Of the many varieties of plants, the most suitable for growing at home are slender indoor heather (Erica gracilis) and wintering heather (Erica huemalis) .
Heather slender is an evergreen shrub up to 40 cm tall, with linear (4 pieces in whorls) light green leaves up to 5 mm long. Flowers 5-10 mm long, bell-shaped, pink-red, arranged in 4 pcs. at the ends of the side shoots.
- Flowering period: from September to February.
- Origin: South Africa.
- Known in culture since 1774, it has many varieties that are distinguished by a variety of flower colors.
Wintering heather differs from a slender bush in height – up to 50 cm and larger, up to 2 cm long, bell-shaped white flowers.
Reproduction by seeds, cuttings and division of the bush during transplantation is available.
Growing heather at home, propagation by seeds is carried out at any time of the year at a temperature of +18 +20 ° С. Seeds are sown in bowls with a substrate consisting of coniferous, peat soil and river sand with a ratio of 1:2:1 and are not buried in the soil. The bowl is covered with glass from above until shoots appear, which will appear 3-4 weeks after sowing. In the first week, you need to maintain high humidity, then spray from above 4-5 times a month. For the summer, seedlings should be taken out to fresh air, protected from sunlight for hardening, and after 8-10 months they can be planted in a separate pot .
When heather is propagated by cuttings, the latter are cut at the end of summer from strong shoots, but not from flowering ones. Then the cuttings are rooted in separate pots with a soil mixture of peat and sand in equal proportions. Then the cuttings are rooted in separate pots with a soil mixture of peat and sand in equal proportions. The best temperature for rooting is + 15-20 ° C. Rooted cuttings grow faster than seedlings and bloom earlier.
The fastest, easiest and most reliable way to propagate is by dividing the rhizomes after flowering. The plant must be removed from the pot without shaking off the earthen ball and divided into parts. Then the separated parts are seated in separate pots, watered and fed abundantly.
Then the separated parts are seated in separate pots, watered and fed abundantly.
The best time to plant a plant is April – early May or late September – early October. The soil mixture should consist of peat, river sand and coniferous soil (proportion – 3:1:2, respectively), with the addition of coniferous soil or bedding from a pine forest.
Requirements for planting material:
- the plant must have a closed root system;
- shoots should be elastic, flexible and well leafy;
- at the ends of the shoots there should be active vegetative buds.
Seedlings take root well at the age of 2 years. Planting depth for a plant is 25-30 cm, the root neck is at ground level, and the distance between seedlings is at least 30 cm.
Planting depth for a plant is 25-30 cm, the root neck is at ground level, and the distance between seedlings is at least 30 cm.
The plant is cultivated indoors for no more than one year. If heather involves growing at home, then it can be saved for the next year. To do this, 5-7 days after the flowering period, cut off the shoots and place the plant in the fresh air. Perform a full feeding cycle and trim the bush.
When grown at home, heather is often infested with aphids or spider mites, and if the humidity is too high, fungal diseases are possible.
The main care for heather is regular watering, mulching the soil and controlling the acidity of the soil. The main care for heather is regular watering, mulching the soil and controlling the acidity of the soil. In most varieties of heather, the root system is superficial, so the soil cannot be loosened. m. for young plants and 20-30 g / sq. m. for adults. Fertilizers are applied to the soil around the plant, excluding leaves and flowers.
Heather at home needs regular airing and spraying of the plant, especially at high air temperatures. The flower should be placed in a well-lit sunny place. During the flowering period, indoor heather requires maintenance at a temperature not higher than + 12 ° C.
Basic rules for caring for indoor heather:
- water only with softened, settled, melt or rain water at room temperature that does not contain chlorine and lime;
- substrates should not be allowed to dry out;
- in summer keep at air temperature within +18 +25°С, in winter +8 +12°С;
- in summer and winter, place indoors, creating a microclimate, and in the off-season, take it outside, protecting it from drafts;
- spray daily with warm water during the spring-autumn period to prevent pest infestation;
- during the period of active growth (spring-autumn), feed with organic and mineral fertilizers;
- acidify the soil with gray or spruce bark;
- it is necessary to annually transplant or replace the substrate in a pot, without disturbing the earthen clod.
it is necessary to annually transplant or replace the substrate in a pot, without disturbing the earthen clod. To stimulate flowering, growth and maintain the decorative appearance of the bush, regular heather pruning is required, which is carried out after flowering. When removing shoots located close to the middle, you cannot cut off the old dark wood.