Heather Calluna vulgaris 'Alexandra' (PBR) (Garden Girls Series)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
heather 'Alexandra'


Calluna vulgaris 'Alexandra' belongs to the Garden Girls Series and is often referred to by its common name, Scotch heather. This ornamental plant features a wealth of small, scale-like leaves tightly packed on its stems, presenting a dense, shrubby appearance. The foliage displays a rich green hue which may exhibit orange or bronze tints, especially during the cooler months, adding seasonal interest to the plant's appearance. Scotch heather is celebrated for its small, bell-shaped flowers that bloom profusely. 'Alexandra' in particular boasts deeply colored pink flowers that create an attractive contrast against the green foliage. These tiny flowers cluster along the stems, creating an effect that is both delicate and visually striking. The overall shape of 'Alexandra' is somewhat mound-like, with the branches typically sprawling outward in a compact manner that lends itself to a neat, well-groomed look when used in landscaping. Varied textures and the interplay of color between foliage and bloom make 'Alexandra' a desirable choice for gardeners looking to add long-lasting color and evergreen structure to their garden beds or containers.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Heather, Ling, Scottish Heather

    • Common names

      Calluna vulgaris 'Alexandra' (PBR) (Garden Girls Series).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Heather, which is the common name for Calluna vulgaris, including the 'Alexandra' variety, is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no widely recognized or documented symptoms of poisoning as a result of ingesting heather. However, individuals with specific allergies may react differently, and it is always wise to avoid ingesting plants that are not typically considered food.

    • To pets

      Heather, the common name for Calluna vulgaris, including the 'Alexandra' variety, is generally considered non-toxic to pets. This includes dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. There are no well-documented cases of poisoning from pets ingesting heather. However, each pet is unique, and some may have sensitivities or allergies. If symptoms of distress are observed after ingestion, consultation with a veterinarian is recommended.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Heather adds vibrant color to gardens with its deep purple-pink flowers and attractive evergreen foliage, enhancing visual interest year-round.
    • Low Maintenance: As a hardy plant, heather is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal pruning, fertilization, and watering once established.
    • Drought Tolerance: Heather is well-suited for drier conditions, making it an excellent choice for water-wise gardens and areas with water restrictions.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers provide a nectar source for bees and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity within the garden ecosystem.
    • Soil Adaptability: Heather can grow in a variety of soil types, including poor, rocky, or sandy soils, although it prefers acidic conditions.
    • Erosion Control: With its dense growth habit, heather can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in areas of exposed soil.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: It can be used for ground cover, borders, rock gardens, or as part of heath and moorland garden themes.
    • Winter Interest: Heather's evergreen foliage and sometimes persistent flower spikes can provide color and texture in the winter landscape.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Green Roofing: Heathers, like Calluna vulgaris, can be used to create visually appealing and ecologically friendly green roofs, providing insulation and supporting biodiversity.
    • Model Landscapes: Due to their miniature shrubbery appearance, heathers are often used in model train landscapes and dioramas to simulate small trees and bushes.
    • Livestock Bedding: The dried plant material of heather can provide a natural and absorbent bedding material for livestock, particularly in rural or traditional farming settings.
    • Natural Dye: Heathers can be used in the production of natural dyes for fabric, offering hues from yellow to green, depending on the mordant used.
    • Crafts and Floristry: Dried heather is popular in creating decorative crafts, wreaths, and as an addition to dried flower arrangements.
    • Beekeeping: Heather is a valuable plant for beekeepers since it produces abundant nectar, which results in a strongly flavored honey highly prized in certain regions.
    • Thatching: In traditional building practices, specifically in some parts of Europe, heather has been used as a material for thatching roofs.
    • Garden Mulch: After pruning, the clippings of heather can be used as an organic mulch to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
    • Photography Props: The vibrant colors and textures of heather make it an attractive prop for outdoor photography sessions.
    • Soil Erosion Prevention: When planted en masse, heather's root systems help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in areas susceptible to wind and rain damage.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Heather is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Heather is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Heather, specifically Calluna vulgaris, has been traditionally used in folklore to ward off harmful spirits and bad luck, symbolizing a shield against negative forces.
    • Admiration: The vibrant colors and hardiness of heather often embody admiration and beauty, signaling respect and the acknowledgement of someone’s inner strength.
    • Solitude: Growing naturally in open, solitary spaces such as moors, heather can signify a preference for peaceful solitude or the enjoyment of one’s own company.
    • Good Fortune: Heathers are sometimes associated with luck, and having heather in bloom is believed to bring about good fortune and positivity in one’s life.
    • Independence: Its ability to thrive in harsh environments is often connected to self-reliance and independence, symbolizing a person's strength to stand alone.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The common name for Calluna vulgaris 'Alexandra' (PBR) is Heather. To water Heather efficiently, it should be done thoroughly, allowing the water to penetrate deep into the soil, which encourages deep root growth. The watering frequency for Heather depends on the climate and soil conditions, but a general rule is to water once or twice a week during its growing season in spring and summer, and less often during the dormant winter months. An inch of water per week including rainfall is adequate for Heather. It's best to avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases, so using a soaker hose or watering at the base of the plant is recommended. Monitor the soil moisture regularly, as overwatering can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Heather thrives best in full sun to partial shade. For optimal growth, plant Heather where it can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. If you're growing it in a particularly hot climate, provide some afternoon shade to protect from the intense heat. Avoid deep shade, as this can result in sparse blooms and a leggy form.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Heather is hardy and can withstand a range of temperatures, but ideally, it prefers to be in cooler conditions. The ideal temperature for optimal growth is between 60°F and 70°F. Heather can survive in temperatures as low as 20°F and as high as 80°F but may not thrive if the temperatures remain at these extremes for prolonged periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    Heather should be pruned annually to maintain its shape and encourage new growth. The best time to prune is in early spring before new growth starts. Lightly trim off the top third of the plant, taking care not to cut into the old wood, as Heather can be slow to recover from severe pruning. Regular trimming also helps prevent the plant from becoming woody and sparse.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Heather requires well-drained, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A mix of peat moss, sand, and loamy soil in equal parts is ideal to ensure good drainage and the right acidity.

  • plantRepotting

    Heather plants, like the Heather 'Garden Girls', should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and provide room for growth, ideally in the spring before new growth starts.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Heather plants prefer moderate humidity levels but are fairly adaptable. They can thrive in the average atmospheric humidity found in most temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light, keep soil moist, and ensure high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-drained, acidic soil; full sun to partial shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Heather 'Alexandra' starts its life cycle as a seed, which when sown and provided the right conditions, germinates to form a seedling. As it grows, it enters the vegetative stage where it focuses on leaf and root development to form a healthy, bushy shrub. Heather plants are perennial and will reach maturity in several years, during which they will produce distinctive, colorful foliage and small bell-shaped flowers that attract pollinators. After blooming, which typically occurs during late summer to fall, the plant sets seed that can be dispersed by wind or wildlife. During winter, Heather 'Alexandra' undergoes dormancy, withstanding cold weather until spring when new growth resumes from the existing stems. The plant will continue this cycle, living for several years and potentially producing new plants through layering or division if provided with proper horticultural care.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • The most popular method of propagating Calluna vulgaris 'Alexandra', commonly known as the Heather plant, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This is typically done in late summer. To propagate, one should select healthy, non-flowering shoots and make a cutting approximately 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone to encourage growth. The cutting is then placed in a well-draining potting mix, ensuring the leafy top is exposed to light and air. The pot should be kept in a warm, humid environment with indirect light, making sure the soil stays moist but not soggy. Roots usually develop within a few weeks, after which the young plants can be gradually acclimated to less controlled conditions before planting out.