Erica or Winter Heath

 Erica carnea f. alba 'Whitehall' / Erica x darleyensis
Erica carnea  ‘Snow Queen’                                                   Erica x darleyensis ‘Kramer ‘s Rote’

Erica

Winter Heath

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: well-drained, neutral to acid soil
  • Flowering period: January to April
  • Height: 30-50cm
  • Foliage: evergreen
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

Winter heath is a valuable plant for adding winter colour to your border. It flowers over a long period from January to April, bearing urn-shaped flowers and narrow, green leaves. Winter heath is best planted in a group to create a striking show. Suitable for use as ground cover.

Varieties

Winter heath blooms in a variety of colours from pink, purple-pink, magenta or white. For intense colour try the bright magenta Erica x darleyensis ‘Kramer’s Rote’ and Erica carnea ‘Myretoun Ruby’ which produces intensely deep pink flowers. Cooler schemes can be created with the pure white Erica alba ‘Whitehall’ or Erica alba ‘Snow Queen’.

Pruning

When to prune winter heath. After flowering in April cut back the flowered shoots, taking care not to cut into old wood. Winter heath benefits from pruning. It keeps the plant compact and it will promote bushy, new growth.

What is the difference between Calluna Vulgaris or Scotch heath and winter heath. Scotch heather flowers in late summer. You can prune Scotch heather in the same way as winter heath. Do this job in March.

Care

Erica x darleyensis and Erica carnea grow in acidic soil but also tolerate neutral to alkaline soil. When these varieties are planted in neutral to alkaline soil, add garden compost to the soil before planting.

Plant combination

Winter heath mix well with early spring bulbs, Bergenia, Hebe, Skimmia and Festuca glauca.

Erica x darleyensis Festuca glauca
Erica x darleyensis                                        Festuca glauca