Mexican Heather questions

K Black - 6aJune 7, 1999

I've found some information on Mexican Heather -- reminds me a little (JUST a little) of wintergreen or periwinkle. Pretty little plants, they're available at my local garden centre, which is closing in a week or so.

It doesn't seem like it will be a perennial up here in Toronto, but in the Deep South can be a year-round ground cover.

I have a smallish area with rocks and plants, doesn't make it a rock garden though....

Question: has anyone in zones 5 - 7 grown this little plant, how many did you plant and where, how did it do, and did you like it??

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Sharon - 7

Mex. heather is easy, blooms all summer and I have never known a bug to bother it - I love it, but I prefer the darker pink to the white or light pink colors. Doesn't remind me of those plants you mention though. It is related to the cigar plant that has the burnt orange little flowers if you know them. Both are in the cuphea family and I have two other varieties of cupheas which I love. I saw a mini. Mex. heather last week for the first time, but didn't succumb to the temptation to see how it grows to maturity. Also found one that looks more upright with white blooms - bought it for someone else's yard that I was selecting plants for, so I can keep an eye on it. Sharon

    Bookmark   June 17, 1999 at 12:07AM
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john - south

I live in Georgia. I planted about 100 mexican heather in May of 1999. They were beautiful, so green and nice blooms.
It is now Feb. of 2000. All of them look dead!!! Do they come back in Spring??? Or do they just last for one season?

I can return all to nursery for a refund...if done within the year of purchase. Please let me know what to expect..I do not have a green thumb! thank John

    Bookmark   February 22, 2000 at 1:09PM
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Rick(Z6 Pa.)

HELP! I'm being overrun by Mexican Heather! Is there any way to really eradicate it?

Thanks ..

    Bookmark   February 26, 2000 at 4:49PM
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Jack McCormick - 7

I planted 2 plants & the leaves are turning yellow. I tried a little water.. A lot of water.. Did'nt make a difference. Anybody know what wrong?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2000 at 12:02PM
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What is a Mexican Heathers scientific name? I'm doing a science report on plants and I need to know.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2000 at 7:23PM
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Jodi - 5-K.C.

I've been using Mex. Heather for a few years as an annual. Last year I put it in the ground, rather than pots for the first time. I didn't have time in the fall to do gardening cleanup, and tried to pull the dead plants out just a few weeks ago. Those roots really get a good hold!! A trowel wasn't enough, I had to use a shovel and dig a hole. But I still love them. The tiny lavendar blooms on the ends of the triangular stems are really highlighted against the dark green. Lots great in mixed pots.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2000 at 3:43PM
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Shelley - SthJersey-5

Perhaps everyone is watering too much. I purchased heather 2 yrs ago and watered it like everything else and killed it! I put it among my ornamental grasses and ignored what was left and it came back this year. I guess I gave it too much attention. Hope this helps. I did read an article on Heaths and heathers and you need gypsum in the soil for dranage. It grows abundant in Switzerland on the mountainside. Nobody's there to water it there!! I'm going to e-mail richard to see if he'll send me some. I've been exchanging plants all over the US for just $3.20 priority mail. It's great!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2000 at 7:50PM
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i just brought 2 mexican heather hanging plants. I am from New jersey and i dont know if i could plant them in the ground in the fall. Will they come back next year? My thumb is not green!!!!:)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2000 at 2:25PM
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Donna - 7

I bought one Mexican Heather a few weeks ago to try along a hot, dry area near our gravel road. The soil there is gravel and sand mostly. This little plant has thrived like it loves this hard to cultivate area. I think I will try some more in this area. Any other suggestions for plants that don't mind a sandy, gravelly soil? I have watered daily.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2000 at 5:42PM
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Tom Kaveney

I have a small Mexican Heather in a pot and it is growing well. What care should be given this plant in the winter. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. Tahnks very much for an answer to this question.

Sincerely, T. Kaveney

    Bookmark   September 5, 2000 at 8:34PM
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Debi - 7

HI, I bought one last spring and stuck it in between 2 did great all summer (even with over 100 degree weather).....but looks like it is dying out now??? there anyway to get seeds from this???....or cuttings???...Oh, I have it in the shade under a pine tree...thanks, debi

    Bookmark   September 12, 2000 at 7:12AM
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melissa NC

I have had a great Mex Heather which has done fine all summer in the hot sun. What I really like is that it has a braided stem. Now all of a sudden it looks like it's dying. I don't think I'm doing anything different. Any ideas? Also, it is a potted plant and I'd like to keep it for next year. Should I take it inside or try to plant it somewhere outside for the winter? Help my little plant:(
Zone 7

    Bookmark   July 27, 2001 at 8:22PM
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Heidi (dont know the zone yet) needs help

Heidi: When can I move my Mexican heather? Do I wait until fall? They're just starting to bloom again and I guess I put them too close to the house 'cause they're all smashed against the house instead of a pretty round bush. I want to pull them away from the house. Does anyone know? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2002 at 2:11PM
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This is my second year to plant Mexican Heather. They thrive in a bed that I can grow nothing else in. It's about 5 feet away from pine woods and has lots of pine roots beneath the bed. This did not winter over in my area but I think I will try it again. The info I read said it's a very tender evergreen and is perennial in the most southern areas. Nancy

    Bookmark   August 7, 2002 at 12:10AM
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I like the Mex Heather plants that I put in four+ years back. They did well initially, growing from 4" potlings to 24" shrubs. They bore some late Summer thinning to keep them off the Irish Moss groundcover.
Over the past two seasons the moss has completely died out and the heather is looking sparse and rather sad. I have tried mulching with peat and adding acid-type fertilizers to no avail.
I hear people have problems being overrun and others that consider it perrennial. I have had volunteer plants that sprout on occasion but, they are also beginning to look sad.
Is it a matter of adjusting soil chemistry, or should I give up and start fresh with something new. To have a plant start well and then gradually peter out indicates to me that they have a limited lifespan.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2003 at 12:31PM
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cnm7(7a Albuquerque)

I have a friend who grows Mexican Heather (Cuphea Hyssopifolia). It does great here in our hot, dry climate with alkaline soil. It's a plant that she just bought more of because it's thrived so well. I believe the trouble some are having with growing it is overwatering/overfeeding. My advice is to plant it in an area that doesn't require regular watering. Water regularly only to get it established, then just an occasional deep soaking if it hasn't rained.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 12:59AM
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fnkgry(Orange County,)

What is the difference between Mexican Heather and Allyson False Heather. They look very similar.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 7:35PM
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Kenny_Couch(8 Houston, T.X.)

I have tons of Mexican Heather and I've learned that they seem to like it rough. I don't fertilize them and only water them if it hasn't rained for about a week (container) or if it hasnt rained for 3 weeks (ground). I change out the soil in the containers every year. They will comeback after looking dead unless they are dead. Ususally from over watering.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 2:29PM
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sweetleelee(4 WI)

I am in northeastern Wisconsin (4) and I know Mexican heather is a perennial further south, but has anyone in my zone had luck with it wintering over outside with mulching in a protected area; also, how do I go about making soil alkaline? Thanks, Lee

    Bookmark   June 27, 2004 at 2:42PM
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I live in Thailand and mexican heather is used alot here I would guess because of its heat tolerance. I have quite a lot in my yard. I need to cut it back every so often when it gets brown and dead looking as many here are referring to. It then comes back bushy and green.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 10:18PM
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Mexican Heather are hardy in my area, i planted and they make a big comeback every year, they are sterm and seed spreading. i don't feed them at all but do water when they look wilt, my zone is 7. happy gardening

    Bookmark   September 11, 2004 at 9:29PM
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mjdalesio(z6/7 Maryland)

I planted 10 mexican heather plants this summer and they did great. I'm on the border of zone 6 and 7 in maryland. How can I possible save them to bloom again next summer. I cannot take them indoors. Can I mulch heavy? Should I cut them way back, mulch and tent them with clear or translucent plastic? Our winters are reasonably mild but unpredictable and are deffinate days of freezing temps, though rarely lower than 20-25 degrees. Please advise...time is not on my side. thanks, michael

    Bookmark   November 14, 2004 at 12:28PM
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My Mexican Heather is looking a little straggly. What needs to be done? I don't want to slash the pretty purple, delicate flowers.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 11:25PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

You might prune the flowers and bring them inside for enjoyment, but I don't see any way around it.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 7:58PM
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Dee 7

I'm pretty sure what I found at my house is Mexican heather. I brought it to a plant specialist. We moved in at the end of last summer & didn't really take notice to the overgrown flower bed. My neighbor wasn't sure what it was, but told me it has been there for years. I'm in NJ (zone7). Is this possible?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:41PM
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