How to plant heath plants

Close-up of a healthy heath plant well planted.

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 diameter Hole depth
Trees 32 inches (80 cm) 40 inches (1 m)
Shrubs 24 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 upon planting!

The most beautiful heath plants

Blue to pink through violet hydrangea shrub.
Magnolia with pink flowers against blue sky.
Red autumn leaves of the Japanese maple.
Japanese Maple
Bright orange flowers of an escallonia variety.
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.
Pink blooms on a small-leaved heath azalea.
Pastel pink blooms against large deep green rhododendron leaves.
Hardy red-flowered Japanese azalea is a heath shrub.
Japanese azalea
Pink camellia flower on dark green leaves.
Yellow-blooming gorse is a heath plant
Guitar plant, a new heath plant
Guitar plant
Crinodendron heath plant with a single flower

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

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY-NC 2.0: Per Verdonk, Tim Rudman
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: Toshihiro Gamo
CC BY-SA 2.0: Leonora Enking