The heather plant is a native of the exotic lands of Scotland and Western Europe that gardeners started growing in the United States in the last century.
With over 500 recorded varietals of the heather plant to date, winter hardiness, growing preferences, and height and width at maturity can vary greatly between cultivars. The heather plant is an evergreen shrub that can produce a wide variety of foliage colors, from orange to green, and flowers coming in intense shades of purple, pink, or pure white. One unique trait of heather plants is their scale-like foliage, which are actually threaded with tiny hairs that can give the plant a grayish tinge when viewed from a distance. Learn from experts how to grow a heather plant in your own home garden or landscape setting.
Preparing to Grow a Heather Plant - As a whole, heather plants prefer access to full sunlight, soil that drains very well, and an acidic soil pH. The planting location should be examined for these three requirements prior to installing a heather plant. Adding sulfur or gypsum to the soil can aid in creating the proper acidic soil conditions for heather to flourish. Heather plants will not tolerate soggy soil or standing water well, so it can be helpful to plant in a slightly raised bed to aid with drainage.
Growing and Caring for a Heather Plant - Heather plants are most often grown from young plants rather than seeds. Many varietals will reach a maximum height of two feet and a width of three feet. Spacing should equate to estimated height and width at maturity as heather requires adequate air circulation while it grows. It shouldn't be necessary to fertilize heather as they tolerate poor soil very well. Pruning heather can be done once annually for shaping and air circulation and as needed for maintenance.