• All
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Plants
  • Recipes
  • Members

Mexican Heather Plant Care

Comments ()  |   |  Text size: a A  |  Report Abuse  |  Print
close

Report This Article

Mexican Heather Plant Care

Reason for flagging?

Comments

Submit

Share:    |  Email  |  Bookmark and Share

Overview

Mexican heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia) is a very popular, fast-growing plant. Gardeners like it because it demands very little maintenance, but provides charming purple flowers and strong green foliage. Mexican heather is also known as false heather, to distinguish it from actual heather plants. Mexican heather does best in warm climates, although in colder environments it can be used as a house plant.

Light

Plant Mexican heather in full sun or n a partially shaded location. It is native to tropical areas and you will get the best results if you can recreate as much of its natural environment as possible. Mexican heathers may appear more vibrant and intense in dappled or filtered sunlight.

Water

Water Mexican heather regularly to give it the best chance for good foliage and flower growth. Mexican heather can survive short drought periods without suffering much damage, but you will grow healthier plants if you water on a regular schedule. Give your Mexican heather 1 inch of water once a week and observe the plant to assess whether it needs to be watered more or less often. Plants in full sun and fast-draining soil may need to be watered more often than plants in partial shade and slower-draining soil.

Soil

Provide Mexican heather with sandy loam or clay loam soil. Aim for a neutral or slightly alkaline pH balance, in the range between 5.5 and 7.8. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Soil that drains well is the best environment for Mexican heather. Supplement the soil with an organic fertilizer during the growing season.

Pruning

You do not have to prune Mexican heather frequently. It is compact by nature. Although it is a fast grower, Mexican heather rarely grows taller than 18 inches high and, more often, will only grow to roughly 12 inches high. Prune Mexican heather to control its overall shape and appearance because it spreads easily. Trim away any dead branches. Remove interior branches to promote air circulation and to allow light into the center for a healthier plant.

Uses

Place Mexican heather towards the front of your planting area because it is a low grower. Mexican heather looks good in mass plantings along a border, as well as single specimen plants. Mexican heather blooms throughout the year in warm climates. It is an evergreen and generally provides year-round visual interest. Gardeners in colder climates treat Mexican heather as an annual. Mexican heather will attract butterflies and bees.

Keywords: Mexican heather, caring for Mexican heather, Cuphea hyssopifolia

About this Author

Lee Roberts has written professionally in different capacities throughout her career. She has written for not-for-profit and commercial entities since she received her B.A in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1986. She has been published on eHow.com. She is currently writing an extensive work of fiction.