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Zones 4-8
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Zones 4-8

Winter Chocolate Heather

Calluna vulgaris 'Winter Chocolate'

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Winter Chocolate Heather

Calluna vulgaris 'Winter Chocolate'

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Winter Chocolate Scotch Heather is a low, mounding evergreen with tiny leaves in rows along the thin branches. It has pale-pink flowers and green leaves in summer, but otherwise the foliage is very colorful. In fall it turns lavender, and then chocolate-red in winter. New growth is dark red, lightening to orange, yellow and then green over spring and early summer. It is very attractive to bees when in bloom, and perfect for covering banks and rocky slopes, or for edging shrub beds. You can still grow it if you don’t have suitable soil – just plant in pots and enjoy the beauty.

  • Winter foliage of deep chocolate-red
  • New growth is red, then orange and yellow, before turning green
  • Flowers in summer are pale pink, and fall foliage is lavender
  • Great choice for seaside gardens and acid soils
  • Deer proof and very easy to grow

Grow the Winter Chocolate Scotch Heather in full sun for the brightest colors and abundant blooms. It will grow in zones 4, 5 and 6 in the east, and zones 7 and 8 in the northwest, as it doesn’t like hot, humid summers. Grow in poor sandy soils that are well-drained and acidic, with a pH value between 4.5 and 5.5. It takes salt spray, so grows at the coast, and is drought resistant once established, but grows better if watered from time to time. Deer, pests and diseases leave it alone. It just takes a spring trim, before new growth emerges, to keep it compact, dense and growing for many years.

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