Heather 'J.H. Hamilton' Calluna vulgaris 'J.h. Hamilton' (d)
'J.H. Hamilton' is an evergreen shrub to 15cm in height, of low spreading habit, with compact dark green foliage. Flowers double, rich pink, in long erect spikes
About this plant
Scotch Heather, Ling, Scottish Heather, Heather.
Calluna vulgaris 'J.h. Hamilton'.
Color of leaves
1-2 feet (30-60 cm)
1-2 feet (30-60 cm)
- General Benefits
- Landscape Beautification: Adds color and texture to gardens with its dense foliage and vibrant flowers.
- Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it an easy choice for gardeners of all levels.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is highly tolerant to drought conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
- Pollinator-friendly: Attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, supporting local ecosystems.
- Year-Round Interest: Provides visual interest throughout the seasons with evergreen foliage and seasonal blooms.
- Erosion Control: Its dense root system helps prevent soil erosion on slopes and in challenging garden spots.
- Wildlife Habitat: Offers shelter and food for various species of wildlife, promoting biodiversity.
- Cultural Significance: Often used in traditional celebrations and ceremonies adding to cultural heritage.
- Medical Properties
- Calluna vulgaris, commonly known as Heather, has been used traditionally for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- It has been known to possess diuretic effects, which can help in the health of the urinary tract.
- The plant has been used in folk medicine as an antiseptic, mainly for its potential in treating urinary infections.
- Its flowers have been used for their mild sedative effects, which could aid in sleep troubles.
- Heather is also recognized for its potential in treating arthritis and rheumatism because of its purported anti-inflammatory action.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Assisting with soil erosion control: Heather's extensive root system can help to stabilize soil, making it useful for reclamation sites and areas prone to erosion.
- Wildlife habitat: Heather provides cover and forage for various wildlife species, including insects, birds, and small mammals.
- Bioindicator species: Heather can be used to monitor the health of the environment, as it is sensitive to atmospheric pollution and changes in soil acidity.
- Thatching material: Traditionally, heather was used to thatch roofs, offering insulation and weatherproofing for homes.
- Dye production: The flowering tops of heather can be used to make dyes in shades of yellow, green, and orange.
- Floral arrangements: Heather's distinctive purple flowers make it suitable for use in both fresh and dried floral arrangements.
- Fuel source: Historically, dried heather was used as fuel for fires in areas where other resources were scarce.
- Brewing beer: Heather tips have been used as an ingredient in the brewing process of certain traditional beers, particularly in Scotland.
- Gardening substrate: Heather can be included in potting mixes to increase acidity for acid-loving plants.
- Decoration in crafts: Heather stems and flowers can be incorporated into craft projects, bringing natural elements into handmade items.
- Feng Shui
The Heather is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
Heather is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Protection: Calluna vulgaris, commonly known as Heather, has been traditionally used for protection. It was believed to guard against harmful spirits and negative energies.
- Good luck: Heather is often considered a symbol of good luck, especially white Heather, and is sometimes carried as a charm or included in wedding bouquets for this reason.
- New beginnings: The plant’s resilience and ability to thrive in harsh conditions make it a symbol of new beginnings and the ability to overcome challenges.
- Admiration: Displaying Heather can signify admiration for someone's independence and strength, as the plant is known for flourishing in solitary landscapes.
- Solitude: Heather's preference for growing in quiet, uncrowded areas has made it a symbol for solitude and contemplation.
Scotch heather typically requires regular watering to maintain moisture in the soil, especially during hot or dry periods. Water this plant once or twice a week, providing around 1 to 1.5 gallons per plant each time, depending on the weather conditions. During periods of rainfall, reduce the watering frequency to avoid waterlogging. It’s important to water the plant deeply to encourage a strong root system but take care not to oversaturate the soil as it prefers well-drained conditions.
Scotch heather thrives in full sun to partial shade. It should be placed in a location where it can receive at least four to six hours of sunlight daily. Morning sun with afternoon shade or dappled sunlight throughout the day is ideal, especially in regions with very hot summer months.
Scotch heather does well in a wide range of temperature conditions and can tolerate a minimum temperature down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for thriving heather is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the growing season. They are hardy and can also withstand winter temperatures as low as the mentioned minimum, provided they are well-established and in well-draining soil.
Prune Scotch heather to encourage bushy growth and to prevent it from becoming woody. Pruning should be done immediately after blooming, typically cutting back about one-third of the growth. It is not necessary to prune annually, but a light trim every two or three years can keep the plant looking its best. The best time for pruning is late spring.
Scotch heather requires acidic, well-draining soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A mix of peat, sand, and pine bark is ideal for achieving the necessary conditions.
Heather should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. Spring is the best time for repotting Scotch heather.
- Humidity & Misting
Scotch heather thrives in moderate humidity levels but can tolerate a range of conditions as long as they are not too dry.
- Suitable locations
Provide bright light, acidic soil, and moderate humidity.
Plant in acidic soil, full sun to partial shade, protect from harsh winds.
- Life cycle
The Heather (Calluna vulgaris 'J.H. Hamilton') typically starts its life cycle as a seed, which when sown in a well-draining, acidic soil mix, often with the presence of mycorrhizal fungi, germinates to form a small seedling. This seedling stage can last for a variable period, depending on environmental conditions, but with ample water, light, and acidic nutrient availability, it will grow into a mature bush, showing tough, woody stems and evergreen foliage, which is characteristic of the species. During spring and summer, Heather enters a growth phase, producing new shoots and leaves, and preparing for the flowering stage, which usually occurs from late summer to fall; this is when 'J.H. Hamilton', specifically, showcases its purple-pink flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. After pollination, the plant develops seed capsules that will release seeds for the next generation, usually during the autumn or when conditions are right for dispersal. Throughout its life, Heather may undergo periods of dormancy, particularly in colder climates, where it will conserve energy during winter until favorable conditions return in spring. Heathland management, such as controlled burning, may influence the life cycle stages of Heather by stimulating regrowth from the base and ensuring the continuation of the species through seed production and dispersal.
The Calluna vulgaris 'J.H. Hamilton', commonly known as Scotch heather, propagates most successfully through semi-hardwood cuttings. This process typically takes place in late summer to early fall, after the new growth has partially matured and firmed up but before the plant becomes fully dormant. To propagate, one would cut a 3 to 5 inch (approximately 7.5 to 12.7 centimeters) length of stem, making sure that at least 2 to 3 leaves are left at the top. The bottom of the cuttings are then dipped in a rooting hormone to encourage root development and planted in a moistened soilless potting mix or perlite. The pot containing cuttings should be placed in a sheltered location with indirect light, and the humidity should be maintained by covering it with plastic or by using a mist system. Roots usually develop within 4 to 8 weeks, after which the plants can gradually acclimate to normal conditions before being transplanted to their permanent positions in the garden.