The Heather Specialists

Calluna vulgaris

Calluna vulgaris is also know as Ling or "Scotch" heather.  These are the true heathers, among the hardiest and most varied of all hardy heathers.  Sizes range from small tufts, mounds and carpeters to shrubs about three feet tall.  Flowers can be single or double. There are even a few bud bloomers who hang onto their flowers through winter and look as if they are still in bloom.  There are many interesting foliage colors.  Some turn spectacular shades of orange and red during the cold weather of winter.  The varieties that show colored spring new growth are valuable for their several months of extremely showy foliage from January to June, and then they go on to bloom for an additional several months.


Callunas grow and flower best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.  The colored foliage plants need bright winter sun to turn those intense shades of orange or red.  Some experts recommend pruning the Callunas with spring colored tips in the fall so you get to enjoy the new growth without pruning it off. 


Good drainage is very important.  They are liable to get root diseases if growing in wet spots.  Callunas are lime haters.  Acid soil is ideal.  Bushy and low growing varieties are best for colder, snowy areas where they are more protected by snow cover. We can recommend the hardiest ones for those of you in Zone 3-4 country.  In the hot and humid South, it is best to stay away from lower varieties which can be susceptible to fungal diseases.  All Callunas but the most compact miniatures need annual pruning or plants will become straggly and unsightly.  Prune below the flowers on the stems after flowering in fall or in early spring in the colder climates.  USDA Zone 4 (-30 degrees) to Zone 8 or 10 with good care.  Heather is growing well in Zone 3 areas where they are buried in snow in winter.  We may add quite a few varieties on the spring list that you don't see here.  Ask if you don't see what you  are looking for, we might have a few available.