closely before spreading a 1/4 inch (6mm) deep layer of any sand (Kiln dried Top Dressing is easier to spread, both available from Gardenscape in small bags or in 1 tonne bags) over it, starting in late April. Repeat this each month until July for one season. This will improve the fertility of the lawn by providing silica in the form of sand (See What is Soil Texture Page in the Soil Section for further details). Spreading the same depth of sand on the flower/vegetable beds at the same time would also be beneficial.

 

Chalky Soil is Alkaline on the pH scale. The garden use list is sorted in the following table under the following height of plant range:-

  • Below 2 feet in height
    Between 2 and 6 feet in height
    Above 6 feet in height

 

Sun Aspect, Soil Type, Soil Moisture, Plant Type and Height of Plant are used in the Plant Photo Galleries in the comparison of thumbnail photos - see above on left side.

 

See Other Plants for Chalky Soils for a further list.

 

 

 

 

Height in feet

Garden Use:-
Plants for Chalky Soil

Plant Name in Alkaline Soil
Plant below 2 feet in Height

Plant Type

1 x 1
0.5 x
indefinite
0.5 x 1.5
0.5 x 1.5
0.7 x 1
0.5 x 0.5
0.5 x 0.5
0.5 x 0.5
0.5 x 0.5
0.3 x 1
0.2 x 1.5
1.5 x 1.5
1 x 3
1.5 x 1.5
1.5 x 1.5
0.5 x 1.5
1 x 0.5
1.25 x 1
1.3 x 3
0.8 x 1.5
1.5 x 1.5
0.2 x 2
0.7 x 1
1.5 x 1.5
1.5 x 2
2 x 1.5
 

 

Adiantum pedatum
Adiantum venustum
...
Alyssum montanum 'Mountain Gold'
Alyssum wulfenianum
Anemone apennina
Anemone blanda 'Atrocaerulea'
Anemone blanda 'Radar'
Anemone blanda 'Violet Star'
Anemone coronaria
Anemone nemorosa
Anemone ranunculoides
Anemone sylvestris
Anthemis punctata cupaniana
Aquilegia alpina
Aquilegia 'Crimson Star'
Arabis caucasica 'Variegata'
Arum italicum 'Marmoratum'
Arundinaria fortunei (Pleioblastus auricomus)
Arundinaria pygmae (Pleioblastus pygmaeus)
Aster alpinus
Aster amellus 'King George'
Aubretia x cultorum 'Argeneovariegata'
Aurinia saxatilis 'Citrinia'
Berberis thunbergeii 'Bagatelle'
Brunnera macrophylla 'Dawson's White'
Buphthalmum salicifolium
 

Evergreen Fern
Evergreen Fern
...
Evergreen Perennial
Evergreen Perennial
Deciduous Rhizome
Deciduous Tuber
Deciduous Tuber
Deciduous Tuber
Deciduous Tuber
Herbaceous Perennial
Deciduous Rhizome
Herbaceous Perennial
Evergreen Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Evergreen Alpine
Deciduous Tuber
Bamboo
Bamboo
Herbaceous Alpine
Herbaceous Perennial
Evergreen Alpine
Evergreen Alpine
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Rhizome
Herbaceous Perennial
 

 

 

 

 

Height in feet

Garden Use:-
Plants for Chalky Soil

Plant Name in Alkaline Soil
Plant between 2-6 feet in Height

Plant Type

5 x 6
6 x 10
6 x 6
5 x 3
4 x 2
2 x 1.3
5 x 2
2.5 x 1
3 x 1
3 x 2
2 x 1.6
5 x 5
2 x 2
2.5 x 1.5
...
2 x 1.5
5 x 5
5 x 4
3 x 10
5 x 4
5 x 2
5 x 5
2.5 x 3
3 x 5
5 x 6
4 x 4
4 x 5
5 x 6
2 x 2.5
4 x 2.5
6 x 4
2 x 4
3 x 1
3 x 6
5 x 6
3 x 6
6 x 8
2.5 x 5
5 x 5
3 x 5
 

 

Abelia grandiflora 'Francis Mason'
Abelia schumannii
Abutilon megapotamicum
Acanthus mollis
Anchusa azurea
Anemone hupehensis
Anemone japonica 'Honorine Jobert'
Anemone rivularis
Antirrhinum majus
Aquilegia chrysantha
Aquilegia vulgaris 'Nora Barlow'
Arundinaria auricoma(Pleioblastus auricomus)
Asplenium scolopendrium
Aster x frikartii 'Monch'
...
Astrantia major
Aucuba japonica
Aucuba japonica 'Crotonofolia'
Aucuba japonica 'Rozannie'
Aucuba japonica 'Variegata'
Baptisia australis
Berberis 'Chenaultii'
Berberis calliantha
Berberis wilsoniae
Berberis x bristolensis
Berberis x frikartii 'Amstelveen'
Berberis x frikartii 'Telstar'
Berberis x interposita 'Wallich's Purple'
Berberis thunbergeii 'Atropurpurea Nana'
Berberis thunbergeii 'Helmond Pillar'
Berberis thunbergeii 'Red Chief'
Betula nana
Borago officinalis
Brachyglottis compacta
Brachyglottis 'Dunedin Hybrids'
Brachyglottis monroi
Bupleurum fruticosum
Buxus microphylla
Buxus sempervirens 'Elegantissima'
Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'
 

Evergreen Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial
Bamboo
Evergreen Fern
Herbaceous Perennial
...
Herbaceous Perennial
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Herbaceous Perennial
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Herb
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
 

 

 

 

 

Height in feet

Garden Use:-
Plants for Chalky Soil

Plant Name in Alkaline Soil
Plant above 6 feet in Height

Plant Type

10 x 12
12 x 8
15 x 10
30 x 30
25 x 25
15 x
indefinite
11 x 14
28 x 3
10 x 6
20 x 20
23 x 20
20 x 25
11.5 x 2.5
...
10 x 3
13 x 3
12 x 12
8 x 10
8 x 8
8 x 8
60 x 20
60 x 20
8 x 3
15 x 15
15 x 15
15 x 15
18 x 18
8 x 8
 

 

Abelia floribunda
Abutilon suntense
Acer campestre
Acer griseum
Acer negundo 'Flamingo'
Actinidia kolomikta
...
Aesculus parviflora
Akebia quinata
Alnus viridis (Green Alder)
Amelanchier laevis
Amelanchier lamarcki
Arbutus menziesii
Arundinaria japonica
...
Arundinaria murielae (Fargesia murieliae)
Arundinaria nitida (Syn. Fargesia nitida)
Berberis darwinii
Berberis julianae
Berberis x ottawensis 'Superba'
Berberis x stenophylla
Betula ermanii
Betula papyrifera
Bocconia cordata
Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'
Buddleia davidii 'Royal Red'
Buddleia davidii 'White Profusion'
Buddleia globosa
Buddleia officinalis
 

Evergreen Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Tree
Deciduous Tree
Deciduous Tree
Deciduous Climber
...
Deciduous Shrub
Semi-Everg. Climber
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Tree
Deciduous Tree
Evergreen Tree
Bamboo
...
Bamboo
Bamboo
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
Deciduous Tree
Deciduous Tree
Deciduous Rhizome
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Shrub
Evergreen Shrub
 

 

 

 

Height in feet:-

25.4mm = 1 inch
304.8mm = 12 inches
12 inches = 1 foot
3 feet = 1 yard
914.4mm = 1 yard

I normally round this to
300mm = 1 foot,
900 mm = 3 feet and
1000mm = 40 inches

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