Heather: legends and cultivation


When the summer flowers are now a distant memory and the winter only a promise, arise small and colorful flowers of heather. Robust and not very big, it originated in South Africa and then spread throughout the Mediterranean. There are over 500 different species of the world heather. The Heather Scoparia, for example, is less productive varieties of flowers and its branches were used in ancient times, to produce brooms.
The Heather Arborea is characterized by small, very dark leaves and white flowers are among the most fragrant of the species. It grows on our hills and rarely exceeds two meters. Its wood is used to produce pipes. The Heather Carnea is a variety carpeting our calcareous soils and does not exceed 30 cm in height with its small pink flowers. Among the most widely used for crops in pots and gardens remember the Heather gracilis, the Multiflora that grows with myrtle and rosemary and Ashen that colors the meadows in late summer.

How to grow heather?

Before receiving the heather, the ground must be properly prepared. Although normally grows in very calcareous soils, in our gardens you will need to be rooted in a soil where there is prevalence of peat. While loving the water, our plants need to be accepted by a well-drained soil. To make them develop thriving and healthy, it is advisable to group them into bushes.

Heather does not fear the winter cold, but it needs to be planted in full sun in the North while in the South needs the just mentioned shadow shelter. Watering should be regular and frequent because its roots like the soil moist, never dry. It easily reproduces by seeds or cuttings in summer, just covering the lower branches with an acid soil. During the spring period, fertilizing should be done every two weeks, focusing on products suitable for acidophilic. When flowering ends, at the end of spring, heather, to remove both flowers that dry branches should be slightly prune. He fears fungal infections that must be fought with verdigris by vine, while the presence of small webs are light infestation of red spider mite.

Legends and curiosity

Who has never dreamed of walking along the Scottish countryside, immersed in the moors softened by a thousand flowers of heather? Just Scotland is the place where born the many legends about this beautiful evergreen shrub. In ancient times, local people believed that each plant was hiding a fairy or an elf. The Irish girls who wished to encounter a magical being had to do was lie down on the fragrant flowers and wait for it to pass.
Always considered one of the most powerful magical plants, is a symbol of purification and destruction of negative energy. The floors of the ancient temples and the peasants’ houses were swept with brooms heather made to drive away evil spirits. In the language of flowers, the White heather is the symbol of those seeking love and runs away from loneliness. The  Rose heather, however, is a sweet melancholy and hope that their wishes, even unspoken, sooner or later are able to come true.

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