© RHS / Graham Titchmarsh


Tree heathers

Botanical name: Erica arborea, E. australis, E. lusitanica

These large evergreen shrubs provide year-round structure and seasonal flowers, either as stand-alone specimens, in mixed borders or as informal hedges. They also provide shelter for wildlife, and their flowers are magnets for bees.


These large evergreen shrubs have upright stems, often branching like candelabras, or narrow and columnar. They produce an abundance of tiny bell-shaped pink or white flowers, sometimes scented, at various times from autumn to spring, depending on the species. 


They must have acidic, free-draining soil, preferably sandy. They also need a sunny situation.


These shrubs dislike very heavy, wet soil and will not do well in alkaline conditions. They will not flower in shade.

Did you know?

To increase bushiness, trim plants once or twice a year for the first couple of years after planting, to encourage branching. Unlike other heathers, they will tolerate hard pruning if they become straggly.

Growing guide

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