© RHS / Joanna Kossak

Introducing...

Ground-cover heathers

Botanical name: Erica

Common name: Heath, heather

These compact shrubs can be massed together in a sunny spot to create a tapestry of evergreen foliage in various colours, enhanced with long-lasting seasonal flower displays. They also work well in containers or as low border edgings.

Looks

Compact, low growing shrubs, ericas produce long-lasting, vibrant displays of tiny bell-like white, red or pink-purple blooms, in different seasons depending on the cultivar. They have small needle-like leaves, usually green but sometimes vivid yellow or tinted red.

Likes

Most need acidic soil, preferably free-draining and sandy, in full sun. Winter-flowering cultivars will tolerate neutral or alkaline soils. For growing in containers, use ericaceous (acidic) compost with added lime-free grit to improve drainage.

Dislikes

They will not grow in very alkaline soil, and the roots tend to rot in heavy, wet soil. They will not flower in shade.

Did you know?

The nectar-rich flowers attract bees and other pollinators, and are particularly valuable in winter and early spring when other food sources are scarce.

Ground-cover ericas we recommend

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Useful advice

Buying: trees and shrubs

Buying: trees and shrubs

Containers: planting up

Containers: planting up

Containers: winter selection

Containers: winter selection

Ground cover plants

Ground cover plants

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen by size

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