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Synonymous with moorlands in the British countryside, heathers are low-growing, evergreen, acid-loving plants with beautiful flowers typically in shades of pink and white in late summer through autumn or winter. Easy to grow and care-free, they have a compact, mound-forming or spreading growth habit and are fully hardy, making them suitable for colder sites in the north of the UK. Some varieties such as Calluna Firefly and Calluna Blazeaway also boast stunning, fiery foliage colours that can work well in container arrangements. Heather plants can help attract bees and butterflies to the garden and, best of all, there is a wide selection of varieties to choose from, offering variation in foliage and flower colour to suit your planting scheme.

Technically, Calluna varieties are heathers and Erica varieties are heaths. Both have the same form and growth habit but there are some subtle differences. Calluna (heathers) have flat, scale-like foliage whereas Erica (heaths) have narrow, needle-like leaves. Heaths tend to offer a wider variety of colours than the stereotypical pink hues of heathers. Both 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.

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