Heather and Heath

Heathers and heaths are beautiful plants that properly selected can enjoy their beauty by the vast majority of the year. With a little effort, you can create a unique flower bed. A multitude of varieties, and in the case of the heath species causes it possible to choose plants for every garden and every taste. Please note that all the recommendations relate to the climate of Central Europe.

Heathers and heaths

Heathers and heaths are small shrubs, and sometimes large shrubs occurring in almost every part of Europe and many parts of the world. The diversity of these plants is huge, but the average heather is associated with clearing in the forest of pine, sand, heat and purple. Sometimes there is a surprise to some as large variety of colors and conformation shrubs is found in this group of plants.

The difference between the heather and heath

Probably the most common question that can be heard talking about heather and heaths whether they are different. Many people do not see the difference whereas it is quite large. It’s almost like spruce and pine rhododendron and azalea or. Although it depends also on the species of briar, because those are pretty much. The easiest way, however, the difference is to observe during the time of flowering. Heaths usually bloom in the spring, and some throughout the summer. Meanwhile, heathers bloom from mid-summer to late autumn, and some maintain flowers for winter. However, the requirements of both ericaceous are so similar that they can be combined to provide the blooming almost all year round.


One of the most frequently stereotypes occurring heather or heath, is that these plants feel well in shade or semi-shade. This is harmful misunderstanding. Under such conditions, the plants will quickly get sick, they will flourish in a way that is not abundant and grew slowly. The best conditions we can provide them with preparing a sunny position, but sheltered from strong winds. South exhibition house, flower bed in front of the south terrace is an ideal position. If you are not sure whether the position meets well the requirements of plants, it is worth to planted in that place a few shrubs to observe their growth. If plants are growing well and healthy in the flowering period were give a flower, you can be sure that the moor in a given place will reward outstanding beauty. Although heaths also like full sun, however some species can tolerate partial shade.


Heathers and heaths like a very similar ground, although heaths are less resistant to drought is frost, while heathers much less tolerate excessive soil moisture and air. Suitable substrates is the light permeable soil, acidic and even very acidic In order to prepare the ground on their own first look at the future position, and check the soil. heather In most cases this will be a rather loose soil, consistency. In such a situation, the best solution is to mix the ambient ground half and half with an acidic peat. If it turns out, however, that the garden soil is mostly clay soils, then you should ask yourself more trouble The first step is to remove about 20 cm. a substrate layer Then prepare the mixture of acid sand and peat in a ratio of 1:1. crafted substrate. shall be replaced by removed Previously clay I always want to add substrate prepared under the heather, or heaths is. Always it is worth adding compost to the ground prepared for heathers or heaths It will improve the structure of the soil, fertilize it without causing permeability reduction. To provide a better soil aqueous buffer, the amount of water retained and made available to the plants, superabsorbents can be used Some heaths, as opposed to heather, can tolerate alkaline soil (Erica carnea, x darleyensis, vagans).


A crucial growing element is the heather fertilization. When fertilizing plants please follow the some basic determinants. First of all, remember that the heathers and heaths are “acidlovers” plants. In this case, the most suitable fertilizers are those which in addition to feeding the plants, acidify the substrate. Usually you can buy fertilizers specifically designed for heather and heaths If, however, you can not get these fertilizers for azaleas or conifers can be used. Very good results is to use encapsulated fertilizers. These fertilizers granules are with such a structure that the nutrients are released slowly into the soil and intensity dependent on the humidity and temperature of the soil. Thus, the plant is supplied exactly when it needs it. It is very important to the end of July absolutely finish fertilization. Lignified plants are susceptible to frost and even suitable winter protection covering may be ineffective. In the case of encapsulated fertilizer one should pay attention to the period of the release of nutrients and choose it so that the fertilizer has stopped working at the end of July. So if they are fertilized by the beginning of April, the maximum four-month fertilizer should be used. From the end of July, the plants can be fertilized with phosphorus to enhance flowering and potassium, supporting wooden shoots.


Heaths do not require too many treatments and it is probably their biggest advantage. That’s what’s most important is trimming. Heathers produce flowers on shoots, which are devoid of not very leaves. Because of this, the flower fades and drops remaining not very attractive shoot. To avoid this, cut the stems every year just under flowers. Dwarf shrub pruning rejuvenates and improves the aesthetics, the plant becomes a compact shape. Pruning can be done by hand, but after some practice and experience grass shears or even trimmer mower can be be successfully applied. That’s what is necessary to keep in mind is the term cropping. Do not prune plants in autumn – it leaves wound, forming the so-called “ice gates”, which often exposes plants to be frozen even during mild winters. In the case of heath trimming is not necessary. First of all, because heaths produce flowers between the leaves and the flowering is not leaving leafless stem. However, if there is need for the formation of dwarf shrubs, help it in a compaction, trimming can be done. Winter-flowering heaths – for example, cut after the finished flowering in May, a summer-flowering heaths are cut with heather – around March. After cutting plants should be closely monitored depending the spring weather. If in May there will be a strong frost one should cover plants to protect them against losses. Another issue is related to the caring for covering of plants for the winter. Although it Calluna vulgaris and Erica tetralix are native species, it is not fully hardy. If snow falls in winter to the plants nothing threatens, but without snow frost is sometimes deadly. In that case cover the plants then conifer branches, or a special fabric, or the sharp frosts and lack of snow – warm fabric. As a rule, you should also keep in mind to well water the moor before winter.


Unfortunately, sometimes on the moor the disease appear. This happens mainly in situations of high plant density, or during the hot summer months but wet. The main thing is to watch that the disease does not spread. After noticing diseased canes should be removed and burned. The most common cause of problems on the moors are fungal diseases. It may happen that you will need to use chemicals in the garden. Then you need to ask for help the service of shops and garden centers asking for selection of appropriate antifungal preparations. Every time treatments using chemical protection are applied it is essential to keep indication of the manufacturer.