Spikes of pale pink flowers appear for months through winter on ground covering plants that need little care.
Erica x darleyensis 'Darley Dale' is a very tough, 'fuss free' heather that will tolerate adverse conditions including wet soils and shady situations. Spikes of pale pink flowers are generously produced right through the winter providing an important source of pollen for bees and other insects. As the flowers mature, they deepen to rose pink which only adds to the plants charm. New leaves are creamy white, ageing to green later in the season and in spring are a lovely contrast to the flowers. 'Darley Dale' is an excellent choice of heather to grow in exposed positions and seaside gardens where its needle-like leaves will shrug off salt laden winds. This is the original 'Darley Dale Heather' introduced by James Smith's nursery in Derbyshire before 1900.
Fast, dense growth that's ideal as low maintenance ground cover in difficult situations including dry banks and shady areas.
Plant Type: Heather
Hardiness: H7 Very Hardy. Minimum temperature < -20.
Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 30cm x W 60cm (Mature age: 3)
Foliage Colour: Cream, 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, Banks & Slopes, Coastal Garden, Wildlife Garden, Rock Garden, Low Maintenance Garden, Dry Shade
Season of Interest: Winter, Spring
Flowering (from - to): November - April
The 'Darley Dale Heathers' are some of the toughest in the heather family and will grow in almost any soil as long as it is not waterlogged. They grow well in sun and will also tolerate a lot of shade which makes them useful plants for ground cover in tricky areas.
When planting add some multi-purpose compost or ericaceous compost to the soil and water your plant well before and after planting. Once established, Erica 'Darley Dale' is drought tolerant and will need 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.
Your plant can be clipped lightly in early summer to tidy the shoots but it's not essential to do this each year.