Site Selection
The second consideration is where you will place the plant in your landscape. Your home landscape is not uniform. There are sunny versus shady areas, areas that tend to stay wet and others that tend to stay dry. Consider these factors when selecting plants. When a plant that is suited to sun is planted in the shade, the growth tends to be more soft and succulent. This promotes greater problems with disease. Likewise, when plants that are better suited to dry conditions are placed in areas that stay moist, they may be prone to root borne diseases. Some particular areas in the landscape that may retain moisture include low lying areas, poorly drained sites, or areas involved in water runoff such as near gutter downspouts. If these areas stay wet for extended periods of time between rainfalls, choose plants that will be able to tolerate wet soils. Waterbed

Another important soil factor is pH, or the measure of alkalinity or acidity. Most trees and shrubs prefer soils that are neutral to slightly acid (pH 5-7). Some exceptions to this are azaleas and rhododendrons which prefer a more acid soil (pH ~4.5). A few species, such as butterfly bush and viburnums, prefer neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Raising the soilís pH (increasing alkalinity) can be easily done by adding lime. Making soils more acid, however, is often more difficult. Adding sulphur to the soil will temporarily lower the pH, but if the soil is too alkaline, a better practice would be to remove the existing soil to a depth of 1.5 -2 feet and replacing it with a peat-based medium.

Information about the plantís growing needs can usually be found on the plant label or in the description of plants been offered for sale in nursery catalogs. One could also visit their local bookstore or library to consult gardening books about the specific needs of particular plants.

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