How to Balance pH for Sweet Olive Plants

To balance the pH for sweet olive plants, aim for a pH of around 6.5. This step-by-step guide provides advanced hands-on details and home remedies to help DIY users achieve the optimal pH level for their sweet olive plants.

Soil Testing

Before making any adjustments, it’s crucial to test the soil pH to determine if it’s too acidic or alkaline. You can purchase a soil pH test kit from a local garden store or online.

Soil Amendments

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If the soil pH is too high (alkaline), add elemental sulfur to lower it. For every 1 point you want to lower the pH, add about 0.7 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet of soil. If the soil pH is too low (acidic), add lime to raise it. For every 1 point you want to raise the pH, add about 5 pounds of lime per 100 square feet of soil.

Timing and Monitoring

Make soil amendments in the fall or early spring, giving the soil time to adjust before planting. After making amendments, retest the soil pH every few weeks to monitor progress.

Water Quality

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Use water with a neutral pH (6.5 to 7.5) for watering. Rainwater is ideal, as it has a naturally neutral pH. If you’re using tap water, let it sit out for 24 hours to allow chlorine to evaporate, which can lower the pH.


Use a fertilizer with a balanced N-P-K ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) and avoid those high in ammonium or urea, which can lower the soil pH.


Mulch around the base of the sweet olive plant with organic matter like leaves, bark, or compost. This helps maintain a consistent soil pH and provides nutrients as it decomposes.

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Shade and Temperature

Sweet olive plants prefer partial shade and a temperature range of 65 to 85°F (18 to 29°C). Protect the plant from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight, which can stress the plant and affect its pH balance.

Home Remedies

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Dilute apple cider vinegar with water (1 tablespoon per gallon) and use it to water the sweet olive plant. This can help lower the soil pH slightly.

  2. Baking Soda: Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a gallon of water and use it to water the sweet olive plant. This can help raise the soil pH slightly.

  3. Epsom Salt: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and use it to water the sweet olive plant. This can provide magnesium, which can help balance the soil pH and promote healthy plant growth.

Remember, it’s important to monitor the soil pH regularly and make adjustments as needed. Over-correcting the pH can cause more harm than good, so make small adjustments and retest the soil frequently.