Heather and how to care for it?

I have had some heathers in my front borders for a number of years and they have never really done any good, the border is damp and shady so I don't know whether those are the conditions they like.  Where can I move them and also what do I need to do if anything to them once planted? Cut back?  Feed?


  • CharleyDCharleyD Posts: 440

    Hi Tina.  I've got no personal experience with heathers but I'm just about to purchase some summer flowering ones.  Not sure if this is any help, but this is what I'll be following when I receive the plants - J Parkers website says:-

    They thrive in sunny, well drained positions in lime free soil, though they will also do well in partial shaded areas. Plant 30-45cm apart to give ground cover within three year s.

    Cultural Instructions Use plenty of peat when planting and plant deep with the flower foliage firmly on the soil. In the first season after planting do not allow the plants to dry out. Also avoid fertilising as this could be damaging, though once established the plants will react to natural fertiliser well, such as manure or hoof and horn.
  • I have had several heathers in my garden for many years.  I believe they prefer ericacious compost (they  grow on healthlands in the wild which are usually very acidic).  I incorporate the E compost into the soil before planting and then give them a mulch of same every two or a three years.  The main thing about heathers is to always give them a good "hair cut" after they have flowered otherwise they become ragged and untidy. Cut them back to just below where they flowered (the seeds remain)  with scissors if the plants are small or with shears as they get bigger.  Good luck! Lovely plantsimage 

  • Are they spring or summer flowering? Spring flowering heathers (Erica) arnt as needy for acid soil where as the summer flowering heathers (Calluna) are a bit more dependant. However i expect the reason why they arnt looking there best would be because of where they are planted. Heathers grow well in exposed sites in full sun and good draining soil

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