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A picture of a Heather


Calluna vulgaris

Also known as


Calluna vulgaris 1 by bdk (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Heather

A photo of Heather
A photo of Heather
A photo of Heather
A photo of Heather
A photo of Heather

Heather Overview

Commonly known as heather, the perennial, evergreen shrub (Calluna vulgaris) has hundreds of cultivars. It naturally occurs in a range of moorland, bog, and heathland habitats around the world. In New Zealand, it is considered as an unwanted organism and a ban is in place for its sale and propagation. Similarly, in Australia, Calluna is on the alert list for eradication. The plant grows to between 40-70 cm tall, producing many bell-shaped flowers in late summer. Leaves and small and scale-like measuring 2-3 mm in length. It tends to dominate heath and moorland habitats, can handle grazing and regenerates effectively following fires. Also known as Heather or Ling, it prefers growing in well-drained acidic soil in full sun, but it will tolerate neutral soil and partial shade. It flowers on the previous years growth, so prune immediately after flowering to maintain a neat habit and still enjoy flowers the next year.

Common problems with Heather

How to propagate Heather


Root semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer.


Layer in spring.



Special features of Heather

Attracts bees

Attracts useful insects

Honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, thrips, other

Other uses of Heather

Border, edging, rock garden, ground cover, naturaliser, banks. Summer interest. Suitable for coastal conditions. This plant suits being included in planting schemes for exposed or sheltered locations with any (north, south, east or west-facing) aspects.

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