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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 50

Evaluating the Role of pH in the Rooting of Cuttings: Eastern Region, North America Research Grant Paper

Brian K. Maynard

pp: 268-272


The Importance of Soil pH in Horticulture. It is generally accepted that conditions of optimal soil pH exist for individual plant species, and that tolerances vary among species and families. In particular, plants which grow well on acidic soils, also known as acidophilic or calcifugous plants, not only tend to become chlorotic at high soil pH due to iron (Fe) or manganese (Mn) deficiency, but also can tolerate excess Fe, Mn, and aluminum (Al) ions in the soil solution of acidic soil. More common are plants that are sensitive to free Al ions at low soil pH, and are able to sequester and take up the bound forms of Fe and Mn at higher soil pH, known as calcicolus plants. Other plants, called amphitolerant, can tolerate a wide range of soil pH (e.g., 3.5 to 8.5). Very little research has been done on woody ornamental plants to evaluate the precise limits or mechanisms of tolerance to soil acidity or alkalinity. In practice, horticulturists develop working lists of plants

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