Heathers are very popular plants but Growing Heather in pots seems difficult because of their specific requirements and caring. But in this article everything is explained you’ll need to learn to grow heather.
USDA Zones — 4 to 9
Propagation — cutting, layering, seeds
Difficulty — Hard
Bloom Color — White, pink, purple and red
Height — 4 inch to 2 feet
There are 500+ varieties of heather – low growing bushes and shrubs, they differ not only in height but in size and colors of flowers and foliage.
Buy dwarf variety of heather for planting in container.
Requirements and Planting
Plant heathers at the same depth when you had bought them from nursery or only as deep as the plant’s root ball would only be covered in soil. Heather should not be planted too deep to avoid root rot. Too shallow planting is not good as well.
Plant them in a large, wide pot, one size bigger than the previous one with good drainage holes in the bottom.
Heather has specific soil requirements to grow healthily in a pot. It likes highly acidic soil with pH level around 4.5-6. You’ll need different soil for heather, either buy ericaceous potting mix or 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.
Heather loves sun but they needs to be sheltered from strong winds. Keep your potted heather in less windy and sunny spot. However you can grow this plant in partial sun.
Heather looks best when they are planted with other flowers. You can plant it with other plants belong to the same heather family (eg. Rhododendrons and azaleas). You can also grow this with hydrangeas as both of these plants prefer acidic soil.
Heather Care in Pots
Water when top two inch layer of soil is dry. Do not let the soil dry out completely, otherwise plant will lose buds and leaves. When watering, remember not to spill water on leaves, it promotes fungal diseases.
Heather does not need much fertilizer. However, you can fertilize heather with rhododendron fertilizer. Heathers are very sensitive to over-fertilization, make sure to follow fertilizer package’s instruction to avoid over-fertilization.
Pruning is necessary and should be done in spring as it makes heather bushier and abundant flowering shrub.
Ensure that your potted heathers are adequately protected from frost. Heathers are quite sensitive to frost. Before winter these must be transplanted into a large pot and properly insulated. For this, cover the pot with polystyrene foam (also from the bottom), and mulch the plant heavily with straws. Smaller pots can be taken indoors and grown under grow light.