• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Erica carnea

alpine heath

alpine heath

© RHS

  • Other common names alpine heath
    winter heath

    Mediterranean heath
    spring heath

    see more
  • Synonyms Erica herbacea
    Erica mediterranea L.

  • Family Ericaceae

  • Genus Erica can be prostrate or erect, evergreen shrubs with fine, needle-like leaves in whorls, and racemes or panicles of small, bell-shaped or tubular flowers

  • Details E. carnea is a dwarf, spreading, evergreen shrub with tiny, narrow, dark green leaves. One-sided sprays about 8cm long of small, urn-shaped, pink, purple-pink, magenta or white flowers appear in late winter and early spring

  • Plant range C & S Europe

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Mat forming

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing or North-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Loam, Chalk

  • pHAcid, Neutral, Alkaline

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation A lime tolerant heather, prefers well-drained, neutral to acid soil in full sun but will tolerate alkaline soils and some shade

Propagation Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in mid- or late summer; mound-layer in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Banks and Slopes Flower borders and beds Garden Edging Ground Cover Low Maintenance Wildlife Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden Patio & Container Plants City & Courtyard Gardens

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 10 after flowering

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases May be subject to Phytophthora root rot diseases

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