The Q&A Archives: Heather

Question: I recently bought a small Heather plant. The tag said to keep the soil moist and give the plant direct sunlight. In the past week and a half the poor plant has dried up and is shedding its purple blooms all over the place. Can you please give me instructions how to "baby" this plant back. I am not familiar with this plant and I am lost for ideas. Any help will do!

Answer: Heather will thrive in full sunshine and consistent watering, but require excellent drainage. They prefer soils that are slightly acidic. If your soil is neutral or alkaline, try mulching your plant with peat moss to acidify it a bit. Heathers generally shed their flowers when the bloom period is over and can be cut back to encourage new growth. Blooms will appear at the tips of the stems. After blooming shear or cut all of the stems back. New blossom buds will form over the next few months and produce flowers again. (Some heathers bloom 2-3 times a year.) If your plant is stressed from too much water or poor drainage, try to correct the situation. Then cut back the spent blooms and the dead stems to encourage new, healthy growth. Good luck with your plant!

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