The Heather plants are actually a low maintenance, drought-tolerant plants and they are also hardy-winter plants. The Heather plants are easy to grow and they feature a wonderful colorful flower year-round. Continue reading to learn how to grow heather plants in pots.


Heather Plant Info

Family member: Heather belongs to Ericaceae family

USDA Plant Zones: four through nine

Blooming color: The blooming colors are pink, white, purple and red

Plant height: four inches to two feet


How to Care for Heather in Pots

There are actually about five hundred varieties of heather, low growing bushes and shrubs. These varieties differ not only in height but in size and colors of flowers and foliage.


Different Types of Heather

Anne sparks variety: Anne sparks variety features beautiful pink flowers and distinctive needle-like, bronzy-red foliage. This variety of heather blooms between January and May and it can grow up to 6 inches high. 

Dark beauty variety: The Dark beauty is also known as Calluna vulgaris. The Dark Beauty boasts semi-double flowers and dark green foliage. The Dark beauty variety is very easy to maintain and it prefers moist, well-draining soil.

December red variety: This particular variety of heather is very easy to grow and it also produces nectar that attracts bees in winter. It actually blooms between early to late winter and it also flowers stunning urn-shaped flowers.

Firefly variety: The Firefly variety is a recipient of many international flower awards including the Award of Garden Merit from Royal Horticultural Society. The Firefly variety is also one of the most attractive heather varieties and it performs best in moist, well-drained soil. The Firefly is also known as Scottish Heather and it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Foxhollow variety: This particular variety of heather is perfect for rock gardens and it flowers from December to April. The variety depicts golden-colored foliage and bell-shaped beautiful pink flowers. The Foxhollow heather actually prefers full sun and acidic, moist, well-drained soil to grow very well.

Ice Princess variety: This particular variety of heather is another award-winning heather featuring urn-shaped and delightful white flowers. The Ice Princess variety is easy to grow and it also performs best in sandy, acidic, and well-drained soils. The Ice Princess variety flowers from February till April. 


Heather Requirements and Planting

The heathers plants can be planted at the same depth as you had bought them from the nursery. The Heather plant should not be planted too deep to avoid root rot. Also, too shallow planting is not good as well.

Pot requirements: Make sure you plant them in a large, wide pot, one size bigger than the previous one with good drainage holes in the bottom.

Soil requirements: This plant actually has specific soil requirements to grow healthily in a pot. The plant likes highly acidic soil with a pH level of around 4.5-6. You will actually need different soil for the plant, you can either buy an ericaceous potting mix or you can easily make your own by adding half (50%) of peat moss, 20% of perlite, and 10% each of garden soil, sand and compost or farm manure.

Sun requirements: The Heather plant actually loves the sun but they need to be sheltered from strong winds. Make sure you keep your potted heather in a less windy and sunny spot. Nevertheless, you can easily grow this plant in partial sun.

Planting Heather: The heather plants will look best if they are actually planted with other flowers. You can plant your heather with other plants that belong to the same heather family (eg. azaleas and Rhododendrons). You can also grow your heather plants with hydrangeas as both of these plants prefer acidic soil.


How to Care for Heather in Pots

Water requirement: Water your plant when the top two-inch layer of soil is dry. Don’t allow the soil dry out completely, otherwise, your heather plant will lose buds and leaves. When watering your plant, do not spill water on the leaves, this can easily promotes fungal diseases.

Fertilizer requirement: Heather plants do not actually need much fertilizer. However, you can fertilize your heather plant with rhododendron fertilizer. Heather plants are very sensitive to over-fertilization, just make sure you follow the fertilizer package’s instruction to avoid over-fertilization.

Pruning heather: Pruning the plant is necessary and this should be done in spring as it makes the plant bushier and abundant flowering shrub.

Overwintering heathers: Make sure that your potted heather plants are adequately protected from frost. Heather plants are quite sensitive to frost. Before winter, make sure your plant is transplanted into a large pot and properly insulated. For this, cover the pot with polystyrene foam (also from the bottom), and also mulch the Heather plant heavily with straws. The smaller pots can be easily taken indoors and grown under grow light. 

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