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What Do Heather Plants Look Like?

The heather plant is an evergreen shrub that grows naturally in the Western Europe, Northeastern North America, and Siberia. Heather is a sun-loving plant that is easily grown and prefers acidic but well-drained soil. The plant thrives with full color blooms when well-fertilized and normally produces flowers in the late summer months, from late July through October.

Blooming Colors

Heather plants bloom in a wide variety of colors that include purple, lavender, pink, red, magenta, amethyst, green, gold, silver and white, depending on its type. Its foliage can also range in these various colors.


Heather plants grow in dense formation that provides little sunlight to vegetation under and around its growing area.

Height Variations

Some variations of heather, including true Scotch Heather and Erica carnea, can grow to heights between 6 and 18 inches tall.

Irish Heather

Irish Heather develops oval, dark green leaves with long spikes. These spikes droop with white rose bells and reach up to 6 inches in height.

Mound Formation

Heather grows in healthy, dense mounds that spread quickly due to its avid seed production. This shrub’s mounds can be of one color or multi-colored blooms.


Heather blooms grow on small to medium sized stems that, regardless of foliage and bloom color, are usually always a variation of green.

Planting & Care Of Heather Plants

Healthy nursery plants have sturdy stems, limber twigs and rich green foliage with no spots or brown edges. The plant should have no scars or insects. You may want a site where you can see the flowers often, or where the flower color will not clash or be upstaged by flowers of other plants. Heather prefers full sun and moist but well-drained, organically rich, slightly acidic soil. Heather plants require little maintenance. Once the flower spikes are spent, you can shear the plant to keep it more compact and tidy. In hot or dry areas, a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch helps keep the roots cool and preserves moisture.

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