© Dorling Kindersley Ltd



Common name: Ling, Heather

Calluna are types of heather that make great evergreen ground cover in an sunny area of the garden. Different cultivars will provide a spread of long-lasting flowers from July until November and, planted with other heathers such as erica and daboeacia, you can have flowers all year round. ~They are good for encouraging wildlife – bees and other beneficial insects love the pollen from these beautiful flowers. Calluna are great for containers too!


Calluna have white, pink or purple flowers and there is fantastic variation in leaf colour, ranging from golden yellows to burnt orange and reds. Some foliage colours change with the seasons.


Calluna need neutral to acidic growing conditions, which means a soil of pH of 6.5 or less, ideally pH 5.5. They prefer light sandy soil, enriched with organic matter so mulch with leaf mould or composted pine needles.


Calluna dislike alkaline soils, wet soils and shady areas, but tolerate light shade from high-canopied trees. They do not like being pruned too hard into woody stems, so trim off the flowering stems after they bloom each year.

Did you know?

The National Collection of Heathers, (Erica, Calluna and Daboecia) is held at RHS Garden Wisley, showcasing over 1000 cultivars.

Growing guide

Calluna we recommend

Buy callunas from RHSplants.co.uk

Every purchase supports our work as a charity

Useful Advice

Acidifying soil

Acidifying soil

Growing plants in containers

Growing plants in containers

Soil: understanding pH and testing soil

Soil: understanding pH and testing soil

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.