Winter Flowering Heathers

HeathergardenWinter flowering heathers give tremendous value for money and are arguably the most reliable winter flowering low growing plant.

This is the type of heather that will grow in the gardens in the Bristol area without addition of lots of peat. In other words, they are lime tolerant

Winter flowering heathers have evolved in harsh exposed upland areas so they are able to withstand very low temperatures, bright sunlight and windy positions.

All of the hardy winter flowering heathers are from the Erica family and those from the Erica carnea and x darleyensis group are toughest.

Most plants are available in shades from the purest white through pinks to deep ruby red. Lots of varieties also have coloured foliage which provides an added attraction when they are not in flower.

All heathers are attractive to bumble and hive bees and the winter flowering ones are especially important since they provide pollen and nectar at a time of year when bees are active but there is very little food for them.

Plant groups of the same variety of heather together for best effect. Let 3, 5 or 7 or more grow together and make a complete weed smothering ground covering mat.

Maintain winter flowering [and summer] heathers by trimming them over after flowering with a pair of shears.

Plant these winter flowering heathers at any time of year and get them off to a good start by incorporating some Ericaceous Compost into the planting hole.

Add mulch once a year to keep your winter flowering heathers happy. They have shallow root systems that benefit from this. Use composted bark, leaf mould or garden compost.

HeatherplantingFeed your winter flowering heathers with Miracid Ericaceous Liquid feed but don’t over do it since heathers do not like lots of nutrients.

Dwarf conifers compliment and look natural with heathers so try planting a dwarf Juniper, Pine or Cryptomeria to add height to your heather border.

White stem birch also look good and this replicates what you would see when these heathers grow in the wild. We recommend Betula utilis Jacquemontii [Himalayan Birch] which has snow white bark.

Winter flowering heathers [and summer flowering heathers too] grow well in containers either on their own or with other plants.

 

heatherinpotThe winter flowering heathers are a very useful addition to a winter hanging basket.

When the plants get too large in both winter hanging baskets or containers, they can be planted out into the garden borders. Read more on Winter Flowering Heathers here