Growing Heather in Pots

Heather is a flowering evergreen shrub that can grow well in pots. Growing Heather in pots allows for more flexible placement options like on a patio, balcony, or front porch. Potted Heather plants can also live in climates that may not typically be suitable for this perennial bush.


Planting Heather in Pots

Heather is winter hardy, but it cannot handle extreme winter weather, so wait until the temperature is consistently above freezing before moving a potted Heather outdoors. Plants begin to grow actively during the spring, making early spring a good time to plant Heather in pots. The ideal planter for Heather will be wide enough to support the plant’s roots, which tend to spread out. The pot must have drainage holes so that extra water can drain.

Best Soil For Heather in Pots

The best potting mix for Heather will be moist but well draining. Soil with a slightly acidic pH supports healthy growth. Heather does not need rich soil but amending the potting soil with organic compost or mulch will help the plant grow.

Caring For Heather in Planters

Heather shrubs in planters need full sun to partial shade. This bush grows 1 to 2 feet tall and wide, so select a pot at least 18 inches in diameter. The container should have a drainage hole so the roots do not become soggy.


Watering Heather in Pots

Water potted Heather when the top couple of inches of soil are dry. Saturate the soil and water until excess water drains through the pot. Depending on the weather, the plant will need water a few times a week. You may need to water less after it has rained, or more during a dry spell.

Fertilizing Heather in Pots

Heather is not a heavy feeder, but fertilizer or organic compost supports new growth. Top-dress the soil with organic compost or mulch each spring. Select an acidic soil when planting, or apply a fertilizer for acid-loving plants during the spring and midsummer.

Winter Care For Heather in Pots

While Heather is cold hardy, freezing temperatures can be damaging. Potted Heather bushes grown in warmer areas may not need much winter care, but plants in cold regions will need protection. Relocate potted Heather plants to a basement, shed, or garage – the space does not need to be heated, it just needs to offer protection from the elements. Getting the plant out of the snow and cold temperatures will help the plant survive the winter. The roots of potted plants are vulnerable to cold temperatures because they do not have as much soil insulating them as plants in the ground.

Growing Heather Indoors

Potted Heather plants can be brought indoors for the winter. While this plant is an evergreen, it does not offer much visual interest, so it is not commonly used as a houseplant. Heather bushes can easily spend the winter inside, but do not expect the plant to bloom. There is not enough sunlight during the winter, so this shrub will go dormant until the weather warms up and it is time to go back outside.


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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 08-15-2022