Cassiope

Common name: Mountain heather

Cassiope a dwarf shrubby evergreen plant native to the Northern Hemisphere and is of the Heather family ericaceae.

They should be grown in a cool moist position, in peaty acid soil, with plenty of humus.

If growing them in an alpine house they are best grown in pots of ericaceous compost.

If growing in the rockery or border ensure that the soil is free draining, adding some horticultural grit to the infill soil at planting time will help.

They grow to a height of 200mm (8") with a similar spread, the 20mm (¾") bell like flowers appear in May.

Watering:

Water regularly during the growing season, allow the plants to become fairly dry between each watering session.

Ease off with the watering during the dormant season! It will suffice to keep the plants just moist enough that they do not to dry completely.

Feeding:

A top dressing with a balanced fertiliser raked in at the start of the season should keep the plants going for the rest of the season.

Plants grown in pots in an alpine should be fed monthly with a balanced fertilser.

Pests and Disease:

Plants are generally not affected by pests and disease, however prevention is better than cure so spraying the plants with a general insecticide at the start of the growing season should take care of any problems that may have manifested itself during the winter months.

Similarly as the temperatures rise a preventative spraying with a general fungicide should keep any potential fungal diseases at bay.

Cultivation:

Week 14: Plant out 200mm (8") apart in an open situation.

They can tolerate the shade of a north facing garden but should not be planted under trees or in dense shade.

It is best to position the plants in a partially shady place, where they can enjoy direct sunlight only during the coolest hours of the day.

Week 32: Take 50mm (2") cuttings of non-flowering shoots.

Insert the cuttings in trays/pots containing in equal parts (by volume) peat and sand in a cold frame.

Grow the rooted cuttings on for a year before planting out in their final quarters.

Week 35: alternatively, take layers.





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