A carpet of blossoms in winter
Erica x darleyensis – its botanical name – is particularly valued as a partner plant in balcony and terrace plantings from late summer onward. In fall, Gaultheria, gentian, aster, grasses, and of course other heather varieties can be combined with English heather. In winter they are particularly attractive with Christmas roses and in spring with bulbs. Narcissus or bluebell sway nicely above the relatively compact heather.
This heather warrants a second look. Those who know it know to value it. Clearly, pretty decorations can be effectively designed with it – one reason florists like to use it. Some nice red-skinned apples, for example, take on the look of a still life on the flower carpet. Rose hip branches change the appearance, particularly when wound together with English heather in a wreath or other piece. Purists place the densely flowering pots unadorned as a favorite element in various decorations.
A true all-rounder!
Did you know that the color of the blossoms becomes more intense as English heather ages? Also special to this plant is that it produces too many flowers and simply sheds some. This is a natural process and should not dismay you.
Erica x darleyensis is a hybrid. It gets its long bloom time from the snow heather (Erica carnea), its flower density from the purple heather (Erica Erigena).
Bloom time: continuously from October through April/May
Bloom color: red violet, pink, and white
Foliage color: various green and yellow tones – evergreen
Placement: sunny to partial shade spots
Soil: prefers slightly acidic (pH 5-6)
Height: up to 24 inches
When to buy: Sept. – Nov. or Feb. – Apr.
Care: vigorous pruning by one third soon after blossoming will encourage compact growth.