How To Grow Erica Carnea In Your Winter Garden

Erica Carnea is a beautiful, low growing Perennial shrub that produces masses of urn shaped flowers from winter to mid Spring. They are easy to grow, mostly pest free and easy to maintain. They absolutely love our English Climate!…

Erica Carnea Plant

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Made For England!

Most at home in our British Moorlands, heather plants like Erica Carnea are extremely tolerant of the UK’s harsh winters and will even thrive in the North of the country, where the weather can be particularly brutal! A Hardy, Die hard Plant that has no Quit! Much like us British Folk!

Erica Carnea Characteristics

Erica Carnea is a vigorous Evergreen shrub and forms spreading, carpet-like mounds reaching heights of 15-30 cm. The plant has needle like leaves and masses of narrow, urn shaped flowers that can be pink, purple, white or red in colour. The flowers are in full bloom around the time Crocus and daffodils begin to show their beautiful colours (January-April)

Erica carnea

Erica Carnea Origins

Erica carnea is also known as winter heath, Winter heather, winter-flowering heather, spring heath and alpine heath, it is a flowering plant belonging to the Ericaceae family. Erica Carnea is Native To the mountainous regions of Southern Europe and Central Europe and thrives mostly on stoney slopes and in woodlands.

Its scientific name ‘Erica’ is derived from the Greek word ‘ereiken’ which means ‘to break’- this refers to the late winter to early spring flowers of the Erica Carnea breaking the grip that the cold season brought. ‘Carnea’ is derived from the Latin word carnea, meaning ‘of the flesh’ or ‘carnal/ not spiritual’, this is presumably in reference to Erica Carneas strong ties to pagan and Witchcraft practices…..

Erica Carnea In Folklore and witchcraft

For centuries Erica Carnea and other heathers have been used for a vast array of reasons. It was often used in ancient spells to aid new-beginnings, enhance physical beauty, resolve conflict and for luck and protection.

Keeping Heather in The Home was said to attract kindly spirits which would bring peace and happiness to the home. While Carrying Heather in your Pocket was said to protect lone women from assaults and any other harm a vulnerable woman may face.

Heather was also used in ancient spells for fertility, when burned on a fire it was said that the attendants would go on to rear strong and healthy children.

6 Reasons To Grow Erica Carnea In Your Garden

1. Easy To Grow !– A very low maintenance plant the brings the WOW!

2. Pollinators love it ! – Produces vast amounts of Nectar that has the bees buzzing!

3. Virtually Disease Free !

4. Suits many Planting Schemes– Wonderful for Rockeries, slopes, coastal gardens, cottage gardens, wildlife gardens and will even grow well in containers!

5. The Most Beautiful Carpet! -Spreading along the ground through procumbant stems, this perennial plant will form a dense, colour popping ground cover over time

6. Brings the Green! -The entire year! Yep, this baby is evergreen!

Erica carnea

how many Erica Varieties are there?

Take your boots off! You might be here a while! ;o) Worldwide, there are over 800 Erica species! Ok, I am obviously not going to list everyone! But when I tell you there’s an Erica for every mood…believe me there absolutely is!

Curious? Here’s a link to every known species of Erica

How To Grow And Care For Erica Carnea

The Best way to Kick off your Erica Growing is by buying an Erica plant. Erica Carnea can be grown from seed, but germination is very slow and it would be a very long time before you have a plant large enough to yield flowers.

With that in Mind Here is how to grow and Care for Erica Carnea…

Buy Erica Carnea Plants

  • Unlike some heathers, Erica carnea are lime tolerant, meaning they will grow well in almost any garden soil. Plant Erica in autumn, between September and November, in a well-drained soil in a full sun position or in partial shade. *If growing in a container, be sure to use a good quality compost
  • Plant in groups, with a spacing of around 20 to 30 cm between each plant.
  • Water regularly, especially during periods of drought. But don’t overdo it It! Erica’s do not like waterlogged soil. Particularly Ensure that plants are kept moist during the first year of planting to encourage a good strong root system

Erica Plant Pruning

Prune your Erica Plant just after flowering by cutting off the branches just below the flower shoot. This will encourage the plant to produce even growth and prevent the inner branches from becoming bare.

Propagating Erica From Cuttings

  • Cut individual branches close to the ground in summer (don’t use flowering stems)
  • Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and then plant it in a small pot filled with good quality compost. Firm around the cutting then soak with water
  • Place a cellophane bag over the pot and place on a windowsill with indirect sunlight
  • Check each day to make sure the compost in moist
  • Within 1 month you should see some root growth
  • Plant out in its final position once an established root system has formed in a sunny/ part shade spot

Is the Erica plant poisonous?

Erica is not poisonous to Animals or people, there has been no toxic events reported.

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