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The Plant Guide

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Scotch heather

Calluna vulgaris 'Spring Torch'

kal-LOO-nah vul-GAR-iss Audio

'Spring Torch' gets its name from the vibrant color of its new growth in spring. The mid-green leaves are tipped in shades of cream, orange, and red. Later in the summer, mauve-pink flower spikes cover the plant and last into the fall. As cold weather sets in, leaves acquire bronze or purple tones, adding further interest. This small, mounding evergreen shrub makes a good groundcover or rock garden plant. Bees love it. Different cultivars are beautiful woven together in the garden to form a colorful tapestry.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsColorful new growth; pink flower spikes in late summer and fall. Attractive to bees.

CareHeather needs an open site in well-drained, fertile, acidic soil in full sun. Mulch and cover with pine boughs if snow cover is not consistent. Prune annually in spring by cutting back flowered shoots to within an inch of previous year's growth.

PropagationLayer in spring, or root semi-ripe, 2-inch cuttings in mid-summer.

ProblemsDuring hot summers, spider mites may be a problem.

  • Genus : Calluna
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7
  • Bloom Time : Fall, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Uses : Ground Covers
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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