© RHS / Carol Sheppard



Common name: Irish heath

Flowering in spring, summer or autumn (depending on the variety), these low, spreading evergreen shrubs make excellent ground cover, massed with other heathers to provide colour throughout the year. They are also suitable for containers and rock gardens.


Low-growing, spreading and compact, with small dark green leaves, these heathers have bell-like flowers from early summer to autumn – white, many shades of pink, ruby red or purple – flowering on the fine, wiry upright stems.


Daboecias will only grow in acidic soils, ideally sandy and free-draining. They prefer an open position in full sun. Wind-tolerant, they thrive in exposed situations.


Daboecias will not grow in limy or chalky soil (alkaline), though they can tolerate neutral soil. They will not do well in shade.

Did you know?

These heathers are similar in appearance and related to other types of heather (Calluna and Erica). The flowers are a valuable pollen source for bees.

Growing guide

Daboecia we recommend

Useful advice

Bees in your garden

Bees in your garden

Soil types

Soil types

Soil: understanding pH and testing soil

Soil: understanding pH and testing soil

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.