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not sick, just not growing?!

Posted by Catlet Ireland (Louth) (My Page) on
Mon, May 24, 04 at 11:17

We were given 4 heathers in a rectangular pot 3 months ago as a housewarming present (and I have to say, of all the presents we got they were by far my favourite! we'd never gardened before but since getting those 4 plants the first thing i do every evening when i get home from work is run out to see how they're doing - along with the 10 tomato plants, kilmarnock willow, and hundreds of seedlings we now have in pots! i dread to think what i'll be like when the building rubble is dug out of the garden and i can put things in the ground! : )
anyway, 3 of the heathers are doing beautifully - they're 3 times the size they were 3 months ago. the 4th is proving a bit more problematic. it hasn't grown much at all - there's between half an inch and an inch of new growth on each branch, compared to the 3 or 4 inches on the others. i've no idea what varieties they are (there wasn't a label in the pot when we got it) so i don't know what the plant is likely to be looking for. has anyone any ideas? or even suggestions on how to identify the plants - they're all different and i'd like to know what they are.
thanks,
cat


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: not sick, just not growing?!

What gets called 'heather' is a quite varied group of plants -- mostly true heathers (genus Calluna) and the heaths (species/hybrids of genus Erica). They have very different mature sizes, and different growth rates.

So... what I'm saying is that if the little/slow growing one looks healthy and has new growth all around, it is very likely to be FINE - just a smaller variety.

As for identifying them, I suspect you'll need to watch them over the course of a year to get enough info... even then, you might not be absolutely sure. Factors that you'll want to know to narrow things down are:

- time of bloom
- bloom color
- summer foliage color
- winter foliage color
- color of new growth ("spring tips")

At this point, you probably could determine whether they are Callunas or Ericas... Callunas don't exactly have leaves; their "foliage" is sort of like fine scale. Ericas have more fine, needle-like foliage.

Two heath & heather nurseries with on-line information include:

www.heathsandheathers.com and
www.rockspray.com

Finally... sounds like you got the Garden Bug!! :)


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