Many gardeners grow heather in the open field. This is an evergreen, its planting helps to improve the site, to give the garden or (garden) a more well-groomed look. It grows well in the open field, does not require special care, so the meaning of its planting, of course, there is.
This flower, growing in open ground, can often be seen in beekeeping farms, since it is very popular with bees, and heather honey is very tasty and healthy.
When the ground is covered with moorland thickets, it seems that this is a beautiful carpet that gently sways in the wind. It looks especially picturesque when it is about the same height, and small flowers of different colors: blue, pink, purple. It has a wonderful aroma that creates a fabulous atmosphere in the garden. But most importantly, this short shrub is evergreen and blooms from early spring to late autumn. In November, when the last leaves fly off the trees, heather drives away the gloom: at the sight of its green carpet, a person realizes how beautiful his native nature is.
Common Heather: Plant Description
Probably about heather even once heard, even those who have never seen this plant. But those who once saw this plant will never confuse it with some other flowers.
The bush has the following features:
- This is a short, evergreen shrub,
- Unlike other plants does not reach up, but spreads along the groundlike a steppe waddle,
- Outwardly, it resembles a small “panicle” of green or yellow (depending on the variety) leaves, and on this “panicle” sits a lot of small flowers,
- The root consists of a large number of small roots located almost on the surface of the soil.
It can be both a wild-growing and cultivated plant. Wild growing in the steppes, both in Russia and in Western Europe. Common heather occurs in the Urals. Extensive heather steppes are in the territory of England and Scotland. Many amateur gardeners grow their own heath in their summer cottages. Since ancient times, it has been known to people as a medicinal plant and beautiful honey plant. It happens different heights. Most gardeners grow high heather, because it is easier to care for him. However, stunted, which spread along the ground, also looks very impressive.
Having planted it, gardeners get rid of weeds, because it covers the ground with a dense carpet and does not allow weeds to grow. One of the main advantages of the plant is that its flowers bloom together, and the blooming time lasts almost the entire year, except for winter. About this plant, as well as about conifers, we can fairly say: “in winter and summer in one color”. However, unlike fir trees and pines, heather pleases gardeners not with “one color”, but with a multi-colored carpet of leaves of all shades of yellow and green and pink, blue, purple, white flowers.
Planting and maintenance in the open field
Heather is a plant that loves sandy soil, because the roots of heather are located close to the surface of the earth. Landing preferably in a well-protected from the wind and a well-lit place. Do not choose to plant a place in the valley, with high humidity of the soil and air. Growing a bush out of seeds is troublesome, so experienced gardeners prefer planting seedlings.
This plant, which does not differ in particular demanding of care, it quickly adapts to any conditions.
The main activities for the care of this plant include:
- Watering. Heather requires regular watering. However, it tolerates drought well and, on the contrary, does not tolerate stagnant soil moisture,
- Spraying In the evenings, especially in the summer heat, heather, in addition to watering, is sprayed with water. Extra spraying helps the plant survive the dry days safely
- Top dressing. Heather can feed and mineral fertilizers industrial production, and divorced mullein. If the gardener chooses the second option, it is necessary to ensure that the mullein does not fall on the leaves or flowers. If fresh cow dung gets on the leaves of the plant, they will get a serious burn. Feeding is carried out as follows: bred mullein in a bucket and with the help of a small scoop they fertilize the ground. In order not to burn the leaves, you need to direct the dipper down and keep it gently, without swinging, during feeding.
- Crop. This is an optional event. But, since heather plants of the same height look prettier than a group of plants with different heights, an amateur gardener may very well prune especially prominent specimens. Then the living "carpet" will be smooth and beautiful, well-groomed appearance,
- Timely destruction of wilted, dried, deformed shoots and flowers. This also gives the “carpet” of heather a presentable appearance, and also serves as a good prevention of pests and parasites. He needs to pay special attention in late autumn, when he gradually begins to prepare for winter and does not look as elegant as in summer.
During the care of this plant should be given special attention prevention of fungal infections. They can occur even with proper care in cases where the soil and air have high humidity. It is especially susceptible to powdery mildew. As it grows in a heap, one affected plant instantly infects others, and the infection spreads rapidly. The leaves often dry out, get an unpleasant brown color, become lifeless. As soon as the gardener has noticed the signs of powdery mildew, the affected shoots should be carefully removed so as not to injure other plants and immediately burn them. For powdery mildew, spraying heather with industrial fungicides helps well.
It should be noted that the heather is affected quite rarely by pests and parasites, since the characteristic spicy scent scares off insect pests. Many amateur gardeners plant it on their site just to get rid of annoying "guests".
Useful properties of the plant Heather ordinary
Heather ordinary - this is a plant that has long been used connoisseurs of traditional medicine. Broths and infusions from it are traditionally used for the treatment of colds as a febrifuge. The use of drugs inside, prepared from dried shoots of heather, promotes perspiration. When a person sweats, the body temperature drops. Therefore, the ancient healers claimed that he banishes any fever.
Heather and heather honey are also considered powerful natural antibiotics. They successfully struggle with the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Medicines based on plants and hypertension are useful, as their use contributes to lowering blood pressure.
It also has a calming effect on the nervous system. The flower is part of soothing herbal, contributing to the restoration of power after physical and mental exhaustion.
Heather honey is also famous for its beneficial properties. It has a subtle, incomparable aroma and can be used both inwardly and outwardly (as compresses and lotions for boils and boils).
The ancient Celts considered this plant to be a magical herb and believed that one who drinks tea from dried leaves will never grow old and will be rich all the time.
Heather ordinary landscape design
Heather ordinary - this is a plant that is very popular among landscape designers. Group planting heather of different colors, but the same height look very picturesqueSuch plantings resemble a carpet.
Heather carpet with the help of trimming can be given absolutely any shape: square, circle, heart or flower. Such a group landing from a bird's eye view looks especially beautiful. You can also think over the composition in such a way that the combinations of different colors and shades look like a decorative ornament.
In order for a group landing to look well-groomed, a living “carpet” needs to be periodically shaped so that it does not grow either in breadth or up. This should be done on time, since heather grows pretty fast, especially in summer. Heather can be planted between beds with other flowers, vegetables or berries, for the prevention of weeds.
Heather ordinary - an amazing plant, not like other flowers and herbs. He not only pleases all the year round with his flowers, which exude a wonderful fragrance, but can also bring great practical benefits as a medicinal plant. Therefore, to plant this unpretentious evergreen shrub in the garden plot is undoubtedly worth it. The main thing is to protect it from moisture and ensure that it does not suffer from cold winds. Then the small bushes covered with flowers will please the eye until winter.
Where and when are planted heather
Heather has found its wide application in landscape compositions of city parks, homestead and garden plots. This shrub goes well with tall and dwarf conifer trees, as well as with ferns, berry crops and low deciduous species of trees. In home gardens and gardens, heather looks very nice in flowerpots and decorative drawers. When a shrub grows in open ground, it takes from the soil only the amount of moisture it needs to maintain normal life. This property of plants is called “physiological dryness”. Heather also grows well at home as a houseplant, for example, heather wintering varieties and slender heather.
The only species (varieties derived from it), Common Heather is a shrub with creeping, slightly rising shoots. Plant height is limited to a height of about 30 cm, some can stretch up to 0.8 m. Numerous shoots are covered with small narrow sessile leaves. Leaf color can be green, bluish-white, golden-orange.
When heather blooms
Heather flowers bloom in July and continue to bloom throughout the month, some varieties bloom in August and September.
Inflorescences spiciform, their length is about 25 cm. Flowers are small, colors ranging from white to pink-violet range. After flowering four-leaved seed boxes are formed.
In our latitudes, the plant is not well known; it is quite rare in gardens and household plots. Landing heather organically fit into any landscape. For the successful cultivation of beautiful shrubs should learn the rules of planting and care.
Growing heather from seeds at home
Heather seeds photo
- For sowing you will need wide shallow containers (take plastic containers) and nutrient drained soil mixture (2 parts of peat, 1 part of coniferous earth and sand).
- Spread the seeds over the surface of the soil, moisten with a spray.
- To create the greenhouse effect will need a film cover, you can cover with transparent glass.
- Keep the temperature within 18-20 ° C, provide diffused lighting.
Heather seed from seedling photos
- Sprouts will seem after a month, during this time do not forget to air crops, eliminating condensate, then the shelter can be completely removed.
- When young plants grow, they are seated in separate containers.
90 day heather seedlings photo
- For the summer, take the seedlings to fresh air.
- Planting in the open ground is carried out in the next season.
Reproduction of heather by dividing the bush photo
The division of the bush is considered the fastest and easiest way of breeding heather. The procedure is carried out at the end of the summer. The preparation starts from the beginning of June: around the bush fill a layer of peat so that the root neck is submerged by about 0.5 cm. This will contribute to the growth of new roots. In August, a bush is dug and divided into several parts along with an earthy clod. Planted in prepared holes by the size of the root system.
Reproduction by cuttings
Varietal plants are best propagated by top cuttings to preserve the characteristics of the variety. Cut them from strong shoots at the end of the summer, process the growth stimulator, plant for rooting in a tank with sand-peat mixture. You can not harvest cuttings from flowering shoots. Provide diffuse lighting and air temperature between 15-20 ° C. Maintain soil moisture by spraying, feed with urea solution. Transplant in open ground in spring.
Reproduction by layering
Reproduction heath layering scheme
Heather successfully propagated by layering. Fallen branches can take root themselves, if a little sprinkled them with earth. If there are no lodging branches, bend down one of the last shoots to the ground, clean the leaves, leaving them only at the top. Make a groove, lay a sprig, fix with a bracket if necessary and sprinkle with soil. Well water the layers. In the spring, you can separate the process from the parent plant and plant it in a permanent place.
Purchase of seedlings
The transplant is painful as it enters into symbiosis with the mycelium found in the soil. Buy seedlings only with a closed root system (in containers) - so mycorrhiza and roots will be fully preserved. The fact is that even after death, the plant has a viable appearance for a long time (the leaves and flowers do not wither, the stems do not wilt).
When buying, pay attention to the following points:
- An earthen ball should fit snugly against the walls of the container; there should not be detachments to limit the intensive access of air to dry the roots.
- The soil should be slightly wet, waterlogging leads to the death of the roots (possibly the process of rotting has begun).
- The seedling should have both old and young shoots in an elastic state and bud growth.
Suitable Heather Growing Area
Heather in landscape design photo mixborder
To ensure successful growth and flowering, plant heather in an open well-lit area. In a strong shade bloom will be short, the color is paler. Perhaps a slight shading - planting near shrubs or low trees.
There are no requirements for the nutritional value of the soil. Unpretentious heather grows well even in depleted areas, sandy soils. Neutral or acidic reaction of the soil is preferred, limestone soil has a negative effect on the growth of heather.
In the planting hole, you can add a soil mixture of the following composition: 3 parts of high peat (for acidification), 2 parts of coniferous soil and 1 part of sand.
Terms of planting heather in open ground
- Heather planting in open ground is carried out in the fall (late September) or in the spring (from the second decade of April to the beginning of May).
- According to the advice of experienced gardeners spring planting is preferable. During the season, the plant will have time to root well, a gradual decrease in temperature contributes to the full maturation of the shoots, thus, heather successfully overwinter.
How to plant heather in the garden
How to plant heather seedlings in open ground photo
Make the hole the size of the root system, after planting the root neck of the seedling should be on a level with the soil. Add 30 g of nitrophoska and 50 g of horn flour as a top dressing. If the soil is heavy clay, you will need a good drainage layer consisting of coarse sand, brick chips or expanded clay.
- When planting in a group between individual plants, keep a distance of 30-40 cm.
- On 1 m² plot, land 12-15 weakly growing and about 6-8 weakly growing specimens.
- Place the seedling in the hole (it is best to roll it together with the earthy clod), fill the rest of the space with soil, slightly tamp.
- Each bush pour abundantly, making 5-6 liters of water under each plant.
To preserve soil moisture and limit the growth of weeds immediately after planting, mulch the soil surface, you can use coniferous wood chips, large sawdust, fern soil, peat.
How to care for heath in open ground
The heather root system consists of many small roots that need moisture. During the entire season, ensure regular watering; during a period of severe drought, the soil surface should be constantly slightly wet. Also on hot days, when the air is very dry, spraying with warm water will be favorable for the plant. Watering and spraying is best done in the evening.
Top dressing and loosening of soil
The plant does not need frequent feedings. Enough to make them in early spring, with an emphasis on nitrogen and phosphorus. Feed heather only with complex mineral fertilizers, following the instructions on the package. Feeding the Kemira Lux perfectly.
Periodically loosen the soil, but act very carefully so as not to damage the roots. Be sure to remove weeds that are best picked manually.
How to cut heather photo
Для кустарника предпочтительна умеренная обрезка, чтобы сохранять его «дикий» вид. Весной или осенью верхние ветки молодых растений укорачивайте примерно на 5 см. У взрослых вересков обрезают часть побега чуть ниже отцветшей части.
Помните, что цветочные почки у растения расположены ближе к краю побегов, поэтому кардинально обрезать не нужно, достаточно срезать только «лысоватые» кончики веток.
Зимовка вереска в Подмосковье и средней полосе
In early November (the soil may freeze to about -5 ° C) a shelter should be made for heather. Cover the trunk with peat or dry foliage; the layer should be about 10 cm thick.
Additionally, cover the bushes with spruce branches, which will protect not only from frost, but also from soaking. Remove the shelter in mid-April, peat the peat from the root collar. Lapnik can be finely chopped and used as mulch.
Diseases and pests
From the high humidity of the soil and air may cause late blight. This fungal disease manifests itself as follows: the stems and shoots are covered with a gray bloom, the leaves fall off, the shoots (mostly young), sloping down, completely die off. Cut off all areas affected by the disease. Carry out treatment with 1% solution of copper sulfate, repeat 2 more treatments with an interval of 10 days. In order to prevent the plant should be sprayed in early spring and late autumn.
With powdery mildew on the leaves and shoots appear spots of light gray color, from which they dry up. It is necessary to treat with a fungicide containing copper or sulfur (Fundazol, Topaz, Topsin, Bayleton, etc.).
Heather is rarely affected by viral diseases. When this occurs, the deformation of the shoots and flowers, they may become unusual for them to shade. There is only one way out: to dig and burn diseased plants.
Disease leads to stagnant moisture in the soil, excess fertilizer, so it is important to choose a suitable place for planting and ensure proper care.
The main pest of heather is scytvik, sucking the juice from the leaves of the plant. First, treat the shrub with soapy water, additionally use a broad-spectrum insecticide.
Heather in landscape design
Heather in landscape design photo
Heather is used extensively in landscape design. It is used for planting parks, gardens and gardens. It is good in group plantings, which allows you to create a dense coverage.
Mix of heathers in the garden photo
Often they plant heather in flowerpots and decorate their terraces, balconies, and various fences.
Heather on the balcony
Heather is often planted in the foreground of higher plants. Effectively combined with tall and dwarf conifers, ferns, berry and flowering shrubs.
Heather Erica yellow and red calluna vulgaris ericaceae photo
Suitable for growing on alpine slides, rockeries and rock gardens. It can also be planted in decorative boxes and pots, using arbors, porches, balconies, etc. to decorate.
Useful properties of heather
Heather is a great honey plant. Honey red-brown or dark yellow, fragrant, thick. It contains many minerals and proteins. It helps cleanse the blood, has a diuretic effect, it is recommended to enter into the diet to combat bronchial asthma, rheumatism, gout, urolithiasis.
Heather flowers are rich in polysaccharides, essential oils, arbutins, flavonoids, which causes the use in traditional medicine. They should be harvested in the period of mass flowering: cut off the flowering tops, collect in a bunch and hang for drying in a well-ventilated room.
Delicious and healthy tea is made from dried heather flowers, dry leaves of strawberries and rosehip petals complement the vitamin composition. A syrup or drink is also made from heather flowers in combination with heather honey. With colds, rheumatism, gout, kidney and bladder diseases, they take an infusion, it has an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory effect.
The best varieties of heather
The only type of heather ordinary became the basis for breeding about fifty varieties. Consider the best of them.
Heather common variety Red favorite Calluna vulgaris Red Favorit photo
Red Favorit - grows in the form of a cushion-shaped shrub with a diameter of 65 cm. The stems are wide, reaching a length of about 40 cm. Numerous shoots are covered with small leaves of dark green color. Pink-colored terry flowers are collected in a dense inflorescence of about 10 cm in length.
Heather ordinary Silver Knight calluna vulgaris Silver Knight photo
Silver Knight variety - the bush grows in the form of a compact pillow; its height is about 30 cm. The fox plates are pubescent, have a silver-gray color, in the autumn they acquire a purple tint. Flowering stems are upright. Inflorescences of light purple or lilac shade. grow only in well-lit areas. The variety is cold-proof enough, but in the middle lane it needs shelter for the winter.
Heather ordinary Allegro calluna vulgaris Allegro photo
Grade Allegro - compact bush half a meter in height. The bark is dark brown. Scale-shaped leafy plate, dark green hue. Flowers are simple, glossy, carmine-red hue.
Heather vulgaris Marlies Calluna vulgaris ‘Marlies’ photo
Gentle lilac flowers completely cover the plant so that the dark green leaves are almost imperceptible. The bush is half erect, the branches almost do not bend down.
Heather ordinary Annamarie Calluna vulgaris ‘Annemarie’ photo
The delicate lilac-pink shade of the Annamari flower, looks just incredible against the background of dark green ground covers, and is spectacular next to the conifers. The variety blooms in August-September, inflorescences reach a length of 20 cm. Dark green leaves turn brown by winter. It requires mulching and shelter for the winter with spruce branches, if winters are -25 ° C.
Common Heather on the right Calluna Vulgaris Con Brio on the left Calluna Vulgaris Lime Glade photo
Very original look joint planting of different varieties of heather with contrasting shades of flowering and leaves. For example, the lime shade of the Lime Glade variety leaves is in harmony with the bright crimson-purple color of the Con Brio variety inflorescences.
Heather ordinary Dark beauty Calluna Vulgaris ‘Dark Beauty’ photo
Heather variety Dark beauty conquered a rich dark gamut of shades of leaves and flowers, planted against the background of stunted ground covers bluish and lemon-green tones.
Heather grows preferably in acidic soils. If necessary, the acidity of the soil can be reduced by adding peat and sulfur to the soil or adding lemon malic, acetic or oxalic acid to the water for irrigation. Heather grows worse, and may even die if it is grown on alkaline soils and used in large quantities of organic matter. Ideal for planting this shrub soil, made from peat, sand, sawdust and soil in the following ratio: 3: 1: 1: 1. It is better to take the soil under coniferous trees from five centimeters depth. Also in this mixture is recommended to add an additional about 80 grams of sulfur.
How to prepare a plot for planting
It is best to plant heather sunny place on a flat or slightly hilly plot. First of all, the top layer of soil is removed from the site, and then the prepared pad should be compacted and poured with water to which apple vinegar is added. On a bucket of water is enough 100 grams of 6% vinegar. After that, the prepared soil is laid.
It should be noted that heather shrubs grow worse in well-groomed areas, due to the absence of simple fungi living with them in symbiosis. The filamentous mycelium of these fungi helps the heather's root system extract nutrients from the poor soil.
Landing heather in open ground
Heather badly takes root in the new place, so it is undesirable to replant the shrub. And for the same reason, it is better not to plan the site for a longer time.
To multiply the shrub in the following ways:
- With the help of root branches.
- Planting seedlings.
- Rooting of the apical cuttings.
- By dividing the rhizomes.
For this method, you need to dig a small hole next to the bush. Choose a suitable branch and release it from the leaves, leaving only the top. Bend the branch and fix in the pit of its free part of the leaves with a stud made from a piece of wire. And the part of a branch located above the ground carefully rises to the top and is tied to a peg stuck into the ground. After that, pour water into the pit and sprinkle with earth. After rooting, the branch can be cut from the mother bush. And next year, dig up and plant in another place.
Heather has the ability to multiply by gadflies and independently in the presence of dead rooted branches. If you sprinkle these branches with soil, then next year you can dig up a full-fledged planting material and plant it on a prepared place.
Planting apical cuttings
For this method of breeding at the end of the summer it is necessary to cut down the stiffened branches of heather. It should be noted that they should be absent flowering shoots. Mix in the tank for planting three parts of peat with one part of sand. Plant cuttings in the prepared soil, moderately watering at the same time. Twice a month it is recommended to add urea and trace elements to the water for irrigation of the planted cuttings. The optimum temperature for storing the cuttings is a temperature not exceeding 18 degrees.
Rooted seedlings in open ground is preferable to plant in the spring, but it is possible to do this in the autumn. It is recommended to purchase seedlings in specialized nurseries, where they are sold in special containers. In the purchased seedlings all the roots are gathered in one, so when planting all the roots must be carefully straightened. If this is ignored, in the future the death of the plant may occur.
Heather is planted in a wide, but shallow hole. To begin with, pour water into the prepared hole, and then place the seedling and bury it to the level where the root neck is located.
After that, the soil must be compacted by hand and watered again. Then it is advisable to cover the soil around the seedling with sawdust, peat, or even coniferous tree chips.
In order to rid the heather of excess moisture, it is necessary to arrange drainage on clay soils. For this, the bottom of the pit for planting should be 2-3 cm covered with pebbles, crushed bricks or crushed stone.
Planting division of rhizomes
This is best done at the very end of August. First of all, the shrub is carefully removed from the soil. At the same time, all old dying off stems are removed, and then, the root should be divided into several parts. In this case it is necessary to ensure that the young shoots were on each of the separated parts. Divided roots with processes are seated separately and well watered. After that, the soil around the planted roots should be covered with sawdust, peat or coniferous slivers.
It is possible to grow heather from seeds, but this is a long and rather laborious process, so most gardeners get ready for planting saplings.
Care for outdoor heath
In order to ensure the full care of the plant and eliminate its poor growth and diseases, it is recommended to use complex mineral fertilizer annually to feed heather.
To maintain the appearance of the garden in good condition, and to prevent depletion of the soil, it is necessary to conduct regular cleaning of the garden from weeds.
To shrub was thick and look more beautiful, in late autumn or spring, until the buds appeared, it is necessary to cut off its upper branches by about 5 cm. Shrubs should be cut so that they retain their “wild” appearance, because the bushes are too carefully trimmed not very attractive look.
Heather is very hard going through severe frosts. Therefore, to prevent freezing of stagnant water and freezing of the plant, it should be grown on drained soils.
Common varieties of common heather
Nowadays there are more than 500 different varieties of flowers of various shapes, foliage color and shoot height. Conventionally, all of them can be divided into 3 groups:
Dwarf varietiesnot exceeding 10 cm in height, well creeping on the surface of the soil and forming dense living "rugs", look great on rocky hills. The most common in this group are such varieties:
- The variety White Lawn does not exceed 5 cm in height, but the diameter can be more than 40 cm. It blooms with former flowers of simple form in August-September.
- Humpty Dumpty variety - forms a shrub of a dwarf form 5 cm high and 10 cm in diameter. Flowering occurs at the end of August.
- The Minima variety forms a cushion-shaped curtain with a height of 5 cm and a diameter of 15 cm. The peculiarity of the variety is non-opening pink flowers with a purple tone. Flowering occurs in August.
Medium variety form a curtain with a height of 20-30 cm. Plants of this variety are used to create compositions of heather gardens and large rock gardens. The more common varieties include:
- The Kinlochruel variety forms a “carpet” with a diameter of 40 cm and a height of 25 cm. The flowering period lasts the whole of September. Blooms double white flowers.
- Sort Cottswood Gold. A special feature of this variety is bright yellow foliage, which retains its color throughout the year. It blooms with small graceful white flowers from September to frosts.
Tall varieties form a bush with a height of 50-60 cm. Varieties of this group are excellent for creating “heather gardens”.
- Raket variety is a rounded compact shrub, easily reaching 55 cm in diameter and 45-50 cm in height. It blooms in late July with snow-white flowers.
- The Hatje’s Herbstfeuer variety forms a ball-like shrub 50 cm high and 55 cm in diameter. A characteristic feature of this variety is silver-gray leaves with a slight pubescence. Against the background of foliage, rather large flowers of a dark pink shade look very beautiful. Flowering begins in late August.
Heather ordinary planting and care in the open field
Heathers have a superficial root system with a large number of thin roots, so the culture grows better on sandy or peaty soils (with an acidity of not more than 5.5 pH) and does not grow on heavy limestone soils. For planting heather ordinary, choose a dry sunny place, protected from the cold wind. The landing pit is filled with the following substrate: sand, peat and bark compost mixed in a ratio of 1: 3: 2.
Important! The curtains of 10-15 plants of different colors, but of the same height, look impressive.
Between plants, make a pass of at least 30 cm and lower the seedling strictly to the level of the root collar. Planted plant abundantly water it and grumble with peat or bark.
Common heather is an unpretentious culture. If the planting is done correctly and the plants have taken root, then heather will not need special care. Since the soil should always remain wet, in the summer the crop will need watering and evening spraying.
Heathers are fairly cold-resistant plants; however, for a better wintering, the soil surface should be mulched. If there are doubts in the frost resistance of the variety, then take care of a small shelter for the winter from the branches of a conifer, burlap or agrofibre.
For the best growth and abundant flowering heathers need additional feeding. They are made once a year in May. To feed the heather plantings can be used as granular fertilizers, and liquid solutions.
Important! Make sure that the nutrient solution does not get on the leaves of the heather, as this may cause a burn.
Heather breeds in three ways:
- Division of the mother bush - This is perhaps the most common and easy method. In the autumn, dig up a bush, shake off the ground from the roots, and divide the bush into small pieces. Plant split plant on the prepared place.
Application in landscape design
Heathers are perfectly combined with all representatives of the heather - it is a haulier, and andromeda, and impeter, and even Japanese azaleas. In addition, heather cushion clumps serve as a link with dwarf firs, ferns, junipers, standard pine and weeping pines. Landing heather look great on alpine and rocky slides, rockeries, container containers, located on balconies and terraces.
Heather is a strongly branching evergreen creeping small shrub 30–70 centimeters high. Small sheet plates that are triangular, as if rolled into a tube. Small fragrant flowers outwardly similar to the bells are painted in lilac-pink color. They are part of one-sided brushes. Flowering begins in the second half of the summer period, however, such a plant becomes the most beautiful after the onset of the first frost, because its leaves turn burgundy and yellow at this time. Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote an entire ballad about heather “Heather Honey”. This plant is an excellent honey plant, while heather honey is considered the most useful of all. Landscape designers use heather to decorate alpine slides, planted along the paths in the garden, used to create borders that look very impressive against the background of dwarf conifers.
To grow heather from seed, you need to be patient, because this process is rather long and difficult. However, it may please you that the seeds of heather have excellent germination, namely, 90 percent. The pot needs to be filled with dredger and moistened. По ее поверхности распределите семена, при этом заглублять их не нужно. Емкость накрывают стеклом и ждут всходов. Для посева семян рекомендуется использовать субстрат, состоящий из песка, хвойной земли и торфа, которые берутся в соотношении 1:1:2. Посевы нужно поставить в тепло (около 20 градусов), при этом в первые 7 дней семена нуждаются в повышенном уровне влажности. Появление первых ростков происходит спустя 4 недели.Immediately after the seedlings appear, they should be hardened. To do this, for some time to open the shelter. After the seedlings grow strongly, you should make a pick, they are seated in individual pots or transplanted into a container.
Care of seedlings
In summer, seedlings should be transferred to the garden and put in a dark place, while it must be systematically watered. When it becomes cold outside, the seedlings are transferred to a cool room (approximately 10 –12 degrees).
Landing heather on a permanent place is possible only at the age of two. Remember that heather, grown from the seed, is not able to preserve the characteristics of the mother plant. However, as a result of your labors, a completely new variety may appear.
Where and at what time disembark
Experienced gardeners recommend planting heather in spring, namely, from the second half of April to the first days of May, you can do it in the fall - from late September to the first days of October. For disembarkation, it is better to choose open well-lit areas, but you can plant this plant in partial shade. Peaty wet or dry sandy soils are best suited for it. It is impossible to plant this flower in the limestone ground. It's okay if the earth will contain few nutrients, but the pH must be 4.5–5.5. Heather will best grow in the soil consisting of sand, peat, bark compost (coniferous soil), which must be taken in a ratio of 1: 3: 2. The place where heather is grown should be protected from wind gusts. To acidify the soil, it is necessary to make a red riding peat.
How to land
Depending on the variety, from 6 to 10 seedlings are planted on a plot of 1 square meter. The bush should be buried 25–35 centimeters into the soil, while the root neck should be flush with the ground surface. If the soil is clay in the landing hole, it is necessary to make a drainage layer consisting of sand or fragments of brick, while its height should be from 5 to 10 centimeters. Also in each hole need to pour horny flour (30-50 grams) and nitrophoska (20-30 grams). Planted heather is watered at the rate of 5–6 l of water per 1 bush. The surface of the site must be sprinkled with a layer of mulch (coniferous wood chips or peat). Remember that this plant tolerates transplant extremely poorly, so you need to immediately select the optimal place for its planting and take good care of it so that you do not have to repot it.
The root system of heather is not long, so it needs to be watered regularly, if no systematic precipitation is observed, while using acidified water. Note that the surface of the soil on the site should be constantly slightly moist. In this regard, the soil surface must be filled with a layer of mulch. Also, the mulch does not give much heat to the soil on hot days. Water the heather every 10-15 days. After the watering is done, you need to plow the soil to a depth of 10 to 15 centimeters, and you need to pull out all the weeds. To loosen and weed the ground through mulch. In hot days, this plant may suffer from excessively dry air, therefore it is recommended to humidify it from the sprayer every evening. Do not forget to feed the plant every year in springtime (in April or May), while the soil is filled with full mineral fertilizer, 1.5–2 large spoons of top dressing are taken per bush (from 20 to 30 grams per square meter). In this case, dry fertilizer should be carefully sprinkled over the area, try to keep the substance from falling on the foliage and flowers of the plant, otherwise a burn is formed on their surface. After that, fertilizing needs to be put into mulch, and the soil should be watered abundantly. Every year in spring it is necessary to produce pruning, which performs a formative function, and also stimulates the growth of young shoots. At the same time, intensive pruning can be done only when 3 years have passed since the heath was planted. Try to keep the shape of the crown. The rule of cutting: the inflorescence with your left hand must be held at the top, and with the right hand you need to cut ½ or 2/3 of the inflorescence. The cut pieces can be chopped and sprinkled over the mulch.
Pests and diseases
This plant is highly resistant to harmful insects and diseases, but is sometimes affected by viral or fungal diseases. Often, the heather falls ill with gray mold. The development of this disease can serve as a poor water permeability of the soil or due to the fact that in the springtime the snow cover comes off too quickly, as a result, the liquid stagnates in the root system. In the infected specimen on the stems appears a raid, then the leaves and the shoots themselves die. To combat the disease, the plant is treated with fungicidal agents, and Topaz and Fundazol can best deal with this disease. If the bush is very affected, then treatment with copper sulfate (1%) will be required. It is necessary to process heather 3 times with intervals of 5-10 days. For the purposes of prophylaxis, the plant is treated with fungicides in the springtime immediately after the shelter is removed from it. Also, it is necessary to spray the bushes in the fall during the preparation for the winter.
If the bush is contaminated with powdery mildew, then the young shoots begin to wither, and a whitish friable coating appears on the leaf plates. If brownish-red spots appear on the leaves, it means that the heather is infected with rust. These two diseases are fungal, as well as gray rot, so they are fought with fungicidal agents.
If a bush is struck by a viral disease, then its flowers or stems may become deformed, and the color of the flowers and leaflets becomes uneven, it becomes uncharacteristic for this variety. This disease can not be cured, in connection with this, the affected plants must be excavated and destroyed. The area where they grew up, you must pour a very strong solution of manganese potassium.
In that case, if the plant is grown on the ground, which is suitable for him, and receives the necessary care, then it is unlikely to get sick.
Heather after flowering
In regions with a warm climate, this plant perfectly tolerates winter without shelter. But in the event that winters are severe and little snowy heather is better to prepare for wintering. When the frosts come, the surface of the plot should be covered with a layer of peat, and then the heather itself should be covered with spruce leaves, which will protect the plants from frost and sunburn in the springtime. Shelter will need to be removed in April.
The main types and varieties with photos and titles
Heather common (Calluna vulgaris) - This is the only species in the genus. Frequently, heather is considered to be Erica, who is in close relationship with this plant. However, heather and erica are different plants. Heather ordinary has a huge number of excellent varieties, at this time there are about 500 of them. Gardeners divide all these varieties into 6 different groups.
1 group. Green foliage varieties
- Allegro. The height of this evergreen shrub is about 0.6 m, and its crown has a diameter of about 0.5 m. There is a compact, rather dense crown, a dark brown bark and scale-like leaf plates of a dark green color. Flowering occurs from the last days of July until the end of October. Red-carmine flowers are simple glossy, they are collected in long inflorescences. The plant is winter-resistant, only young bushes should be covered for wintering.
- Carmen This hybrid variety, bred in Holland, is very popular in European countries. Bush in height reaches 0.3–0.4 m, has rounded crowns, small dark green leaves, dark brown bark, simple pinkish-purple flowers that are collected in peduncles (up to 10 centimeters long). It is frost-resistant, but needs shelter for the period of winter.
And more popular are varieties such as: Radnor, Dakness, Ross Hutton, Mazurka, Marco, Barnett Enley, Hookstone and others.
3 group. Varieties with foliage silver color
- Silver knight. This variety is bred in England. The height of the bush is about 0.3 m, and the diameter of the compact cushion crown is 0.45 m. The bark is dark brown, grayish-silver leafy plates are pubescent. In winter, the leaves turn burgundy. Simple pale lilac or lilac flowers are collected in inflorescences, having a length of 20 centimeters. It is resistant to cold, but it should be covered for the winter.
- Peter Sparks. The variety is also obtained in England. The height of the bush is about 0.5 m, and the diameter of its oval crown is 0.6 m. The bark is dark brown, small scale-like leaves in the summer-autumn period are dark green, and in winter and spring - greenish-gray. Terry dark pink flowers are part of the inflorescences, the length of which is 0.3 m. It has a moderate frost resistance.
And more popular varieties such as: Annmari, Velvet Festival, Jan Dekker, Glendwick Silver, etc.
5 group. Varieties with double flowers
- Autumn Glow. The height of the branchy shrub is about 0.3 m, and the diameter of its crown is about 0.45 m. The ends of the branches are ascending. Dark green leafy plates, pale lilac dense-terry flowers are part of short rather dense racemes.
- Monica. The height of the wide-spreading shrub is 0.55 m, and the diameter of its crown is 0.8 m. The wide ascending branches are very strong. Dark green leafy plates become grayish in winter. Terry reddish-pink flowers are very large, gathered in dense racemes.
Also popular are varieties such as: Red Fayavor, Dark Star, Alba Plena, Joan Sparks, County Wicklow.
Varieties and types
Ling grows in the Russian Federation, Asia Minor, Africa, it is also called the wild heather loves coniferous forests, sands, swamplands and tundra. It is an evergreen, not tall (from 20 to 70 cm in height) shrub with a compact, practically rounded crown and dark brownish bark.
Its dark green foliage measures approximately 2 * 1 cm in length and width, and lilac-pink (rarely white) flowers form dense inflorescences in the form of tassels up to 25 cm long. It blooms from July to August with the formation of fruits in the form of 4-folding capsules up to 2.5 cm in length, life expectancy is about 30 years, it is endowed with decorative properties during a period of rich and long flowering, a considerable amount is given to beautiful leaves.
Winter-hardy, therefore, is able to winter without shelter. Thanks to the efforts of cultivators in our time there are many varieties of common heather, conditionally divided into several groups: heather with green foliage, with green foliage and whitish flowers (white heather), with silver foliage, with golden foliage, with double flowers, with non-opening flowers .
Heather room includes 2 varieties most adapted to domestic conditions - heather slender and wintering. The first is characterized by a height of up to 40 cm, light green leaves up to 5 mm long and pink-red flowers up to 10 mm long, bell-shaped, placed at the ends of the side stems of 4 each. For the second grade, the height of the shrub is up to 50 cm and the enlarged (up to 2 cm in length) white flowers-bells.
These are representatives of varieties of heather, in which decorativeness manifests itself in annual long-term and lush flowering for about 2 months. This includes, for example, the variety “Allegro”Belonging to the green leaf group. It can reach 60 cm. In diameter, the crown occupies 50 cm. Red flowers are collected in oblong inflorescences. The variety is winter-hardy, recommended as a ground cover plant.
Heather garden - Those varieties that are most spectacular in group plantings in heather gardens. These include the above “Allegro". Sort “Hammondii”Is a representative of the white heather group. Its height is 40 cm, the crown in diameter reaches 50 cm. The flowers form elongated (more than 20 cm) inflorescences. Resistant to drought, relatively resistant to winter frosts - with prolonged cold snaps require shelter. Used on alpine slides.
From the group with golden-colored leaves it grows up to 30-40 cm in height, its crown in diameter is 40-50 cm. It is noteworthy that the color of the leaves of this variety changes from yellowish-green in summer to reddish-orange from autumn, while young copies of the foliage is painted more intensively.
Thanks to the pink-purple flowers, Boskup falls under the external classification “heather pink”, Which includes many other varieties of heather. Its inflorescences are rather small (about 10 cm), slightly branched. Used as a ground cover plant.
Heather Red Star from the group with double flowers are also widely used in gardening. Its height is 20 cm, and the diameter of the crown is up to 50 cm. The grayish-green foliage in spring and winter is a darker shade at other times of the year. Red terry flowers are collected in dense more than 10 cm inflorescences. The variety is extremely beautiful, having a more pronounced color of flowers compared to other varieties.
Variety with non-opening flowers - heather marleen has a height of up to 30 cm, a crown with a diameter of up to 50 cm and dark-green foliage. The color of the buds is not revealing mauve or bright purple. It is recommended, among other things, for planting in cemeteries.
Thick spreading with a crown diameter of 40 cm and a height of 25 cm. The foliage hue in summer is motley green with the onset of winter becoming dark bronze. Very beautiful whitish terry flowers are combined in loose brush.
Cultivated varieties in Russia differ in color and timing of flowering. The first to bloomAlba praecox"(With white inflorescences) and"Tib”(With purple-pink) - the period falls on the beginning of July. Closing the "flowering chain" varietyAlexandra"(With red inflorescences),"Alicia” , “Melanie"And"Sandy"(All with white),"Larissa"(With light red),"Marleen"And"Marlies"(Both - with purple) - in the last days of September - the first of October. Skillfully combining varieties of heather, you can organize an original plot, blooming until the end of autumn, while it is worth considering that certain varieties in the fall should be covered.
Heather landing and care
Planting heather at home or in the garden involves the creation of conditions close to natural - acidic soil, an illuminated area, sufficiently large volumes of moisture, combined with a sufficient permeability of the soil.
For areas in which frost winters prevail, heather should be especially intensively moistened before the period of soil freezing. The best time for planting heather in open ground is the end of September - the beginning of October, or the 2nd half of April - the beginning of May, and spring planting is more preferable.
The presence of moisture is especially important when it comes to young heathers, just bought in the store, because their roots are still poorly developed. Immediately after planting, it is recommended to water each heather bush with 5-6 liters of water and grind the seats with chips of coniferous trees or peat.
Heather responds well to mulching with leaf humus, sawdust, needles, or shredded bark, acidifying the soil. At the same time, mulch inhibits the growth of weeds, protects the root system from summer heat and winter frost, and, most importantly, maintains an adequate level of soil moisture.
Heather is extremely negative about transplants, in connection with which it is better to think over all aspects of care and cultivation so that the plant could not be transplanted at all. First of all, it concerns a place for growth and flowering - you need to decide on it immediately and for a long time. It is recommended to buy heather in containers.
Feeding is not particularly important for heather, because in natural conditions it grows on depleted soils.
Do I need to cover the heather for the winter
If you grow heather in a warm area, you do not need to cover it for the winter. In cases with frosty winters, and not snowy ones, after the cold weather comes, put the peat around the circumference of the bushes, covering the plants with spruce branches. Shelter can be removed in April.
Heather breeding cuttings
For propagation, cuttings are made from powerful stems in the last days of August, but not from flowered shoots. Rooting is recommended to produce in separate pots with peat and sand. Substrate requirements are looseness, poverty and constant humidity. Temperature - in the range of 15-20 ° C.
It is recommended to perform a constant foliar feeding with a rare solution of urea and micronutrient fertilizers. After rooting, the cuttings are characterized by accelerated growth and faster flowering in comparison with seedlings.
Heather medicinal properties and contraindications
Medicinal qualities of heather are recognized in both official and traditional medicine. The compounds contained in it have a sedative, sedative, expectorant, healing, antibacterial, diuretic and diaphoretic effects on the human body.
Heather tincture is used in the treatment of gastritis, dropsy, neurasthenia, inflammation of the kidneys and bladder.
Приготовить ее можно следующим образом: берем 2 столовые ложки растительного сырья и 2 стакана горячей воды, тщательно перемешиваем, держим 20-30 минут на водяной бане, затем оставляем на несколько часов.
После процеживания можно принимать ежедневно по 2 столовые ложки после приема пищи. Начинать следует с однократного приема в день, доводя в последствии их количество до 3-х. Длительность курса лечения составляет неделю.
Heather ordinary - many legends and traditions are associated with this plant. In the struggle for existence in our uneasy world, he won himself the right to grow freely in the swamps, in the forests, and in the burnt. It occupies a wide forest, up to the tundra, the area of the European continent. It is found in North Africa and Asia, along the Atlantic coast of North America and in Greenland. Even the Azores conquered this plant. The famous Scottish heathlands - harsh and rocky hills, covered with a solid carpet of fragrant pink flowers - inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to create his famous ballad "Heather Honey."
Heather is a wonderful honey plant. The healing power of products based on heather nectar and pollen is known to the whole world. Since this is one of the most powerful natural remedies to combat a variety of diseases.
Today, experts count about five hundred varieties of heather. It is an evergreen shrub with creeping shoots. Their height can be up to seventy centimeters long. He has interesting leaves - triangular, as if wrapped in a tube. On each branch is a lot of small flowers, like bells, are collected in inflorescences. They can be colored, depending on the variety, in lilac-lilac, pink. Heather looks especially beautiful after the first frost. At this moment, its stems and leaves change, become bright maroon.
Heather blooms usually begin in the second half of summer.
The choice of location and seedlings for planting
The heather plant loves bright, open spaces and light, barely noticeable, penumbra. It is necessary to choose a place for it carefully, because it does not like transfers, it is badly taken root in the new section.
It should be noted that the heather does not like a strong wind. Therefore, it should be planted on a free area, covered by a wall of a house or a fence from the prevailing winds in the area.
The soil is suitable wet peat. Some species feel good on dry sandy ground. Calcareous soil is strictly contraindicated. After all, its acidity for heather is essential, pH - above five.
For this plant, you can create and artificial conditions, forming a soil mixture of peat with sand and compost bark of coniferous trees. In this case, it is better to add sour red peat to the mixture, and not dark, downstream.
Heather planting time is spring or autumn. The end of April is the beginning of May or the end of September is the beginning of October.
Important care recommendations
Growing heather is not a very difficult job. For good health and prosperous development of this plant, periodically it is necessary to carry out the three most important actions:
- Watering. Heather loves constantly moist soil, and the water should be slightly acidified. As the roots of heather grow in breadth, and not deeper. Produce watering once every ten days, immediately loosening the soil under the plant to a depth of ten centimeters. To keep moisture as long as possible, cover the root zone with mulch. In drought, it is necessary to spray heather water every night.
- Top dressing. Annually, in spring, mineral fertilizers should be applied up to thirty grams per square meter in dry granules. At the same time, it is necessary to proceed with caution, since hitting the leaf surface or touching the stem, mineral fertilizer can cause a burn. A little fertilizer prikopat in mulch and pour over the top.
- Crop. It is produced in the spring and only on plants that have already been in open ground for three years. Clean only half or two-thirds of the inflorescences. Trimming will be a good addition to the mulch.
Heather is propagated in four ways:
- Seeds. Heather has tiny seeds that appear in small seed pods. It is better to sow them in room conditions on wetted ground in flower pots. The soil consists of white sand mixed with peat. Seedlings grown under glass for a month, maintaining a temperature of about twenty degrees. From time to time lift the glass to ventilate the seedlings. In the summer, pots with young plants are carried out into the air, actively watered. In winter, stored in the greenhouse. Sowing can only be planted two years after sowing.
- Layering. Heather flower can reproduce itself in this way. Old shoots fall on the ground, under favorable conditions, germinate roots. Layers do and artificially. It is necessary to bend down the lower shoot to the soil and prikopat it a little. And on top cover with a layer of peat, ten millimeters thick. A year later, you can separate the layers with roots and transplant to a new site.
- Cuttings. When the summer comes to an end, in August it is time to harvest the cuttings of heather. Cut the tops of the most beautiful branches with flowers. They should be put in peat pots, watered and put in a place where the temperature will not exceed 18 degrees. Feed the seedlings once a couple of months, using a solution of urea. In the spring they are planted in open ground.
- Division of rhizome - the easiest and not time-consuming method of breeding heather. The right time for such an event comes at the end of the summer. For breeding should pick up a healthy bush, mature age. It is completely pulled out, exposing the root system. At the same time try not to shake off the soil from the roots. Then divide the whole bush into several equal parts, cutting the roots. Old stalks are cut, leaving only young shoots. All media are treated with coal. Then put each separated part in its hole.
Most often heather is subject to the following diseases:
- Mixed chlorosis - looks like yellow spots on the leaves, which subsequently dry up and fall away. The cause of the disease is inappropriate soil. Most often - this is an insufficient content of trace elements - magnesium, nitrogen, iron. Sometimes chlorosis causes a soil that has not been loosened for a long time, it has compacted, especially its upper layers. In addition, excessive watering leads to the fact that moisture stagnates. Therefore, the treatment in this case is simple - feeding the plant with mineral fertilizers in the complex, caring for the soil.
- Necrosis of leaf blades - the color of the leaf changes, its front side turns brown, the vein dies. The main reason - a sharp change in temperature, cold, wind. Saline soil, shallow water, lack of trace elements.
- Gray rot - In early spring, a gray bloom appears on the leaves and shoots, and the green mass gradually dies out. This is due to excessive moisture in the soil and air. Often, the heather was improperly prepared for winter, poorly sheltered. This disease is treated with the help of the preparations Fundazol and Topaz, spraying a solution of copper sulphate once a week for a month.
The following diseases are treated with decoctions and tinctures:
- Kidney disease - cystitis, pyelitis, urethritis,
- Infectious - dysentery, enterocolitis, tuberculosis, angina,
- Gastric - gastritis, increased acidity,
- Liver - cholecystitis,
- Cardiovascular - atherosclerosis,
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system - rheumatism, gout, radiculitis,
- Skin diseases - burns, wounds, eczema, problems with poor hair growth, associated with the condition of the scalp,
- Diseases of the nervous system - as a natural sedative, sleeping pills,
Heather contains trace elements in flowers and stems - phosphorus, calcium, sodium and potassium. Also in the plant contains useful organic acids and flavonoids.
It has the following properties:
- Heals wounds,
- Relieves inflammation
- Promotes expectoration
- Increases sweating,
- Strong diuretic
- It has a sedative effect,
Broths of plants are ingested with diseases associated with the gastrointestinal tract, liver, cardiovascular system. During a sore throat this gargle is drained. Crushed dry powder is used for skin diseases. Alleviate the state of tuberculosis with the help of alcohol infusion from heather. To help with diseases of the musculoskeletal system take a bath with a decoction.