Heather Plant Care

By Shannon C , last updated April 30, 2011

The heather plant, also known by its botanical name of Calluna vulgaris, is a lovely flowering evergreen shrub with bursts of pink, red, white, or purple flowers. The heather plant has a variety of uses, ranging form a decorative accent in rock gardens to an ever-present favorite in cut flower arrangements. Heather plants have two main growth formations, leading to the difference in their usage in a garden or landscaping setting. One type of heather plant grows as a low-massing ground cover plant, and is excellent for shrub beds, gardens, ground problem spot coverage, and rock gardens. The second type of heather plant is an upright grower and is often employed as an accent shrub for borders, corner displays, and as potted plants. Follow these simple tips from experts to grow and care for the heather plant in your own home garden.

Preparing to Plant Heather

The heather plant prefers moist, mildly acidic, nutrient poor soil that drains well. The heather plant requires full sun to thrive. It is important to provide Heather with adequate growing space as it can reach a foot high and a foot and a half across.

Planting Heather

To plant heather, locate an appropriate site and plant heather in moist but not soggy soil. Water thoroughly after planting but do not fertilize. Provide an extra protective layer of mulching to hold in moisture. Water heather plants frequently thereafter as they grow.

Caring for Heather

Heather is considered a very easy to grow and care for plant and will do well with a minimal amount of maintenance care. Watering and pruning are the two most important components of Heather care. Heather blooms from late summer through mid-winter and pruning or shearing can be done twice annually: in the early spring to remove winter damage, and again in the fall after bloom season has peaked.

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