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.
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.
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.
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.
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