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How to propagate heather

Updated November 21, 2016

Heather is an evergreen plant that grows from 10 cm to 60 cm tall, depending on the variety or cultivar. It forms clumps up to 60 cm wide and flowers with airy, pinkish-purple or yellow-orange blooms from summer until the autumn. The plants grow well in sun or part shade and fast-draining, acidic soil. Heather can be propagated by taking cuttings from healthy plants in summer. The cuttings are placed into a moist growing medium and moved outdoors after a healthy root system forms.

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  1. Select a pot or container that has at least one hole in the bottom to prevent over-watering.

  2. Fill the container with vermiculite and just enough water to moisten it lightly.

  3. Snip a 5 cm to 8 cm piece of stem from the heather plant.

  4. Pull the leaves from the bottom of the cutting.

  5. Apply rooting compound to the cut end of the heather.

  6. Poke a hole in the vermiculite with a pencil and slide the treated end of the cutting into the hole. Pat the vermiculite around the base of the cutting to hold it in place.

  7. Place the container into a clear plastic bag and seal with a twist tie. Put the cutting in a brightly lit location, but not in direct sunlight.

  8. Add moisture to the container only if it dries out, as too much water causes developing roots to rot.

  9. Check to see if roots have formed by pulling very lightly on the cutting. Remove the container from the bag when the cutting no longer slips freely from the vermiculite.

  10. Transplant the cuttings to the garden after visible growth occurs. Water deeply to prevent the roots from drying out. Continue to water whenever the surface of the soil feels dry during the first growing season to encourage a sturdy root system.

  11. Tip

    Plant heather in a location protected from strong wind.

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Things You'll Need

  • 8 cm to 10 cm pot
  • Vermiculite
  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting compound
  • Pencil
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Twist tie

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