Heather plant care: practical guide with tips

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Heather (some specific species are of the genus Calluna and gender Erica, What Calluna vulgaris or Erich arborea) It is one of the most common decorative plants in many gardens, although it is in fact a perennial shrub. It can be found planted directly in the ground or in a pot and, depending on the case, it will be necessary to apply some care or others. In general, we can consider that it is an easy plant to care for, that it does not require special or different attention to most decorative plants and that, therefore, it is easy to make it look strong and healthy. However, if you want to be completely sure that the heather has everything it needs to develop correctly, keep reading Green Ecologist and we will tell you the heather care most important and specific that you have to take into account.

Heather care in winter outdoors

When this evergreen shrub If you are outside in cold weather, a number of important factors must be taken into account when heather care in winter outdoors:


In the first place, it must be borne in mind that the heather or Erica it is a plant that needs plenty of sun. Therefore, it should always be located in areas where it receives abundant light, at least 8 hours of light a day. This can be a bit more complicated in winter, when the hours of sunshine per day are shorter. Therefore, it is important that we position it in a place where it receives abundant light.


Heather is a plant that needs a warm temperature. In general, the perfect thing will be that it is between 14ºC and 25ºC. In any case, it will not tolerate frost properly, so very harsh winters can put its survival at risk. If this is the case, it is best to protect it with a transparent plastic blanket during the colder months.


Likewise, another aspect that must be taken into account regarding the heather care in winter It will be that it does not tolerate excess water well in the roots, which does not mean that the soil has to be dry. In fact, it is important to ensure that the soil is moist, but always avoid over-watering the soil. If this happens, the most probable thing is that it can suffer the attack of fungi in the roots, especially in winter, so it will be necessary to be attentive to its good condition and correctly regulate the irrigation according to this. Also, it would not hurt to apply an antifungal to the ground during the fall and winter months. Preferably an ecological antifungal, formulated from natural minerals that repel the action of fungi without damaging or modifying the soil.

If you like to have flowers outdoors even in winter, then the variety of this shrubby plant that we recommend is the Erica herbaceous, known as winter heather, winter flowering heather or spring heather. Learn more Winter plants with flowers for outdoors in this other Green Ecologist article.

Heather care in summer outdoors

On the contrary, when summer arrives, the most important care for this shrub will revolve around the possible lack of water. These are the main care of heather in summer:


As we have mentioned, heather is a plant that needs abundant light, so summer is going to be an appropriate time for this plant. However, it is also necessary that the soil remains moist at all times, and this is where we will have to focus our attention when it comes to caring for the heather or Erica in summer outdoors.


Although it does not pose the same risk as during the winter months, it is important to avoid waterlogging the soil of the heather so that the roots do not rot and that fungi cannot appear. However, given that in summer the evaporation of soil moisture will be considerably greater, it is essential that watering is carried out whenever necessary, and always preventing the soil from drying out. In this sense, the most recommended irrigation will be the drip irrigation, since it avoids depositing too much water on the ground while allowing it to be applied just in the amount and in the area where it is needed.

Compost and flowering

In late summer, it is advisable to apply a small amount of fertilizer rich in phosphorus. This will allow the following year the flowering of the heather to be more powerful and the development of the plant to take place in a healthier and stronger way.

Indoor potted heather care

Although heather is a preeminently outdoor plant, it can also be grown in a pot and kept indoors. If you decide to have this plant like this in your home, follow these Tips on caring for potted heather indoors:


As mentioned, heather is a plant that requires abundant light. Therefore, unless it is a specific variety that better tolerates indoor environments, when you have heather in a pot indoors it is very important that it is placed near a window or light source as abundant as possible.

Substrate or soil

Likewise, another factor that must be taken into account when having a potted heather plant and indoors is that the substrate used will have to be the most suitable for the plant, since its ability to spread its roots will be more limited than if it were planted directly in the ground. In the case of heather, they are recommended slightly acidic substrates. In all cases, which have a pH lower than 7. For this, it will be enough to ask for this type of substrates in gardening stores.


Finally, another care for potted heather indoors that we cannot neglect is watering. Here the same thing will happen that happened with the heather or Ericas planted in the ground. Too much water will cause the roots to rot, while too little can cause the heather to dry out. Therefore, it is essential to be very aware of the humidity of the substrate at all times. In addition, it is also essential that water is prevented from accumulating in the bottom plate of the pot, as it will be the main way to cause the roots to rot in the case of a potted heather. Instead it will be better water it little by little quite regularly and, whenever it is done, remove the excess water that drains through the lower holes of the pot and remains on the plate.

Meaning of heather or Ericas

The word heather has its origin in the Celtic word "Vroikos", which means "to adorn, clean or beautify."

The flowers of the heather have a meaning linked to beauty and good luck. In addition, they also symbolize protection, admiration and loneliness. This is a general meaning, but depending on the color of the flower the meaning may vary. For one thing, purple heather flowers are more related to beauty, admiration and loneliness and, on the other hand, pink heather flowers are more associated with good luck and white and yellow with the protection.

Where to buy the heather plant

If you liked this plant and now you want to buy it to add it to your balcony, terrace, garden or land, you can go to different places.

For buy heather plant You can go to florists, nurseries, specialized gardening stores (even large sites dedicated to the outdoors, both for plants and for furniture and decoration), as well as online stores.

If you want to read more articles similar to Heather plant: care, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

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