Erica carnea

Scientific name: Erica carnea


Common names: “Heather” “winter heath”

Plant Type: Evergreen, prostrate shrub


Zone: 5-7

Light: Full sun, tolerates some shade

Exposure: Sheltered

Soil: Humus rich soil, acidic

Moisture: Well drained, even moisture, drought intolerant


Plant Size: H 8-10″ W 22″

Leaf and Stem shape: Dark linear leaves, stems can grow long and woody if not pruned

Flower: Purple-pink or white flowers (small urns) in racemes, late winter to early spring

Pruning: Shear after flowering before July, all new growth cut back leaving 1″ of green, if cut back to wood it will die!

Maintenance: Mulch after pruning, little or no fertilizer, may bury plant stems a little deeper when planting or mulching, lower stem will become roots

Landscape use: Use as ground cover or with dwarf conifers or dwarf bulbs, in rock gardens, plant has 8-10 year lifespan so a good use for it is to fill short term gaps in newly planted gardens

Propagate: by seeds, layering, and cuttings

Pests & Disease: No pests or diseases

*Deer resistant (but they have been known to pull it up for no reason)

Comments: Not very nice when not pruned regularly, and when the stems have become long and woody there is nothing to do but dig it up and plant another

~several varrieties are AGM winners

Cultivars: over 150 different kinds, and they have a society:



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