Heather 'Kerstin' Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin'

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


'Kerstin' is a dwarf shrub with downy grey foliage, with yellow and red tips in spring, and short spikes of mauve flowers in late summer and autumn

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Heather, Ling, Scotch Heather

    • Common names

      Calluna vulgaris.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.5-2 feet (15-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Heather is renowned for its splendid purple, pink, or white blooms that can enhance the visual appeal of gardens.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, Heather is quite resilient and can withstand periods of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Ease of Care: This plant typically requires minimal maintenance, making it ideal for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Heather flowers attract various pollinators like bees and butterflies, contributing to biodiversity.
    • Year-Round Interest: With evergreen foliage and seasonal flowers, it provides interest throughout the year, even in winter.
    • Soil Adaptation: It can thrive in acidic soils, which can be challenging for many other plants, thus it's a good choice for those with such soil conditions.
    • Erosion Control: Heather's root systems can help stabilize soil on slopes and prevent erosion.
    • Diversity in Landscaping: Available in various colors and forms, it offers flexibility in garden design and landscape planning.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antioxidant: Heather (Calluna vulgaris) contains compounds that may have antioxidant properties, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.
    • Anti-inflammatory: Heather has been traditionally used for its potential anti-inflammatory effects, which could help reduce inflammation in the body.
    • Diuretic: Heather may act as a diuretic, aiding in the elimination of excess fluids and potentially helping with urinary tract issues.
    • Antimicrobial: Some studies suggest that heather possesses antimicrobial properties, which may help prevent or fight bacterial infections.
    • Antiseptic: Traditionally used for its antiseptic qualities, heather might be beneficial in cleaning wounds and preventing infections.
    Please note that while these properties are traditionally associated with heather, the efficacy and safety of Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin' for medical use have not been confirmed by modern scientific studies. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any plant for medicinal purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Heather honey production: Bees are attracted to Calluna vulgaris flowers, making it an excellent plant for producing uniquely flavored heather honey.
    • Biodegradable bedding material: The dried stems and foliage can be used as a biodegradable bedding for animals, providing a natural and comfortable environment.
    • Traditional craft material: The stiff stems of heather can be woven or used in thatching, basketry, and broom-making, showcasing its versatility outside of ornamentation.
    • Natural dye: The plant can be used to produce natural dyes in various shades of yellow, tan or green, depending on the mordant used.
    • Erosion control: The plant's dense growth habit can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes and banks.
    • Fragrance sachets: Dried Calluna vulgaris flowers are often added to potpourris or sachets to create a pleasant scent in drawers and closets.
    • Wildlife habitat: These plants provide cover for ground nesting birds and food for caterpillars of certain moths and butterflies.
    • Festive decoration: Heather is often used in Christmas wreaths and garlands for its winter foliage and as a symbol of good luck in the New Year.
    • Organic mulch: The plant can be chopped and used as mulch to suppress weeds, retain moisture in the soil, and gradually decompose to add organic matter back to the garden beds.
    • Landscape design element: Due to its compact and low-growing habit, heather is ideal for rock gardens, edging, and as a ground cover to create texture and color contrast in landscape designs.

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: Traditionally, Heather is believed to possess protective qualities, warding off danger and bad luck.
    • Good Fortune: Carrying Heather is often thought to bring good luck and positivity into one's life.
    • Solitude: Because Heather thrives in barren landscapes, it can symbolize a preference for solitude and the ability to thrive despite difficult conditions.
    • Admiration: Heather often stands for admiration and the beauty that can be found in simplicity.
    • New Beginnings: Its resilience and ability to grow in challenging environments make Heather a symbol of starting anew or embarking on a fresh path.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to autumn
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For healthy growth of Heather, ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which typically means watering once or twice a week depending on climate conditions. Use approximately 1 gallon of water for outdoor shrubs, ensuring even distribution across the root zone. Increase frequency during hot, dry weather to maintain moisture levels, and reduce watering during cooler, rainy periods to prevent overwatering.

  • sunLight

    Heather thrives in full sun to partial shade. For optimal growth, place it in a spot where it receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If grown indoors, choose a south-facing window for maximum light exposure, but ensure the plant is protected from intense midday sun which can scorch the leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Heather is hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures, typically growing best between 60°F and 70°F. It can withstand minimum temperatures down to 20°F and maximums up to around 80°F. Avoid placing Heather in locations where temperature fluctuations are extreme or where it can be exposed to harsh winter winds.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Heather is essential to prevent the plant from becoming woody and to encourage bushy growth. Prune immediately after flowering, typically in late spring or early summer, by trimming off spent flower heads and lightly shaping the bush. Pruning should be done at least once a year for plant health and aesthetic maintenance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Heather (Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin') thrives in well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A perfect mix would consist of equal parts peat moss, coarse sand, and pine bark to maintain acidity and ensure good drainage. Regularly check the pH to ensure it remains on the acidic side for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Heather generally needs repotting every 3 to 5 years. They prefer root constriction so only repot when it's necessary. Use an acidic soil mix during repotting to keep the pH favorable for heather plants.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Heather prefers a moderate humidity level and can tolerate some variations. However, excessively dry or damp air should be avoided, as it can stress the plant. Maintaining a humidity level of around 40-60% is ideal for heather.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place near a bright window, away from direct heat sources.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, sheltered spot, well-drained acidic soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-6 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Heather 'Kerstin', a cultivar of Calluna vulgaris, begins its life cycle as a seed, which when conditions are favorable, germinates to produce a small seedling. With adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients, the seedling grows into a mature plant, developing woody stems and small, needle-like leaves. During the summer and into early fall, it blooms, producing small, bell-shaped, pinkish flowers that attract pollinators. After pollination, the flowers develop into seed capsules, which eventually open to release seeds for the next generation. During the winter, the plant undergoes a period of dormancy, conserving energy and resources. Come spring, Heather 'Kerstin' resumes growth, continuing its cycle with new vegetative growth and preparation for the next flowering period.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to autumn

    • Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin', commonly known as Heather, is often propagated through semi-ripe cuttings. The most popular time to take these cuttings is during the late summer, as this allows the plant sufficient time to establish roots before the colder winter months arrive. To propagate using this method, you should take cuttings of around 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length, ensuring each has a few leaves and is taken just below a leaf node. Strip the bottom leaves to expose a small section of stem, which can then be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. The cutting should be planted in a well-draining, sandy soil mix, ensuring the leafless part of the stem is buried. A plastic bag or a propagator can be used to cover the cutting, maintaining a humid environment. It typically takes several weeks for the cuttings to root, after which they can gradually be acclimated to normal conditions before eventual planting out.