Red Fred Heather
Calluna vulgaris 'Red Fred'
Red Fred Heather in bloom
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Other Names: Scotch Heather, Ling Heather
A variety with spikes of lilac pink bell-shaped flowers and light to mid-green foliage; great as a color contrasting groundcover; flowers throughout summer; very particular about growing conditions, needs acidic organic soil, will die in anything else
Red Fred Heather features tiny spikes of lilac purple bell-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from mid summer to mid fall. It has attractive green evergreen foliage which emerges rose in spring. The needles are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter.
Red Fred Heather is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It is a good choice for attracting bees to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Red Fred Heather is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Red Fred Heather will grow to be about 14 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.
This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have sandy, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Red Fred Heather makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our experts for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.
This plant is not reliably hardy in our region, and certain restrictions may apply; contact the store for more information.