I remember the first time I saw Mexican heather. I was in a back yard in Tarzana inspecting the grounds when suddenly my curiosity was aroused by a weedy-looking plant growing in a shady planter bed.
But did it grow! There were several dozen Mexican heather plants in all stages of development in the bed. Not knowing its identity, I had assumed that anything that grew that well in waterlogged soil must be a weed.
Numerous seedlings, clearly growing from seeds that had fallen from the older plants, had cropped up throughout the bed.
During the last year or so, it seems that someone has been planting Mexican heather every time you turn around (Cuphea hyssopifolia). This plant is as well known as false heather thanx to its superficial lookalike to the true heathers in a different botanical group.
True heathers, also known as heaths, grow best in acidic soil and fast-draining in places like Scotland and the Pacific Northwest.
Mexican Heather Use
Mexican heather is promoted as a plant for either full sun or partial shade. Although the plant will grow in full sun, it does not look nearly as good as when it receives half-day sun or more minor.
The plant has several characteristics that have endeared it to home gardeners and landscaping professionals alike. It flowers virtually year-round. The most popular variety has flowers whose color is magenta violet. There is also a sort with white flowers.
Mexican heather foliage is a fresh, clean, and vibrant green, always looking like it had just been hosed off or washed by the rain.
Mexican heather will grow 2 to 3 feet tall. It can be used as a low hedge along walkways, in mixed perennial plantings, or containers.
Although Mexican heather is occasionally found on lists of drought-tolerant plants, its foliage is lusher and its flowers more plentiful when its soil is kept moderately moist.