Planting Instructions for Mexican Heather


Gardeners who want color in their flower bed from late spring to fall may want to obtain a plant known as Mexican heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia). Tiny and profuse purple flowers blanket the deep green leaves of this shrub-like, low-growing plant. Dwarf and full-size varieties are as easy to care for as they are heat-tolerant if they receive at least an inch of water per week and are planted in the proper location.

Step 1

Prepare a spot in your garden or flower bed that receives full sun. Mexican heather can tolerate partial shade, but the plant will flower more if it is in full sun, according to University of Florida Okeechobee County Extension.

Step 2

Test the soil for any adjustments or amendments. Simple soil test kits can be purchased at your local garden center. Mexican heather prefers a pH level between 5.8 and 7.5.

Step 3

Make any needed amendments and work them into the soil. This plant is prone to root rot and prefers loose, rich in organic matter, friable soil that possesses good drainage, advises UF Okeechobee County Extension. If your soil is thick with clay, add compost, humus and coarse sand which will assist in proper drainage.

Step 4

Add fertilizer the soil at this time as well. A pellet-type, time-release fertilizer with balanced nitrogen, phosphate and potassium found in shaker containers at your local garden center is appropriate.

Step 5

Dig a hole that measures as deep as your plant's original pot depth and 2 inches wider than the width.

Step 6

Remove the Mexican heather from its original container. Examine the root ball and loosen the soil and root system if compacted so that roots will have a chance to spread and grow in its new hole.

Step 7

Place the plant into its hole and backfill with displaced garden soil. Tamp down lightly to seat the plant securely.

Step 8

Water your new plant thoroughly into its new home. Soak the area around the plant base and then let the water absorb into the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Soil test kit
  • Required soil amendments
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden hose or watering can


  • University of Illinois Extension: Awesome Plant Profile-Cuphea
  • "American Horticultural Society: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants"; Christopher Brickell and H. Marc Cathey; 2008
  • University of Florida Okeechobee Extension: Mexican Heather for Dry Spring Weather
Keywords: Mexican Heather plants, Mexican Heather gardening, Growing Mexican Heather

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Sheri Lacker has more than 30 years' experience as a writer, photographer and multimedia artist. Her work has been used by Warner Brothers, Barbour/Langley and Casey Kasem Presents, among others. Her awards include the Theatre Excellence Scholarship and Guest-Artist-in-Res. Lacker studied journalism, Web design and historical research at the University of Memphis.