Updated at: 17-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What kind of plant is the Mexican heather? Mexican heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia), sometimes known as false heather, is a blooming groundcover with brilliant green leaves. All year long, tiny pink, white, or lavender blooms adorn the shrub. Mexican heather plants, which are actually not heathers, can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 to 11 in warm climes. If you reside in a colder area, Mexican heather can be grown as an annual.

How to Plant Mexican Heather?

Planting Mexican heather is simple, but if your soil is deficient, you may want to consider adding some compost or manure before you go ahead and plant it. Plants should be spaced apart by at least 18 inches (46 cm). Intense heat and direct sunlight are ideal conditions for this hardy, drought-resistant plant. In spite of the vast range of soil conditions that are suitable for Mexican heather, proper drainage is essential.

  1. Make a decision on where to plant. When planting Mexican heather, consider a location that receives at least four hours of direct sunlight each day.
  2. Soil preparation is necessary. A well-draining soil rich in organic matter is ideal for Mexican heather, but it isn’t particular about other nutrients or soil conditions. Instead, you might plant Mexican heather in pots with sufficient drainage to grow them outside during the summer and bring them within as houseplants in the winter.
  3. The holes need to be dug out of the ground. Allow Mexican heather plants to spread by spacing holes at least 2 feet apart. One inch broader and two inches deeper than the root ball of each plant should be used for each hole.
  4. Put the plants in the ground. Discard the nursery pot once each plant is placed in the hole. Use earth to fill in the hole.
  5. Drink water right away. Each plant should be watered well to settle the soil and ensure that the plants receive a good supply of water.
  6. Crush (optional). Consider mulching around your plants if you live in a region where temperatures routinely fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Mulch also aids with moisture conservation and weed suppression.

What Is A Mexican Heather Plant: Tips On Growing Mexican Heather Plants - Dummer. ゛☀ - 绿手指- 养花技巧、花生病了怎么办、花园打理和设计

What Is Mexican Heather?

Hummingbirds and other pollinators are drawn to the bright green foliage of Mexican heather, fake heather, Hawaiian heather, or elfin herb (scientific name: Cuphea hyssopifolia), a robust, drought-resistant plant. Succulent is indigenous to the countries of its native Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras (and naturalized in Hawaii). A perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 or an annual or container plant in colder areas is possible.

As a groundcover or border plant, the subshrub is also a popular choice for rock gardens in Mexico.

When to Plant Mexican Heather?

When temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night, which is typically in the late spring or early summer, you can plant Mexican heather, which is a flowering plant that thrives in hot climates. Purple or white flowers bloom in the middle of summer when temperatures soar.

How to Care for Mexican Heather?

There is little to no upkeep required for the low-maintenance Mexican heather plant.

  1. Water at least once every week. During the growing season, water Mexican heather deeply once every week, leaving the top two inches of soil to dry completely before doing so again. As long as its roots aren’t in damp soil, Mexican heather can withstand drought.
  2. Prune every now and then. Pruning Mexican heather plants is not necessary to keep them healthy, although it can assist eliminate old growth and encourage the plant to remain bushy on an occasional basis. Sharp gardening shears can be used to cut back leggy or thin branches in your plants.
  3. Be on the lookout for unwanted guests. Flea beetles and spider mites rarely attack Mexican heather, but if you do, use a strong stream of water or a natural insecticide like neem oil to rid your plants of the pests.

Allow the soil to dry slightly before re-watering Mexican heather plants once a week, then give them another good watering. Summertime means more frequent watering for container plants. Mexican heather can be pruned in the spring if it appears overgrown or scraggly. Otherwise, there is no need to prune. Reduce moisture loss and weed growth by mulching around the plant in the spring. Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer in the spring, summer, and fall to feed the plant. Insects rarely bother healthy Mexican heather plants. Spray insecticidal soap on spider mites when the sun isn’t directly shining on the plant, but don’t wait until the bugs are out in full force. Adding a few drops of rubbing alcohol to insecticidal soap spray will also help get rid of fleas.

Sunlight requirement

Mexican Heather thrives best in partial to full sunlight, which is in keeping with its tropical climate. Mexican Heather prefers 4 to 8 hours of direct sunlight, on average.

Mexican Heather temperature needs

Planting Mexican Heather outside in the spring can be risky if the weather turns chilly. It can withstand temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cuphea hyssopifolia (Elfin Herb, False Heather, Hawaiian Heather, Mexican Heather) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox

Since it cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, Mexican Heather is often cultivated as an annual in much of the United States.

Mexican Heather may be able to survive the winter in states in growth zones 8 to 11.

Mexican Heather care: height and spread of plants

Mexican Heather, when planted in the landscape, can reach a height and width of up to two feet.

Mexican Heather is a good choice for compact spaces, such as a container garden or a window box. As a result, Mexican Heather is an excellent choice for use as a pot filler.

Soil type for the best Mexican Heather care

Well-drained soil, especially sandy, is ideal for growing Mexican Heather. It’s optimal for most plants if the soil is rich in nutrients and contains a combination of sand, clay, and humus.

Mexican Heather fertilizer needs

If you want to feed your Mexican Heather, you may either improve your soil or use slow-release fertilizer, which releases nutrients to the plant gradually over the course of the growing season.

Mexican Heather can also be fed with water-soluble plant food.

You should fertilize your Mexican Heather according to how much water it receives – in the summer, when you water your plant almost daily, you should do it several times a week (once every third watering).

Disease and pest control

Mexican Heather is rarely attacked by harmful insects, but the following pests are known to prey on the plant:

  • Mites on spiders
  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Scales
  • Mealybugs

If you’ve got a hose, you can use it to get rid of most of these things.

Grow Mexican Heather For Ground Cover And Wildlife - gardenpicsandtips.com

Pruning Mexican Heather

Pruning Mexican Heather that is grown as an annual isn’t much of a consideration. However, if the plant is becoming unwieldy, it may benefit from a periodic pruning.


For Pennsylvania’s climate, Mexican Heather is an excellent annual! If you want to add some color to your landscape or containers, these plants are ideal.