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Plants that love that most dreaded of soils – limestone

Plants that love limestone soil

Many plants appreciate limestone soils, so you’ll find a good number of chalk-loving plants. Furthermore, since they retain water less well than other types of soil, limestone soils have the advantage of warming up quickly in spring. So, if your soil is alkaline, many gardening options are available to you! To help you in your planting choices, here is a list (partial, of course) of plants for limestone soil.

Selection of 10 plants for limestone soil


Tall flowers acanthus mollisAcanthus mollis is a perennial plant with superb, broad, very cut, spiky foliage. It’s also appreciated for its tall erect floral spikes made of white and purple flowers.

Vigorous and easy, this plant likes fertile, well-drained, permeable, dry, and slightly limestone soils.

Astrantia, masterwort

Astrantia majorMasterwort is a mountain perennial from Europe. It offers a very delicate and decorative summer bloom, from beautiful silvery white to pink.

This plant adapts to all soils, and appreciates clayey-limestone soils that are relatively fresh and fertile.


Campanula glomerata in limestoneAll bellflowers are perennials that display a delicate bloom of blue, mauve, or white bells.

Campanula glomerata (clustered bellflower) is the best choice for growing in limestone soil.


Centaury grows well in limestone soilCentaury is family of perennials with beautiful blue, violet, or purple blooms.

All centauries like limestone soils, but Centaurea montana (mountain centaury) is the best choice for poor, dry soil.

True Lavender

True lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, is known and appreciated worldwide for its blue-mauve floral spikes and its iconic scent of Provence.

This perennial bushy shrub particularly appreciates poor, draining, and slightly limestone soils.


Grow lilac in limestoneLilac is an ornamental flowering shrub, appreciated for its fragrant, double or single flowers, in white, violet, blue, or magenta colors.

Not a picky plant, lilacs thrive in all soils, including limestone, as long as they are well-drained, deep, and rich.


Carnations are highly appreciated for their fragrant and colorful flowers, which can be single or double.

The many species and varieties of carnations generally like ordinary, well-drained (even dry), and slightly limestone soils.


Hollyhock grows well on chalky soilPerennial or annual, hollyhock produces tall stems bearing a profusion of beautiful colorful flowers with country charm.

This plant, common in the countryside and seaside, tolerates many types of soils, but prefers rich, well-drained, and limestone soils.


Sage is among other herbs that grow in limeSalvia officinalis, or sage, is a sub-shrub with aromatic, grayish-green, fuzzy foliage that has numerous medicinal properties.

Robust and easy to cultivate, sage thrives in well-draining, slightly limestone soils.

Mock Orange

Mock orangeThe mock orange shrub is a flowering shrub that produces an abundance of white flowers with golden stamens, releasing a delicious fragrance.

This poet’s jasmine isn’t fussy about soil type. Although it prefers fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil, it also tolerates limestone, rocky, and dry soils.

Other Plants for Limestone Soil




Note: Most vegetables are limestone lovers.

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Images: Pixabay: Bruno Glätsch, Hans Braxmeier, Matthias Böckel, Frauke Riether, Annette Meyer, Julita, Ralph, Sonja Kalee, yibg, Zebulon72
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