Does heath or heather do well in poorer, dryer soil?

three4rdMay 7, 2007

I have a sloped bed that has always been covered for the most part with spreading junipers. Lately, the junipers seem to be dying out. I'm thinking of replacing them with something different that would provide some color. Would heath or heather be a good choice as a ground cover? We have basically shale - dry soil with lots of rocks and stones only a short distance under the topsoil. And, we live on a hill so there is lots of wind. Any suggestions for replacing the juniper - please let me know.

Thanks,

Keith

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

While they want well drained soil, if it is really dry, then you would have to water. They aren't very drought tolerant.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 8:08PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I know this is an old post, but three4rd doesn't give a zone, location, or an acknowledgment of replies. Not cool.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 5:34AM
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natschultz

Wow! This is an old post!

Oh well, still this is a good question and my opinion is that they will grow in such soil if a lot of peat moss and organic matter (leaf mould, compost) are added into the soil - make the hole at least 3 times as large as the plant because they do spread very wide over time (many years). And mulch very well.

Mine are totally exposed to the sun and wind, and occasionally they look crappy because of it, but this year after record snowfall and record rainfall this Spring they have never looked better (mine are almost 15 years old - the one fully exposed to wind and sun is HUGE; the one in partial shade is half the size).

I'm assuming here that this person lived in a temperate zone, not the desert.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:51AM
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kyhawthorne(z5 KC)

natschultz,
I am thinking of growing heather because I thought it would grow well in poor clay soil. It appears that maybe I should not grow it. I want something for my hot Missouri weather that will look good through the summer.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 11:57AM
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