Winter Flowering Heather
Easy to grow in a sunny or shady position, with long lasting deep pink flowers right through the winter.
Erica carnea 'Winterfreude' translates to 'Winter Delight' and this tough plant certainly lives up to its name. Spikes of deep pink flowers appear over a very long season from autumn until late spring and will brighten the greyest of winter days as well as providing welcome winter food for bees and other important pollinating insects. Even a fall of snow will not put this plant off flowering and the bright green needle-like leaves will add texture to borders through the rest of the year. With a neat shape, this winter heather is ideal to plant in groups in a rock garden, at the front of a border or on top of a wall. It will also tolerate dry shady positions and is useful to plant under trees and conifers where not much else will grow. Try planting in a container grouped with other heathers and spring bulbs to help kick start the new gardening year.
With its vivid winter flowers this plant is ideal to brighten borders, walls, rock gardens or containers.
Plant Type: Heather
Hardiness: H7 Very Hardy. Minimum temperature < -20.
Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 15cm x W 45cm (Mature age: 3 Years)
Foliage Colour: Green
Flower Colour: Pink
Fragrant Flower: No
Aromatic Foliage: No
RHS Award of Garden Merit: No
RHS Perfect for Pollinators: Yes
Foliage Type: Evergreen
Soil Type: Acid, Alkaline, Chalky, Clay, Loam, Sandy
Soil Drainage: Moist, but Well Drained
Light Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
Planting Style: Cottage Garden, Informal Garden, Flower Beds & Borders, Urban Garden, Courtyard Garden, Banks & Slopes, Coastal Garden, Wildlife Garden, Rock Garden, Low Maintenance Garden, Dry Shade
Season of Interest: Winter, Spring
Flowering (from - to): November - April
Erica carnea 'Winterfreude' is very easy to grow and will tolerate a wide range of conditions, growing well in a sunny or partly shaded position. Unlike some Heathers, Erica carnea will grow in acid or limy (alkaline) soil and will tolerate dry conditions once established.
When planting add compost to the soil and a handful of grit if your soil is very wet in winter. If planting in a container use a good quality multi-purpose or ericaceous compost and raise the pot on 'pot feet' during prolonged wet weather to help with drainage.
Once established, your plant will be drought tolerant and will require little watering.
Plants in the ground can be fed each spring with a general fertiliser and plants in containers can be fed once every two weeks through the growing season with a liquid feed. Add mulch of composted bark to top up the soil in spring or autumn.
Once your plant has finished flowering in the spring, that long stems that hold the seed heads should be removed back to new shoots. This will prevent your plant from becoming 'woody' and producing less flowers in subsequent years.