New to growing heaths and heathers

mtilton(7a OK)March 20, 2005

I'm glad gardenweb has a forum specifically for heaths and heathers.

I just purchased seeds for 5 heath species (e. glandulosa, e. mammosa, e. versicolor, e. baccans and e. plukenetti) from a site with very reasonable prices (Fine Bush People). Tomorrow I'm going to buy e. vagans, e. cinerea, e. x stuartii, e. carnea, e. tetralix and a couple of calluna vulgaris cultivars from Heaths and Heathers.

Please tell me: 1) how far apart should I plant these different species so they won't cross-breed, 2) are these suitable for growing in zone 7a and 3) what's the best way to acidify my very alkaline soil. Could I just fill the plant hole with peat moss rather than the soil I took out?

I'm fairly new to gardening in general. I hope you don't mind the questions. Thank you in advance.

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I am a member of the Northeast Heather Society, a chapter of the North American Heather Society. These organizations are dedicated to the growing of heathers (Calluna, Erica, Daboecia, Cassiope, Phyllodoce and Andromeda).
To join the NEHS and get the informative newsletter, send $15 to our treasurer: Vivagean Merz, 55 Upland Avenue, Falmouth, MA. 02540.
The heath species for which you bought seeds are not included in our interest, and I don't know anything about them.
The Heaths and Heathers catalog is an excellent source of information.
The calluna and erica will not cross breed, and it's unlikely that the individual cultivars will hybridize, although occasionally a sport is found.
Erica carnea and E. vagans will tolerate alkaline soil. To acidify, you can mix dampened peat moss, shredded oak leaves, pine needles and the like with your soil.
Good luck, and enjoy your new hobby.

Here is a link that might be useful: North American Heather Society

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 7:20PM
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Another great resource for Heaths and Heathers here on the East Coast is Rockspray Nursery, plus their catalog give more sound advice than ANY other book I have read on h&h. Their knowledge is as reliable as their plants, all first-rate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rockspray

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 3:31PM
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mtilton(7a OK)

Thanks for your replies.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 9:27PM
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so what can i add to keep it acidic later.
my 2 little Calluna vulgaris Lianne seem to be doing well. i did notice it had some browned tips on it (mainly on the back) but its got lots of little green ones as well.
i just had to move my little Erica carnea Vivellii since it wasnt doing well. it hadnt seen out any new roots when we dug it up. it think it didnt get enough light due to the huge lilac bush. i forgot to treat its new home first though.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:35PM
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mtilton(7a OK)

Hi. One thing you can do is add 1 tbsp. of vinegar in a gallon of water when you water your heather. Also, make sure the soil immediately surrounding your heather is mainly peat if it's not already acidic.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 1:42AM
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My original Heather came from Wal- Mart or some such store it actually is quite lovely with a little maintanence.It is starting to spread out should I leave it natural or trim it?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 3:23PM
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