Looking to bring year-round colour into your garden? Incorporate the vivid liveliness of Heath into your landscape, a well-mannered, low maintenance evergreen that produces masses of Spring flowers. Distinguished by their bell-shaped blooms and dark green needle-like foliage, choose from a Crisp White (Spring blooms) or Kramer’s Red (Winter to mid-Spring blooms) colour to add compact, low growing impact and interest.
When choosing the ideal location in your garden, there are two major factors to consider, sun and soil type:
Sun Exposure: Your Heath should be exposed to a minimum of six hours of sun per day, ideally receiving afternoon shade- too much shade will result in your plant becoming gangly and not nearly as brilliant in colour.
Soil Type: Heath are acid lovers when it comes to soil, preferring a soil pH of 4.5-5.5, it is recommended to incorporate damp peat moss or other acidic soil adjustments for success; similar to that of a rhododendron or azalea planting. Drainage is key for these plants to grow and survive, if you are dealing with clay soil, raise your garden bed with topsoil, sand and composted bark/peat moss. For swampy soil, create a berm to assist with drainage.
Planting: Upon decided on the ideal location for your Heath, till/loosen your soil and dig a hole that is twice as wide as the plant’s root ball. Space your plants as far apart as their mature width (found on the back of your plant card) and at least 2 feet away from other shrubs to ensure proper plant circulation.
Maintenance: Upon planting be sure to water twice a week for the first several months, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Only fertilize once with rhododendron feed upon planting, after 2-3 years Heath are generally a drought tolerant plant and will take care of themselves.
Given the right care and location, these plants will reward you with attractive foliage for years to come!