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Spring Heath

Erica carnea

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Spring Heath (Erica carnea) at Snavely's Garden Corner

Spring Heath in bloom

Spring Heath in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Spring Heath (Erica carnea) at Snavely's Garden Corner

Spring Heath flowers

Spring Heath flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  8 inches

Flower Height:  12 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Other Names:  Spring Heath, Snow Heath, Winter Heath

Description:

A superb colorful groundcover for poor, acid soils, also great for massing in the garden; requires organic highly acidic soil, full sun and absolutely no standing water; numerous cultivars available

Ornamental Features

Spring Heath is covered in stunning spikes of white bell-shaped flowers with red overtones rising above the foliage from late winter to mid spring. It has light green foliage. The tiny needles remain light green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Spring Heath is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting bees to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Spring Heath is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Spring Heath will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 12 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

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