How to plant heath plants

Heath plants love acidic, cool and well-drained soil. Planting is an important phase in the life of a plant.

After having been grown in a container in a nursery, your plant will move to a new environment to which it must adapt.

Carefully follow each of the steps sequenced below.

This will guarantee that your heath plant will grow beautifully!

Planting heath plants

  • Dig a hole 4 to 5 times wider than the clump of the plant you are transferring. Usually heath trees and shrubs are sold in containers about 6 to 10 inches across (15 to 25 cm).
Hole diameterHole depth
Trees32 inches (80 cm)40 inches (1 m)
Shrubs24 inches (60 cm)20 inches (50 cm)
  • Break up the soil that was dug out, removing rocks and pieces of wood.
  • Mix this soil with heath soil (⅓ soil to ⅔ heath soil).
  • Let the root clump sit in a bucket of water for a few minutes to re-hydrate soil and roots.
  • Carefully run your fingers or a tool to untangle roots without wounding them, since they usually tend to cross over each other.
  • At the bottom of the hole, place a little bit of granulated organic heath plant fertilizer.
  • Place your plant in the hole, carefully spreading the roots out along the bottom. If the soil is very chalky, place a felt mat at the bottom of the hole to create a pocket of heath soil.
  • Fill the remaining space in the hole with heath soil.
  • Lightly compact the soil
  • Water abundantly

Smart tip for heath plants

For trees or shrubs that are over 40 inches (1 m) tall, you must stake them!

The most beautiful heath plants

Blue to pink through violet hydrangea shrub.
Hydrangea
Magnolia with pink flowers against blue sky.
Magnolia
Red autumn leaves of the Japanese maple.
Japanese Maple
Bright orange flowers of an escallonia variety.
Escallonia
Pink and white flowers of the heather plant.
Common summer heather
Pink erica heather flowers under snow in heath soil.
Winter heather
A seedling of American wintergreen already bears a berry in heath soil.
American wintergreen
Skimmia preparing to bloom.
Skimmia
Pink blooms on a small-leaved heath azalea.
Azalea
Pastel pink blooms against large deep green rhododendron leaves.
Rhododendron
Hardy red-flowered Japanese azalea is a heath shrub.
Japanese azalea
Pink camellia flower on dark green leaves.
Camellia
Yellow-blooming gorse is a heath plant
Gorse

As you see, having soil that is too acidic for “normal” plants doesn’t mean you can’t grow a beautiful garden!


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Common heather by Bruno GlÀtsch under Pixabay license
Hydrangea by Adriana Knop under Pixabay license
Magnolia by Hans Braxmeier under Pixabay license
Japanese red maple by Florian Jung under Pixabay license
Escallonia by Jane Kirkwood under Pixabay license
Heather by Alicja Juskowiak under Pixabay license
Erica winter heather by Nicola Buske under Pixabay license
American wintergreen by Per Verdonk under © CC BY-NC 2.0
Skimmia by Mabel Amber under Pixabay license
Azalea by Kim Dae Jeung under Pixabay license
Rhododendron by Karsten Paulick under Pixabay license
Japanese azalea by Toshihiro Gamo under © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Camellia by Tiffany under Pixabay license
Gorse by Eric Van Praet under Pixabay license