spring blooming heather protect from temps below 32 degrees????

Feather_IncApril 15, 2004

I was at the grocery store today and found a beautiful purple heather in a pot on sale for 1.99. I've been wanting some of these so naturally I snatched it up right away. On the tab is says to keep it in the shade and protect it from tempuratures below 32 degrees. Ok I was under the impression these were pretty cold tolerant. I bought it anyway, but am I going to have to dig it up come winter? also, do they produce seeds and if so are they easy to sow?

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Frizzle(z6 PA)

i did the same thing last season and it didn't come back. apparently there is a hardy version AND a mexican version. i'll just assume that is what i got and that is why it's didn't survive my zone 6 winter.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2004 at 5:44PM
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johnpdd(z5? NW Indiana)

Many heather are from Africa and are intollerant of cold.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 4:23PM
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hardrockkid(z6 (PA))

Is there a species listed on that tag?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 2:43PM
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I have a spring Heather the Erica Persoluta version. I would love to put it in the garden for spring color, I am in Indiana and it gets very cold in the winter here. Can this version withstand the winter cold?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 2:49PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Erica persoluta is a true Heath (unlike Mexican Heather) but it is native to South Africa.

Can be planted outside only in the warmest zones with NO frost.

This is a common plant grown for the florist trade because it is very showy and beautiful. You find it at Home Depot and other big box stores in addition to grocery stores. Nurseryman's Exchange and Hana Bay and Por La Mar nurseries in the Bay Area of California grow it and widely distribute it.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 1:55PM
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Sorry for resurrecting such an old thread, but from what I understand, heathers need a period of dormancy, but most cannot tolerate frost. If so, then what temperatures would be adequate to induce dormancy? Sorry for all the questions!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 11:21AM
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Audric, most heaths and heathers are quite frost tolerant - Calluna vulgaris, probably the most hardy of the heather/heath species, is typically considered hardy to zone 4, with some cultivars listed to zone 3. Ericas offer a wider range, with E. carnea considered the toughest, but these as a whole tend to be less hardy. Mulching in winter or with a good snow cover will increase viability.

Here in the PNW, where we can experience some good hard frosts and occasional winters down to the teens, most of the heaths and heathers, except for the most tender forms, require no winter protection. Temperatures consistantly in the 40's should be sufficient for inducing dormancy, but most of the winter blooming heathers - as evergreen subshrubs - never go fully dormant.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 11:51AM
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Hello Gardengal! Thank you for the quick response.

I believe I have a heather, (C. vulgaris?), as it has scaly foliage, not needles. I know that they are definitely not houseplants, which makes me rethink my decision in purchasing a little heather. However, it is for my balcony which I can either open to the elements or close up and semi-control the temperature. I may close it up for winter and keep it around 40°F.

Thank you again for the response!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:05AM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

If you do have Calluna Vulgaris (Scotch Heather or Ling) it should be hardy to zone 4 or colder with protection. That said I would suggest that a young plant particularly on a balcony will need to be protected from drying winds (cover with a tent of pine branches) and apply a mulch to the soil. In the spring cut back last years flowering branches just below the old flowers. Lush new growth will start at the point where you cut so be brave and don't allow your plant to become too leggy. kt

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 7:38AM
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