Soil pH for Growing Lilies and Calla Lilies

Liloy leaves with low soil Ph.


Soil pH for growing lilies, soil pH for Calla lily bulbs is important. Additionally, for other plants as well. Growing lilies (lilium) or calla lilies (Zantedeschia) is easy. However, if their blooms and leaves don’t look quite right, then it is mostly a nutrient and/or soil problem. Their leaves turn yellow at or about the six to twelve inch growth stage. Then, at bloom time, the blooms appear severely faded. Therefore, chances are you planted them in soil or potting mix with the wrong pH level.

Correcting soil pH for growing lilies, soil pH for Calla lily bulbs starts before planting. And with the growing medium. However, you can correct pH soil and plant pH while they are growing. This has to be done as soon as you notice the yellowing of their leaves.

What is Soil pH?

The standard measurement of alkalinity and acidity is known as pH. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, which is neither acid nor alkaline. Below 7 is acid and above 7 is alkaline. A pH of 5.5 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 6.5. Conversely, a pH of 8.5 is 10 times more alkaline than a pH of 7.5. A soil test is the only method to determine pH.

Technically, pH is a gauge of the hydrogen-ion concentration (potential Hydrogen) in a substance. It is important to know whether your soil is alkaline or acidic. Certain nutrients can only be accessed by plants when the soil pH falls into an acceptable range. And no amount of fertilizer is going to improve their health until the pH has been adjusted.

Why is Soil pH for Growing Lilies Important?

Soil pH for growing lilies prefer their pH to be at 6.0 to 6.5. Soil pH for Calla lily bulbs prefer a 5.5 to 6.0 pH level. However, most other plants prefer a somewhat neutral pH. Anywhere from 6.0 to 7.0. Furthermore, many plants are more specific in their pH needs. Such as blueberries or azaleas. They like a very acidic soil. Lilacs and clematis, prefer a more alkaline soil. Additionally, some, like hydrangeas, change flower color depending on the soil’s pH.

Soil pH for growing lilies and soil pH for Calla lily bulbs, as well as other plants, is important. It affects the availability of nutrients in the soil. Many plant nutrients are not readily available to plants in highly alkaline or acidic soils. Essential nutrients are most available to lily (lilium) plants at 6.0 to 6.5 soil pH, and Calla lily plants at 5.5 to 6.0.

Similarly, most horticultural plants grow best in soils with a pH between 6 (slightly acid) and 7.5 (slightly alkaline). If your soil is not, you need to make a choice. Choose plants adapted to your soil’s pH. Or alter your soil’s pH for growing lilies and alter soil pH for Calla lily bulbs. Likewise, for other plants.

If your lily plants (and other plants) are growing healthy, with no signs of problems, your soil pH is probably in an acceptable range. However, if they are looking stressed, discolored, or not growing vigorously, one of the first things you should do is test your pH. Before attempting to raise or lower your soil’s pH. See what the correct soil ph looks like when growing lilies at our annual lily festival!

Testing Soil pH for Growing Lilies

I have tried all methods. DIY with stuff at home, paper strips, expensive and cheap test tube kits, meter test kits (the kind with probes), sending soil samples to labs. Over the years, I have compared them all. First, for accuracy. Second for ease of use. Third for quickness or time to get results. I have concluded the meter test kits with probes are the best and among the most accurate. However, on a commercial basis, sending soil or potting mix into a lab is the most accurate. But takes the most time.

We sometimes have to order new potting mix on a days’ notice. And time is short. Therefore, we cannot wait weeks for lab results.

DIY with stuff at home takes too long and are inaccurate, also. Paper strips are not accurate, too time consuming, and we test often while mixing. Therefore, using all or most of the strips. Test tube kits are pretty accurate. However, because of frequency of testing and breakage, they are not suited for our use.

Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil pH Meter

The best method I have found is the test meter with a probe. Its’ ease of use for testing the potting mix on a large scale is good. Not only for the large area we grow in. In addition, well over 6,000 pots for our annual lily festival.

We have tested all soil pH meters and found Luster Leaf’s Rapitest Soil pH meter to be the best for testing lowering soil pH for growing lilies and soil pH for Calla lily bulbs. It is the most accurate, light weight, conveniently fits into a pocket. Also, has a separate and long enough probe to test deep. As well as, several areas or pots from one location.

Rapid Test Soil Tester
Rapid Test Soil Tester, Testing Soil pH for Growing Lilies.
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