How to Grow False Heather - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

False heather is a small, evergreen shrub native to the Canary Islands. It grows to about 30 cm tall and has small, dark green leaves. The flowers are small and white, and they bloom in the spring and summer. false heather is a popular plant for gardens and landscaping, and it is also used in bonsai.

How to Grow False Heather - Plant Care & Tips

Also known as

  • Spanish heather
  • Erica arborea
  • Tree heath
  • Arbor heath
  • False heath

Good to Know

  • False heather is not a true heather.
  • It is a member of the plant family Ericaceae.
  • False heather is native to Europe and Asia.
  • It is an evergreen shrub.
  • False heather grows to a height of 1-2 meters.
  • The leaves are small and oval shaped.
  • The flowers are small and white.
  • False heather blooms from May to July.
  • The fruit is a small, dry capsule.
  • False heather is used as an ornamental plant.

Growing Steps

  1. For false heather, first step is to find a cutting.
  2. Cut a 4-6 inch stem from a false heather plant that is currently in bloom.
  3. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem.
  4. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone.
  5. Fill a small pot with moistened potting mix.
  6. Make a hole in the potting mix with your finger.
  7. Insert the cut end of the stem into the hole.
  8. Firm the potting mix around the stem.
  9. Water the potting mix.
  10. Place the pot in a bright location but out of direct sunlight.

Related plant:
False Cypress Shrub

The Soil

About soil condition, false heather prefers well-drained soils, though it is known to be quite tolerant of different types of soil conditions. It is not overly particular about pH levels, though it seems to prefer slightly acidic soils. This plant is also fairly drought-tolerant once it is established, though it will appreciate regular watering during prolonged periods of dry weather.

Light requirement

Similar to other types of heather, false heather (Erinnus alpina) needs full sun to partial shade to grow well. It prefers acidic, well-drained soils but can tolerate a range of different soil types. This low-growing shrub is an evergreen, meaning it will maintain its foliage throughout the year.

Ideal Temperature

The temperature condition in the False heather is cool and dry. The False heather grows in the cool, dry climate of the False heather. The False heather is a low, spreading shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region. The False heather is a member of the Ericaceae family.

Ideal Humidity

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 50%. Heather thrives in moist conditions and benefits from regularly misting and humidity tray. If the air is too dry, the plant will suffer from brown tips.

The Fertilizer

For the fertilizer, this plant does best with something that is high in phosphorus. This will help the plant to produce more flowers. For the root, this plant likes to have a well-drained soil but also one that is moisture retentive.

About light

Pruning should be done in late summer or early fall. False heather can be pruned quite severely, as it will grow back quickly. If the plant is looking leggy or overgrown, cut it back by one-third to one-half. This will encourage new growth and make the plant look fuller.

Plant Propagation

Propagation is generally done by rooting stem cuttings taken from the plant as it begins to flower in late spring. The cuttings should be 4 to 6 inches long and should be taken from the tips of the branches. Cuttings should be taken from healthy, nonflowering stems. Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting, and make a fresh cut just below a leaf node. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone, and then plant it in a pot filled with moistened, well-drained potting mix. Place the pot in a warm, bright location, and keep the soil moist. New roots should form within 4 to 6 weeks. Once the roots are well-established, the plant can be transplanted to a larger pot or outdoors.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is determined by the temperature and the amount of sunlight the plant receives. In general,false heathers grow best in full sun but can tolerate partial sun. They also prefer well-drained soil but can tolerate some moisture. False heathers are not particularly fussy about soil type as long as it is not waterlogged.

The Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are that the leaves may develop brown spots or the plant may experience stunted growth. These problems are often caused by excessive sunlight, water stress, or nutrient deficiencies. If you notice any of these problems, you should take steps to correct the issue and improve the health of your false heather.

Tips on Growing

  • Make sure to plant your false heather in a well-draining spot.
  • Give your false heather plenty of room to grow.
  • Water your false heather regularly, but do not overwater.
  • Fertilize your false heather every few weeks during the growing season.
  • Prune your false heather regularly to encourage new growth.
  • Protect your false heather from extreme temperatures.
  • Bring your false heather indoors during the winter months.
  • If you live in an area with deer, make sure to protect your false heather from them.
  • false heather is generally a low-maintenance plant, but make sure to check it regularly for pests or disease.
  • Enjoy your beautiful false heather plant!

Related Plants

  • Heath (heather, broom, Erica, and Calluna)
  • Mountain heather
  • Alice heath
  • Scottish heather
  • Cross-leaved heath
  • Purple heath
  • Moorland heath
  • Ling heather
  • Bell heather
  • Heath aster

heatherh | Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Heather E. Tookes | Yale School of Management
Heather J. Kulik – MIT Chemical Engineering

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Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category