Heather, sung in legends…


My first encounter with heather happened in a nearby forest in the spring.

For some reason, I decided that low bushes with fir-tree branches are a juniper variety unknown to me. I dug, transplanted and … the bush quietly withered.

And only in the fall I met the same plant, but already on sale. A blooming dark pink bush «lived» in a container and was carefully transplanted by me into the prepared soil. From the seller, I also learned the name — heather.

It is interesting that in itself the flowering of heather in nature is very modest: a lot of small flowers in white and pink tones, arranged in a spikelet in the middle of the leaves on a long twig.

Thanks to the efforts of breeders (and they bred about 500 varieties), red, yellow and purple appeared in the flower range, and the flowers themselves became double.

The color of the leaves also acquired an unexpected sound. The most common is green, but there are varieties with gold, ocher, bronze, red, salad and smoky blue leaves. When they are all connected in one landscape, it resembles an artist’s palette.

Heather grows in open sunny areas among conifers, on mountain slopes and in wastelands. In the English version of the name of this plant «Heath» there is another meaning — «wasteland».

Contrary to its unpretentiousness in the natural environment, in the garden they choose sunny or semi-shaded places for it, but not necessarily too windy, where the soil is not prone to drying out.

Heather lives up to 45 years. This is quite a decent age for a semi-shrub. During this period, it grows over a vast territory.

This plant is evergreen, winters well, but in harsh and snowless winters it needs shelter with spruce branches.

I don’t know if heather can be called an aggressive plant, but where it has grown, nothing else grows. Well, maybe mushrooms… White 🙂 By the way, to improve the composition of the soil for heather, mycelium of mushrooms is added to it.


In nature, there is only one type of heather — ordinary, and even very similar to it, erica.

heather (Calluna vulgaris)

  • Habitat: Europe, Siberia, North America, Morocco.
  • flowering period: September October.
  • Color spectrum: in nature white, pink, purple — flowers, green — leaves; there is no blue heather in the selection 🙂
  • Height: from 30 cm to 1 m.
  • growing conditions: sun, drained acidic soils, naturally grows in peat bogs and coniferous forests, loves moisture, but does not tolerate its stagnation.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen perennial shrub, magnificent honey plant, medicinal plant.

In order for the heather bush to retain its attractive shape and bloom more magnificently in early spring, it is cut. Pruning is done above the lignified part so that the tip of the cut branch remains green. Otherwise, it will not give new growth and will dry out.

Heather should not be cut at the same level — each branch is shortened individually to preserve the natural outline of the plant.

In the first two years of growth, pruning of the semi-shrub is done as sparingly as possible — only the tips of the branches.

Heather loves bathing in light rain. They do the sprinkling procedure for the night, choose a fine-dispersed spray nozzle.

Water for irrigation should only be soft, otherwise the heather will die. You can soften hard water like this: add 2-3 g of citric acid per 10 liters.

A thick layer of wood chip mulch will help keep the soil from drying out.


From heather of different varieties, designers create entire landscapes that are not inferior to flower beds in the variety of colors. They are also called heathers or heather gardens. To form a continuous cover, heather bushes are planted at the rate of 6 pieces per square meter.

The different height of each variety allows you to change the terrain format from flat to «hilly».

Given the similarity of conditions for growing heather, they are planted in compositions with conifers.


The best partners of heather in the garden will be evergreens and stones.

Heathers with green leaves are most suitable for gray stones, up to granite, and for colored varieties, those that harmonize in color.

Coniferous plants in the heather garden are chosen slowly growing, undersized.

Weeping forms of crowns and twisted skeletons will add mystery to the heath. For example, spruce varieties Froburg, Inversa, Bialobok, Tompa, etc., common juniper Horstman, nutkan cypress. Also, Canadian spruce Konika, yew berry, Nana fir, white pine, Himalayan, etc. are added to the heather company.

Tall cereals will also serve as vertical accents.


Heather can be propagated in three ways: seeds, air layering.

The most optimal is the rooting of layering. I’ll start with him. In nature, the heather bush spreads to the sides due to the lower branches, which, with prolonged contact with the ground, take root and form a new bush.

In horticulture, this process is taken under control and only two or three branches are allowed to take root, so as not to deplete the mother bush. The branch is pinned to the ground in early spring, on its lower part at the point of contact with the ground, an oblique incision is made and treated with Kornevin.

After two and a half months, she is ready to grow on her own. But they separate it from the bush only next spring for two reasons: young roots need to get stronger and the best time for transplantation is the beginning of spring.

As you can see, the process is long and for the scale of a personal economy.

In nurseries, heather is propagated by cuttings.

You can buy a change of heather and germinate them. This is troublesome and will require certain conditions: constant humidity, lack of drafts and partial shade. Seeds are spread over the surface of moistened earth and cover the container with glass. It will take about a month for the sprouts to appear.

Transplanting heather is the most crucial moment. The landing site is prepared as follows: they dig a hole 30 cm deep and at least 40 in diameter. A drainage layer and a pre-prepared mixture of peat, sand, coniferous litter (2: 1: 1) are poured into it.

The root system is immersed in the soil to the level of the root collar (important!), Watered and sprinkled with peat mixture.

If you bought heather in a container, then do not delay the transplant date. In order for the plant to «understand» that it can start growing, the lump is first placed in a container with water in order to free it from the remnants of the greenhouse substrate and straighten the roots. After this procedure, the plant is ready for planting.

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The comfort of living in the house largely depends on: from its layout location on site, from a well-thought-out construction technology and communication network. It is most reasonable to entrust the settlement and documentary part of the project of a private house to a specialist architect.

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