Hosta in acidic soils

by Barb Larsen
(Hurley, SD - Turner Co.)

Good evening. We recently purchased and moved into an older house. We are doing some remodeling to the house and grounds. There is a mature blue spruce tree that had been allowed to grow untamed for about 40 years. The branches were sweeping the ground but are now cleared away up to about 2 feet. I would like to plant hostas under the tree but I have been told that the area could be too ascidic for them. Is that accurate or not? I think they would look very good there. Thank you for your time.

Doug says if they have enough light, plant them. The issue isn't going to be acidic soils, it's going to be a lack of water and sunlight under a spruce tree. This tree is well established and a greedy water-feeder so you're going to have to (always) provide a lot of extra water for those hosta or they will struggle.

And the light levels under spruce are very low - that canopy is extremely dense so the hosta will survive on the very edge in a narrow ring around the tree but if you get them too far in toward the trunk, they will not only get water-starved, they will be light starved.

Acidic soils are the least of your problems. By the way, evergreens and acidic soils are not necessarily linked.

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