Common heather: features of planting and care

Common heather: features of planting and care

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Common Heather (Callúna vulgáris) - a plant belonging to the genus Heather (Calluna Salisb.) And the Heather family. Garden heather is a popular and fairly common shrub, often grown in the urban landscape and in the country.

Description of common heather

In our country, a wild heather bush is a plant that is often found in the European part, as well as in the west and east of Siberia, where it forms vast thickets called heathlands. The evergreen has a highly branching stem part. The foliage is quite small, trihedral, without a petiole.

Small flowers in an amount of from five to several dozen are combined into inflorescences of a racemose or umbellate type. Blooming attractive, purple-pink flowers. Reproduction is mainly seed. It is important to notethat even blooming heather perfectly takes root in the garden, does not require special care, has drought tolerance and grows well in the shade, which allows you to plant it as an unpretentious decorative-flowering plant in areas unsuitable for growing other crops.

Other plant species

Almost all groups and varieties related to common heather are characterized by absolute unpretentiousness and high decorativeness, which makes this plant very popular and in demand in modern landscape design. Currently, there are about three hundred varieties of heather, which differ in height, aerial parts, as well as the shape and coloring of foliage and flowers.


Grade name

Description of the aboveground part

Flowering characteristic

Varietal Features

With green foliage


The height does not exceed 60 cm. The average diameter of the crown is within 50 cm. The foliage is dark green, scaly

Flowering from late July to the last decade of October. Flowers are simple, shiny, carmine red, collected in long inflorescences.

Good winter hardiness


Height not more than 35-45 cm, has a rounded crown with dark brown, small leaves

Simple flowers of violet-pink color, on relatively

long peduncles.

Relatively winter hardy

White-flowered heather


A straight-growing plant with a height of not more than 40 cm with branches of the ascending type. The diameter of the crown does not exceed 50-60 cm.

Thick brushes composed of attractive white-stained flowers

Relatively winter hardy


The aerial part is spherical in shape, with a height of not more than 25-30 cm with a crown diameter of up to 40 cm.

Flowering is relatively long, creamy buds, flowers of a dark red hue

Saturated dark green foliage

With silver foliage

"Silver night"

The trunk is not more than 30 cm high, the diameter of the compact pillow-shaped crown is not more than 45 cm. The foliage is silver-gray, with a burgundy hue in winter

Flowering with simple, lilac or light purple flowers in long inflorescences

Relatively winter hardy

Peter Sparks

No more than 50 cm high with an oval crown up to 60 cm in diameter. The foliage is small, scaly, dark green or grayish green

Terry flowers of dark pink color, collected in thick and long inflorescences.

It is characterized by moderate winter hardiness.

With golden foliage

"Andrew Proudley"

A low-growing bush plant with a very compact crown and wide, ascending-type branches. Orange foliage with a bronze tint in late autumn

Small flowers are pink in color and gather in fairly loose, medium-sized inflorescences.

Used as a ground cover


Height is not more than 40 cm, with a compact crown diameter of 50 cm. Foliage in autumn is copper-red

The simple type of flowers have a pink-purple color and are combined into shortened and not very branched inflorescences.

It is characterized by moderate winter hardiness.

Terry-flowered heather

"Autumn Glow"

The spreading aerial part is not higher than 30 cm with a crown diameter of not more than 40-45 cm. The foliage is dark green.

Corymbose dense inflorescences consist of terry flowers of light lilac-lilac staining

Branches rise at the ends


A wide and spreading bushy plant with a height of not more than 50-55 cm and a crown diameter of not more than 80 cm. The foliage is dark green in color, with a grayish bloom in winter

Very large, reddish-pink double flowers gather in dense brushes

It has powerful, widely ascending branches.

With bud-like flowers

"David Isson"

Low-growing bush with a spherical crown with a diameter of not more than 20-25 cm. Foliage of dark green staining

Mauve flowers form short racemose inflorescences

It has numerous ascending branches.


The bush does not exceed 30 cm in height, and the crown diameter is not more than 45-50 cm. The foliage is small, dark green

The flowers are bright purple or lilac pink.

The buds do not open fully

Photo gallery

Signs and superstitions

In our country, it is believed that white heathers are symbols of love, hope and kindness. It is white-flowered varieties that are preferable to grow in a private landscape. BUT in Sweden heathers are forbidden flowers, and it is believed that this shrub plant attracts death to the house.

Useful properties of heather

About the benefits of heather

Common heather is characterized by the presence of beneficial properties in all parts. Foliage is rich:

  • Glycosides;
  • Flavonoids;
  • Alkaloids;
  • Phenols;
  • Phenol carboxylic acid;
  • Coumarin;
  • Catechin;
  • Citric and fumaric acids;
  • Tannins;
  • Gum;
  • Saponin;
  • Starch;
  • Resin.

The stem part of the plant contains leukoanthocyanidins that can reduce the level of permeability of the walls of the capillaries. The root system and shoots contain protoanthocyanidins, which have a powerful antioxidant effect. In the flowers there is a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals, as well as steroids and pigments.

The healing properties of the plant

A large number of therapeutic properties of common heather is widely used not only in folk, but also in traditional medicine, due to the following properties:

  • Cleanser
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Disinfectant
  • Wound Healing
  • Expectorant
  • Soothing
  • Astringent
  • Hemostatic

The use of heather ordinary in the following diseases:

  • Cholecystitis;
  • Gout;
  • Diseases of the gastric and intestinal tract;
  • Inflammatory processes of the mucosa;
  • Stones and sand in the kidneys;
  • Exacerbation and unstable remission of pyelonephritis;
  • Exacerbation of cystitis;
  • Diseases of the prostate gland.

Heather tea has a diaphoretic, calming property, and also promotes sputum discharge for colds and pulmonary diseases. High efficiency is noted as a diuretic and in purulent inflammatory processes in the organs of urination.

How to plant heather

Preparation and use of heather honey

Traditionally heather honey is used in the preparation of meat dishes. Despite the fact that this honey looks like any other flower honey, the high content of vitamins and minerals allows it to be classified as highly useful beekeeping products. One tablespoon of such honey contains about 110-111 Kcal, and a teaspoon contains about 36-37 Kcal. Indications for use:

  • heartburn, diarrhea and loss of appetite;
  • cleansing wound surfaces;
  • bronchial asthma;
  • diseases of the gastric mucosa;
  • intestinal disorders;
  • bladder and kidney disease;
  • stress and insomnia;
  • neurasthenia and irritability
  • rheumatism;
  • gout.

Heather honey is used not only inside, but is also widely used for external use.

Features of planting and care in the open ground

Planting heather of any variety in the open ground is carried out in accordance with the following technology for growing decorative crops:

  • it is preferable to set aside areas represented by peat and mixed sandy soils, but the plant is unpretentious, therefore it grows well also on poor, not very fertilized and acidified, but quite loose soils;
  • it is best to plant seedlings in the spring, on quickly drying and sunny areas without excessive moisture, without deepening the root neck;
  • after planting, the plant needs abundant watering and mulching of the soil in the near-stem circle.

Recently planted plants need to be watered with a little acidified water a couple of times a week. Culture does not need top dressing. After the buds open in the spring, pruning is performed. For winter, shelter with fir spruce branches may be required.

Use cases in garden decor and rules for combining with plants

Heather is very often used by landscape designers as a complement to other decorative cultures., and as the basis for a decorative undersized composition. A feature of many varieties is the presence of leaves of unusual reddish, golden and silver-gray staining, so the plant retains its decorativeness throughout the season.

Variety variety allows you to successfully combine this decorative culture with other plants, creating an attractive garden decor of different flowering periods. Heather harmoniously combines with flowering and ornamental-deciduous crops, as well as complements conifers. Especially popular is the culture of oriental dwarf gardens.

Why do heathers dry?

In order to grow a beautifully flowering and decorative heather, the plant must be properly looked after at all stages of growth and development, watering and feeding, as well as timely treatment of plant parasites and diseases.

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