Mexican Heather – Is it Evergreen

Q: I had thought Mexican Heather was an evergreen and would make it through the winter in a fairly green status. However, these past couple freezes have really yellowed out about 20 mature plants. Does this mean I need to cut them to the ground so they’ll come back in the spring?

A: The name AHeather fooled you didn=t it? Members of the true heather family are winter-hardy in Atlanta and, if planted where the soil drains well, will sometimes survive our summers for several years. Unfortunately, Mexican Heather is a member of the AFalse Heather@ family. It vaguely resembles the real heathers but is decidedly (BI)not(EI) winter-hardy here. It will survive outdoors only in far south Georgia and Florida. Theoretically, you could bring one or two of your plants indoors and keep them in a sunny window for the winter. I think you’ll find, though, that they will look so tattered by April you’ll hardly want to plant them. Mexican heather is a great plant for our hot, dry summers but in Atlanta it is best treated only as an annual and planted every spring.

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