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shrub

Kerstin Heather

Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin'

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Kerstin Heather (Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin') at Johnson Brothers Garden Market

Kerstin Heather flowers

Kerstin Heather flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  8 inches

Flower Height:  12 inches

Spread:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Scotch Heather, Ling Heather

Description:

A variety with spikes of mauve bell-shaped flowers and gray-green leaves; great as a color contrasting groundcover; flowers throughout summer; very particular about growing conditions; needs acidic organic soil; will die in anything else

Ornamental Features

Kerstin Heather features tiny spikes of fuchsia bell-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from mid summer to mid fall. It has attractive grayish green foliage. The needles are highly ornamental and remain grayish green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Kerstin Heather is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It is a good choice for attracting bees to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Kerstin Heather is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Kerstin Heather will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 12 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have sandy, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Kerstin Heather makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features