Heaths and Heathers are the low maintenance workhorses of the garden. Given the right care and location, these plants will reward you with years of attractive foliage, bright bell shaped flowers and very little maintenance work to keep them looking good. Flowers are commonly available in white, pink, dark pink and nearly red.
Heaths and Heathers come in several different genus and species. The most commonly available in the garden centre are:
Calluna vulgaris - Summer Flowering Heather
A versatile plant that tolerates a wider variety of conditions than the other heaths or heathers. Flowers from summer through fall.
Erica cinerea - Bell Heath
A dense mat-forming, low growing plant that flowers in summer through fall.
Daboecia - Connemara Heather
A low growing plants with large, bell-like flowers that bloom from late may through early fall.
Erica arborea - Tree Heath
The largest of the heathers, really a tall shrub. It is typicaly blessed with pinky white flowers. Flowers in late spring to early summer.
Erica carnea- Heath
Low growing winter flowering plants
Erica x darleyensis - Winter Flowering Heath
Winter flowering varieties with a low bushy habit.
Exposure / Light
Most Calluna and Erica plants require full sun to form healthy strong plants. Calluna vulgaris is more tolerant of shade than the other varieties.
Soil / Moisture
Heaths and Heathers require moist, but well drained soils. They do not like to sit in standing water as they are very shallow rooted. As such, they are also very susceptible to drying out in the warm summer season. Water them frequently when it is hot. A layer of mulch is beneficial to moderate temperature. soil for Heaths and Heathers should also be acidic. If unsure, amend your existing soil with Peat Moss.
Except for Calluna vulgaris, all heathers are generally pruned after flowering. When pruning, avoid cutting into the woody stems, rather stay in the newer greener foliage otherwise the plant may not come back from that area. A light trim each year is far better than neglecting a plant for several years and then pruning hard.
Calluna vulgaris can be pruned in very early spring to create a nice tidy plant for summer.
For More Information
Arts Nursery stocks a large and diverse variety of Heaths and Heathers throughout the year. If you have any questions about these plants, visit Arts Nursery or call us at 604.882.1201