Heather 'Dark Star' Calluna vulgaris 'Dark Star' (d)

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


'Dark Star' is a compact, spreading evergreen shrub to 20cm tall, with dark green foliage and spikes of semi-double, bright crimson flowers

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Scotch Heather, Ling Heather, Scottish Heather

    • Common names

      Calluna vulgaris 'Dark Star'

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (0.30-0.61 meters)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (0.30-0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Heather adds vibrant color and texture to gardens with its rich purple flowers and evergreen foliage.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers, contributing to pollination and biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: Heather is known to require minimal care, thriving in poor soil and resisting many common pests and diseases.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, heather plants are exceptionally drought tolerant, making them ideal for water-conserving landscapes.
    • Soil Erosion Control: The dense growth habit of heather can help prevent soil erosion on slopes and banks.
    • Winter Interest: Heather plants remain visually appealing through winter, providing color and form when many other plants are dormant.
    • Long Blooming Season: The flowering period extends from mid-summer through fall, offering extended visual interest in the garden.
    • Versatility: Suitable for a variety of garden styles, including rock gardens, borders, ground cover, and container gardening.
    • Cultural Significance: Heather has a rich history and cultural significance in regions such as Scotland, which can add a thematic element to gardens.
    • Companion Planting: The plant blends well with other heather varieties and acid-loving plants like rhododendrons, providing diverse garden compositions.

  • 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

    • As a natural dye: The flowers of Heather can be used to create natural dyes for coloring wool, providing a range of soft, muted hues, particularly purples and pinks.
    • In crafting brooms: The stiff, wiry branches of Heather have historically been bound together to create brooms for sweeping, especially in rural communities.
    • Furniture decoration: Heather can be dried and arranged in craft projects, including the creation of decorative panels on furniture.
    • Christmas decoration: In some regions, Heather is used as a Christmas decoration, providing a splash of color during winter months.
    • In jewelry making: Dried Heather flowers can be encapsulated in clear resin to create unique, botanical jewelry such as pendants and earrings.
    • As flavoring in brewing: The flowering tips of Heather can sometimes be used in the brewing of certain types of beer, giving a floral note to the drink.
    • Wildlife habitat: In the landscape, Heather provides cover and food for various wildlife species, including bees, butterflies, and birds.
    • In photography: Due to its picturesque appearance, Heather is often used as a subject matter or backdrop in landscape photography.
    • As firewood: When dried, the dense wood of Heather burns slowly and can be utilized for fuel in open fires or wood-burning stoves.
    • In basket making: The flexible branches of Heather can be woven into baskets, traditional crafts, and other artisanal items.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Heather is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Heather is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Heather, particularly in its 'Dark Star' variety, is often associated with protection due to its hardy nature, being able to thrive in harsh conditions.
    • Good luck: In some traditions, heather is considered a lucky plant, symbolizing good fortune and prosperity.
    • Independence: The resilience and self-sufficiency of heather allow it to stand as a symbol of independence and personal growth.
    • Purification: Heather is sometimes used in purification rituals or thought to bring cleansing energy to a space or person.
    • Beauty: Despite its rugged environment, heather has delicate flowers, symbolizing a beauty that endures through adversity.
    • Solitude: Because it often grows in remote, barren places, heather can represent solitude or a preference for one's own company.
    • Admiration: The endurance and attractiveness of heather may imply admiration for someone who has overcome obstacles.

Every 2-3 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Heather plant requires consistent moisture, so aim to water it when the top inch of soil feels dry. Typically, this means watering the plant once or twice a week, depending on the climate and weather conditions. Use a gentle watering method, like a watering can with a shower nozzle, to avoid disturbing the soil. Each watering session should provide enough water to moisten the soil thoroughly without causing waterlogging. To ensure proper hydration, use approximately 1 gallon of water per square foot every week during the growing season.

  • sunLight

    Heathers thrive in full sunlight, meaning they need at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. Place your Calluna vulgaris 'Dark Star' in a spot where it can receive plenty of light without being shaded by larger plants or structures. Avoid excessive shade as this can lead to poor flowering and weak growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Heather plants prefer a cool to moderate temperature range, typically between 40°F and 65°F. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 10°F and as high as 70°F, but these extremes are not ideal for long-term health. For best results, maintain a consistent temperature within the preferable range to ensure thriving growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Heathers annually to maintain their compact shape and encourage vigorous growth. The best time to prune is in the spring, immediately after flowering to avoid cutting off the next year's buds. Lightly trim the top third of the plant, shaping as desired. Regular pruning helps prevent the center from becoming woody and bare.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Heather requires acidic soil with a pH range between 4.5 and 6. The best soil mix for heather is a blend of peat moss, sand, and loam to ensure adequate drainage and moisture retention. Incorporating organic matter like composted pine needles can also benefit the plant by mimicking its natural habitat.

  • plantRepotting

    Heather does not need frequent repotting; it should be repotted every two to three years. Over time, the acidic soil can become less acidic, so refreshing the potting mix can help maintain the ideal conditions for heather.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Heather thrives with moderate humidity and does not do well in overly dry conditions. Aiming for around 40-60% relative humidity is best for this plant, as it is sufficient to keep the plant healthy without promoting fungal diseases.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, keep soil moist, use acidic soil mix.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade, acidic, well-draining soil, protect from wind.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Heather 'Dark Star' begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in well-drained, acidic soil with full to partial sunlight. Upon sprouting, the seedling enters a vegetative growth stage, developing a woody stem and small, scale-like leaves, while establishing a root system. Over time, the plant matures and enters the flowering stage, typically in late summer to fall, producing small, bell-shaped, purple flowers that attract pollinators. After pollination, flowers produce seed capsules that eventually release seeds, completing the reproductive cycle. In harsh climates or conditions, Heather 'Dark Star' can enter a period of dormancy to survive through the winter, resuming growth in spring. This perennial shrub can live for many years, with some specimens surviving for decades under optimal conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Calluna vulgaris 'Dark Star', commonly known as Heather 'Dark Star,' is a plant that is best propagated by semi-ripe cuttings taken in late summer. The process involves selecting healthy, non-flowering shoots from the current year’s growth. Cuttings should be about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long and have the lower leaves removed. The cut end of the cutting can be dipped in a rooting hormone powder to encourage root development. These prepared cuttings should then be placed in a well-draining potting mix or a mixture of sand and peat, ensuring that they are kept moist but not waterlogged. A clear plastic bag or cover can be used to maintain humidity around the cuttings. They typically root within 4 to 8 weeks, after which they can be potted on individually and gradually acclimated to outdoor conditions before planting out the following spring.