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HEATHERS - Planting and Care Guide

Scottish Heather Garden

Heathers are the ideal plants for low maintenance gardens. They will give you colour all year round with Winter / Spring and Summer/ Autumn flowering varieties as well as many different foliage colours e.g., red, orange, yellow and silver. 


Calluna vulgaris       

  • Flowering      July / October


  • Flowering       June / October

Erica Cinerea

  • Flowering       June / September

Erica Carnea

  • Flowering         December / April

 Erica Darlyenyensis

  • Flowering         January / May


Heathers look best planted in groups of 3, 5 or more of the same variety

Plant 30cm (12 ins) apart 9 plants to 1 sq metre (10.8 sq ft) for heathers in 8cm pots.  Plant 6 plants to 1 sq metre for heathers in 1 litre pots.  

Dig in some peat or ericaceous compost as you plant

Heathers prefer a sunny position although the winter flowering varieties do not mind some shade

Plant anytime although spring and autumn are best

Over the first year water if necessary to get well established plants


The most important part of keeping your heathers compact is pruning in the second half of March. Trim all the dead flower heads off all the summer and autumn flowering plants. Winter flowering heathers can be trimmed after flowering although this is not so essential as they tend not to grow so tall.

Within two years the heathers will have grown together and with proper trimming your garden will be easy kept and will have colour all year round.