What are limestone soils and how are they characterized?

The limestone soils They are some of the most that we can find in many parts of the world. In Spain, as in much of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as in the Balearic Islands we have to keep it very present when designing a garden if we want to choose the plants well.

But why? Well, each type of soil has its characteristics; In addition, trees, palm trees, flowers, and the rest of plant beings have their own preferences, which are not really such, but, due to the thousands of years of evolution they have had, there are many that can only grow on a certain soil.

What are the characteristics of limestone soils?


Limestone soils are very easy to distinguish, even with the naked eye. The color is brown, they usually have many stones both small and large -although the latter are only seen when excavation work is done or a large plant is to be planted-, and its ability to absorb and filter water is not very good.

But if we were left alone with that, we would not have all the information about this type of land. And it is that these soils, as their name indicates, they are made mainly of limestonewhich is a sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate above all, but it can also contain traces of magnesite, and minerals such as clay, quartz, or siderite, among others.

These rocks, over the years – thousands and millions -, with the force of meteorological phenomena, earthquakes, and the movement of tectonic plates, have gradually gone (and are) decomposing. Thus, today humans can enjoy its fantastic (because they are ) characteristics.

Advantages and disadvantages of limestone soils for gardeners and horticulturists

Mediterranean garden


Let’s start with the advantages, with the positive part. To tell you, first of all, that the ones I will tell you are based on my knowledge on the subject, but also on my experience since I live in an area of ​​Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) where we have this type of soil.

  • Conclusion rich in nutrients as important for plants as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, molybdenum, and manganese.
  • Many types of plants can grow on them (here! you have a list and here! other).
  • Its properties can be improved very easilyregularly contributing organic fertilizers such as compost, and / or herbs that are cut in the garden.


And now let’s talk about the drawbacks, because they also have them and it is important to know them.

  • Se erode easily.
  • If the rains are very scarce in the area, and when there are, they are almost always torrential, they flood very quickly.
  • Conclusion poor in iron, zinc, copper and boron; so that they cannot be planted acidophilic plants unless the pH is changed by adding blond peat (for sale here!) for example and watering with acidic water.

And with this we are done. We hope it has been of interest to you . If you need more information about the different types of floors, do not hesitate to click on:

characteristics and types of soil
What are limestone soils and how are they characterized?

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