Heather

Heathers bring life to any garden. It offers year-round colour and low maintenance year after year. Their blooms last for months before they start to fade and they are beautiful plants to look at even when they are not in bloom.

When people talk about heathers they are usually talking about two different but very similar families of plants. These are heaths and heather or the Calluna and Erica genus of the Ericaceae family. For practical purposes, they are almost identical. They are all evergreen, well-behaved and low- maintenance plants that work well in almost any garden.

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When should it be grown?

  • The best time to plant heathers is in the autumn. Soak the plant before planting and keep well watered for the few months until they are established.
  • Plant deeply with the lower foliage resting on the soil surface
  • If you have a clay soil, dig in some peat first – this will make it easier for the heather’s fine rout system to penetrate the soil.
  • Plant in a sunny position. Heathers look well planted in groups of 4-5 plants per square metre.
  • Annual pruning after the flower have died is essential

Where should it be grown?

  • Heathers will grow in almost any soil except very alkaline soils. They love acidic soil conditions and will tolerate poor and rocky soil. They’ll thrive along coastal hillsides where not much else will grow.

Are there any particular varieties that are most suitable in Ireland?

  • No 

Any other additional tips

  • Heathers need minimal pruning. Lightly trim winter-flowering varieties in April after they have finished flowering. Prune summer-flowering varieties at the same time. When pruning, follow the contours of the plant, cutting back to just beneath the spent flowers.
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