Lavender heather: care tips for beautiful flowers

Lavender heather: care tips for beautiful flowers

Plant lavender heather properly

If you plant the shadow bells in autumn, you will create the best conditions for a magnificent bloom in the first year. In the partially shaded location in the slightly acidic soil, create a spacious planting pit while the still potted lavender heather is soaked in a bucket with lime-free water. Position the potted young plant in the middle of the pit and fill it with rhododendron soil. After the substrate has been pressed on with your hands, pour on generously.

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Care tips

The care protocol for shadow bells does not contain any horticultural stumbling blocks. See the following overview for yourself:

  • Water the lavender heather regularly with rainwater or decalcified tap water
  • Organically fertilize with compost, horn shavings (€ 6.39 on Amazon *) or guano (€ 10.44 on Amazon *) from March to July
  • Clean up withered flowers for a well-groomed appearance
  • Carry out shape and maintenance pruning immediately after flowering

Regardless of the stable winter hardiness, we recommend protection in the form of a mulch, fixed with fir fronds. The branches with the buds already laid are given a breathable hood made of jute or fleece. A light, frost-free winter quarters is ideally available for shadow bells in the bucket.

Which location is suitable?

If the lavender heather finds a partially shaded location, it pulls out all the stops of its floral capabilities. These lighting conditions promote the splendor of flowers and the beauty of the evergreen foliage in equal measure. In full sun or in deep shade, however, compromises have to be made.

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The correct planting distance

Since the growth width of the shadow bell either corresponds to the height or even exceeds it, this value is the starting point for the ideal planting distance. We have put together recommended distances for you for common types and varieties:

  • Plant height and width 30-50 cm: plant spacing as a solitary 40 cm, as a hedge plant 15-25 cm
  • Plant height and width 60-80 cm: Plant spacing as a solitary plant 70 cm, as hedge plants 30-40 cm
  • Plant height and width 80-100 cm: Plant spacing as a solitary plant 90 cm, as a hedge plant 40-50 cm

What soil does the plant need?

If you settle a shadow bell in this earth, there are the best prospects for vital growth and abundant flowering year after year:

  • Humorous and fresh and moist
  • Slightly acidic with a pH of 4.2 to 5.5
  • Gladly lean and well drained

In the heather garden or in the middle of the bog bed, the shadow bell feels in good hands.

When is the flowering time?

Look forward to a long flowering period from April to June. In years with mild winter weather, the first panicles of flowers sprout from mid / late March. When wilted flowers are cleaned out, the shadow bell immediately brings out new buds and flowers.

Cut lavender heather correctly

Wilted flowers are cut off regularly so that the shadow bells impress with a clean, neat appearance. If you cut the stems down to the first healthy pair of leaves, there is a good chance of a new bloom at this point. Carry out the central shape and maintenance cut as follows:

  • Cut back the shadow bells immediately after flowering
  • Shorten shoots that are too long except for one eye pointing outwards (slight thickening under the bark)
  • Cut deadwood and stunted branches at the base

If you postpone the pruning date to autumn or spring, you will deprive the ornamental wood of its next blossoming, as the buds have already been created at this point.

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Water the lavender heather

Water the shade bells regularly and abundantly, because drought stress affects the beauty of flowers and leaves in both summer and winter. Collected rainwater or decalcified tap water meet the requirements of a slightly acidic substrate particularly well.

Fertilize lavender heather properly

In terms of nutrient supply, the shadow bell is modest. However, you should not do without fertilizer entirely. The administration of acidic deciduous or coniferous compost with nettle manure in the period from March to July is beneficial for the abundance of flowers and leaves. You should stop fertilizing by the beginning of August at the latest so that the wood can mature before the first frost.


Health problems are the exception to the rule on a properly cared for shadow bell. If there are symptoms of the disease, it is usually a fungal infection. First and foremost, the wilt fungus Phytophthora should be mentioned, which causes young lavender heather to die off and the growth of adult trees and shrubs. The disease is triggered by too frequent watering, which leads to waterlogging in the root area. If the leaves turn yellow, the plant can no longer be saved. So that it doesn't get that far in the first place, do not water well dosed with lime-free water until the surface of the earth is dry.

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There are less frosty temperatures, because intense winter sun and drought stress, which can cause problems for a shadow bell. In addition, belated ground frosts threaten the buds that have already been created in early spring. We therefore recommend the following precautions:

  • In the bed, pile up the tree disc with leaves and coniferous branches
  • Place the bucket on wood, wrap it with bubble wrap and cover the substrate with peat grease
  • Wrap the branches with jute ribbons or put on a breathable hood made of garden fleece

As a precaution, put pots with a diameter of less than 30 cm in a light, frost-free winter area.

Propagate lavender heather

Anyone who has been able to experience the red leaf shoots and the enchanting spring bloom would like more shadow bells for the bed and balcony. How good that the reproduction is so uncomplicated. The following two methods make life easy for amateur gardeners:

  • Cut cuttings during the flowering period, place in poor soil and let root in the partially shaded place
  • In May / June pull half-woody shoots to the ground, score in the middle, cover with substrate and let root

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Is lavender heather poisonous?

The shadow bell is not suitable for the family garden. The high content of toxins poses life-threatening dangers for humans and animals. The mere contact of the skin causes severe irritation. Consumption of the smallest amounts causes symptoms of poisoning up to and including cardiac arrest.

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Is lavender heather hardy?

The shadow bell has a robust winter hardiness and can withstand temperatures down to - 23 degrees Celsius. Special precautions as winter protection are therefore not necessary. This requirement applies to a partially shaded to shady location. If the ornamental wood is in a sunny location, there is a threat of life-threatening drought stress when exposed to intense sunlight combined with freezing. A thick layer of mulch made from foliage soil and coniferous twigs as well as watering on mild winter days prevent this dilemma.

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Nice varieties

  • Valley Valentine: Star variety thanks to red bell flowers and majestic stature; Height 80-150 cm
  • Forest Flame: Compact growth, bright red shoots of evergreen leaves and white flowers; Height of growth 100 cm
  • Little Heath: Premium variety with white-pink variegated, evergreen leaves and white flowers; Height 50-60 cm
  • Purity: spherical habit, littered with shiny silver panicles of flowers above lush green leaves; Growth height 70-80 cm
  • Cavatine: Splendid specimen for the bucket and as grave planting thanks to its compact silhouette; Growth height 40 cm