The Q&A Archives: delicate magenta heather

Question: I have three plants that I am not sure what type they are. They are a delicate magenta color. I know they are heather but I don't no what type. Two are planted in the ground in part sun, part shade and one I have in a pot. They survived last winter in the ground but have never seemed to take off, The one in pot is flowering I believe because I move it around. They all are about 8in. tall and 12in. wide. Any advice you could give to help in these three plants growing to their potential would be greatly appreciated. It is mid August and the one that is flowering in pot I want to plant in ground also in hopes that it will be able to survive the winter. Would they be considered perenials? Should I cut them back after flowering? What is best way to enhance them getting through yet another winter. Thank you

Answer: Heather (Erica) grows and flowers best in full sunshine so if yours are getting too much shade they won't grow well and they won't flower. I'd leave them where they are now but dig and move them to sunnier spots next spring. These are reasonably hardy plants so you won't need to do much to keep them healthy over winter other than mulch the soil around the plants to help insulate the roots. Most heathers bloom 3-4 times a year if you prune off the spent flowers after they fades. Cut the stems back to just below the old flowers and new flowering stems will develop. Trimming them back after flowering also keeps them neat and thick rather than tall and leggy. Hope this answers your question!

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