Heather – how to arrange it in your garden?

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The beautiful flowers of heather make the plants attract the attention of people who want their garden to be stunning. It is worth knowing that the size and form of the shrub are not uniform. 

A not inconsiderable advantage of specimens from the heather family Ericaceae is the attractive, variable foliage. The form depends on the type of shrub planted and its age. Many varieties of plants offer variable, magnificent and colorful foliage at different times of the year. What is worth knowing about heather, how to arrange it in your garden? You will find out from us.

In what conditions does the plant feel best?

At the very beginning it is necessary to find out how to take care of heather. The most common variety chosen for the garden is Calluna vulgaris. The flower of the plant appears in mid-summer and delights with its charm until mid-autumn. An important point in the context of the proper development of heather is that it should not be undercut.

The plant develops best in USDA zones 4 to 6-7. This makes it ideal for growing in our climate region. Problems with the proper development of heather can occur in warmer countries. 

Planting heather – basic information

Seedlings should be placed in larger boxes or containers with holes through which water can flow. The ground can also be littered with bark from coniferous trees or non-woven fabric.

In terms of the depth of the containers – use the same one that was used in the nursery or the original growing site. Heather grows best on a substrate with an acidic pH. Ready-made soil can be purchased from a garden store.

Soil characteristics and the correct development of the plant

If someone wants to prepare the substrate himself, then he should mix acid peat with garden soil, maintaining a ratio of 3 to 1. 

To improve the mixture, one can add a mycorrhizal vaccine or coniferous forest soil to the soil. This will allow to obtain growth conditions with characteristics similar to natural natural circumstances. 

The whole should be topped with a drainage of several centimeters and (optionally) add sand, which will positively affect the permeability of the substrate. Similar principles should be applied when growing heather directly in the ground.

Incorporating heather into arrangements in the garden

Heather will go well with plants whose flowers/fruits have dark green, purple-blue, white, yellow, pink, blue or red or orange colors. Which specimens are worth looking at?

Hydrangeas can be added to the heather. Bouquet and garden varieties will work well. They can be up to 2.5 meters high, and they bloom all summer. Their flowers can be white, pink, purple or blue. 

Also worth noting are rhododendrons, which can be up to several meters tall. Their flowering is from May to the end of June. Depending on the type, the plant can be white, yellow, pink, orange or red.

To beautify the garden arrangement, it is often supplemented with Korean fir. With its dense, dark green needles and purple-blue cones, the plant perfectly harmonizes with heather.

Gardeners can also opt for perennials. Small-leaved acena, peach bellflower and dotted carnation stand out for their colors, as well as their texture – fluffy in the case of acena. This also makes them a striking addition to heather in the garden.

main photo: unsplash.com/Luiza Sayfullina

Peter Bowers

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