Calluna plants are heathers, the dominant plants in most moorlands across Europe. These low-growing, acid-loving plants become clothed with distinctive pink to white flowers in late summer through autumn or winter. Low maintenance and pest and disease free, they have a compact, mound-forming or spreading growth habit. They are fully hardy, making them suitable for colder sites in the north of the UK. Calluna plants have flat, scale-like foliage, in contrast to their cousin Erica (heath plants) which have narrow, needle-like leaves. There is a wide selection of varieties to choose from, offering variation in foliage and flower colour to suit your planting scheme.
Heathers' small size makes them suitable for small container arrangements, perhaps with summer bedding or trailing plants around the outside. Some varieties such as Calluna Wickwar Flame and Calluna Blazeaway boast stunning, fiery foliage colours in the winter, particularly if they're grown in quite an exposed site. Heathers prefer an open, sunny position but will tolerate light shade if under-planted below the canopies of deciduous trees. They normally require an acidic soil rich in organic matter and benefit from a mulch with leaf-mould, well-composted pine needles or composted pine bark once a year. If required, they should be trimmed immediately after the flowers have faded, as they re-flower on new shoots each year.