Calluna or Erica

Autumn has arrived, flower shops and garden centres are beginning to offer autumn potted plants and you might be considering what to plant in your balcony flower pot, or in your garden. There are many types but how to choose the right one to please the eye without ruining the wallet?

For its beautiful structure and variability in various potted decorations or bouquets we very much like heather called Calluna vulgaris. This heather is a typical autumn small wooden bush, because it blooms during late summer and autumn. It occurs as a low shrub, particularly in Europe and Asia, where we they can be found as extensive peat bogs and moors. Heather has a five-thick bell flower that can reach a height of up to about 50 cm.

Calluna is available in shades of white and pink, such as fuchsia or purple. If you buy it somewhere in a different colour, such as orange, yellow or red, this are definitely artificially dyed types and beware, that next season they will certainly not bloom in the same colour, if they even survive the winter. However, under present "sustainability" awareness and with respect to nature, we recommend natural shades and not the artificially coloured.

Those of you who have already sometimes bought calluna, might know, that under certain conditions it is able to survive even strong and freezing winters. It is very much because of its origins. If you have it outside in a pot, it is highly recommended to wrap the container in something that would isolate the plant from the cold air, such as bubble wrap, polystyrene or jute. They do not mind small frosts. Place them into a half shade location. It is very important not to forget about watering, because although calluna can survive the winter, it often happens that the lack of watering makes it dry out and we can mistakenly think it froze. But beware not to overwater, just imagine a moorland where calluna has ideal conditions and act accordingly. Peat bogs is neither a desert nor a swamp.

Very similar in appearance to Calluna is heather called Erica cinerea, however, it differs not only in type of flower but also in foliage and blooming time. It originates in South Africa and this is the reason that in our frosty winters it doesn’t usually survive. It likes sunny habitat, it blooms during spring and optimal temperature is above 10 C. So beware that during our winters, especially the strong frosts during January-February are an absolute disaster for them. Erica is naturally available in white, pink, red and burgundy colour.

Calluna as well as Erica is recommended to be cleaned of twigs and old withered flowers after flowering, as that will support its further flowering and it will grow better and wider.

So, if you are thinking about a long-term investment and you will prefer if your potted plant grows more and more each year maybe in your garden, choose calluna. If you do not mind that to be in a same situation next year solving which plant to choose again, opt for Erica. Or, an ideal option is to try both. And if you want to be the trendy this autumn, then do select fuchsia flower colour and add accessories in orange, or vice versa. Then this season you will be 100% in.