Garden flowers

Summer heather and winter heather


One blooms until November, the other takes over: calluna and erica heather provide a floral carpet for much of the year.

Read also :

  • Summer: maintain your calluna heather well
  • Winter: take good care of your erica heather

Calluna, summer heather

Easy, almost maintenance-free, common heather (calluna vulgaris) flowers from July to November depending on the species. Naturally present in the moors, its flowers in warm colors (purple, white, lilac, all shades of pink) evoke Scottish nature and give the garden a wild charm.

In an upholstery form, culminating at 20 cm in height, the calluna makes an excellent ground cover. Plant it in groups, leaving 30 cm of space between each foot to compose a monochrome rug or, alternating colors, a floral patchwork that will last for more than two months.

A plant of acidic soil, summer heather tolerates neutral soils but does not like stagnant moisture. Install it in partial shade in well-drained soil or in a planter. Maintenance is almost non-existent: just cut off the dry parts to the brim at the end of winter.

  • To read: maintain your calluna heather

Erica, winter heather

Coming from the Alps, theerica carnea, one of the winter heather, is a frost-free species that blooms from November to May, its white, pink or red flowers braving the winter cold. Even the snow does not frighten them!

Like its summer cousin, it likes light, well-drained soils, preferably neutral to acidic, but tolerates slightly calcareous soils. Then bring a little potting soil or peat in the planting hole. The first year, cover the base with mulch of crushed plants or flax flakes to keep the roots cool. Water in case of drought.

Do not hesitate to plant it in a planter to flower your windows in the cold season. Combine it with cyclamen flowers (to be protected under a bell at night), pink pernettya berries, green ivy leaves ... If your water is hard, add a little vinegar or use rain water for watering, in order to avoid yellowing of the foliage.

  • To read: maintain your heather erica

Laure Hamann

Photo credits: Truffaut, The plant of the month

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