Care & Cultivation Guide: Heathers

Hardy and adaptable, heathers and heaths provide colour and interest for twelve months of the year. they are at their best when grown en masse at 5 plants per square metre but their range and adaptability provides much versatility. They can be grown individually, such as a tree heath, in small groups, in pots and containers and even as an integral part of winter hanging baskets and bedding displays.

TYPE OF SOIL: Heathers need a humus-rich, well-drained soil. Summer and autumn flowering heathers such as Calluna, Daboecia, Erica cinerea, Erica vagans must be grown in a LIME-FREE soil or, if grown in pots, ericaceous compost. If you have plants such as Rhododendron, Azalea, Camellia or Pieris growing in your garden then this is a good indicator you have a lime-free soil. Winter flowering heaths such as Erica carnea and Erica x darleyensis are LIME TOLERANT and will grow in most soils. If in doubt about your soils pH, a simple, low cost, easy to use test kit can be used.

WHERE TO PLANT: Heathers will grow in full sun or semi-shaded areas. Golden foliage varieties produce their best colour in full sun.

HOW TO PLANT: Dig a hole sufficiently large to enable you to mix 50% composted bark with the soil and plant so the base of the foliage just nestles on the soil. Water immediately after planting.

MAINTENANCE: Heathers and heaths are very low maintenance plants. Immediately after flowering, trim off all dead flower heads to the base of the flower. Feed in spring with an acid (ericaceous) plant food such as Vitax Azalea, Rhododendron & Shrub Fertiliser or Scotts Miracle-Gro Ericaceous Plant Food. 

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given both on our lists and labels. However, some details may vary according to special or geographical circumstances. Varieties offered are subject to availability.

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