2017 Harvest

Monday, February 10, 2014

Calluna vulgaris

 Winter is slowly leaving, snow and ice are melting and this means that I can stop complaining and get back to writing a blog about gardening.
A few weeks ago we got a new plant for our flower beds. Since we have enormous amounts of sun in our front garden we needed a plant that likes the sun but also can survive hard winter. We decided to get Calluna.

                                  Calluna vulgaris
                    Calluna / ling / heather / vrijesak

Calluna vulgaris is a plant that comes in 500 varieties, most of them are summer blooming. They come in many colors: white, pink, violet and many shades of red.
Leaves are small, similar to little needles and their color is from green to fire orange.

Calluna vulgaris is easily mistaken for Erica plants. The biggest difference between Calluna and Erica genus is hardiness zone. Erica grows in zones from 7-9 and Calluna grows in zones 5-7 and with appropriate snow cover can survive winters even in Zone 3.

Calluna is low maintenance plant that grows like a bush and reaches 20 - 50cm. It likes poor soil and tolerates rocky and salty soil. They love acid soil and good drainage( when planting in clay use raised bed with sand drainage).

Planting: After buying Calluna trim it to stimulate growth. Plant your Calluna to it's place in the garden in spring or early autumn.Choose a place that has at least 6 hours of sun, avoid places with strong winter winds. After planting water it 2 times a week. Plant likes acid mulch so use Sphagnum or leaf mold for mulching.

Calluna doesn't like too much care. The only care it needs is watering and shearing once a year. Shear it in spring before buds appear or in winter after the buds fall.
After 3 years you can stop watering your plant cause it will be strong enough to take care of itself.

Calluna is a perfect plant for gardens with lots of sun, with well drained soil and gardeners that love bushy plants.


  1. It's a beauty! Look at all those sweet little blooms! I didn't know this plant, and your post tells me why - it grows in zones 5-7, and I'm in zone 8. Thanks for all the info. A plant that can sometimes take a zone 3 winter has to be respected!

  2. I know the Callunas quite well, they thrive on our soil and are beautiful in an area of pine and fir trees. At last we have a sunny day, so I am off to the garden.

  3. I have never seen this plant before. So beautiful and so interesting.


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