Winter Flowering Heather
Masses of deep pink flowers in late winter are a lovely contrast to bronze-green leaves, adding valuable colour to the garden.
With its compact shape Erica carnea 'Eva' is well suited to small spaces or a favourite container and looks beautiful planted at the front of a border, in a rock garden or on a wall. This tough little plant will thrive in sun or part shade and is covered in deep pink, paper-like flowers that begin to appear in late winter and are an important food for early bumble bees that will forage on warm winter days. Needle-like deep green leaves change colour to bronze through the coldest months and are an effective contrast to the masses of flowers. One of the most useful of winter flowering plants, even a fall of snow will not prevent it flowering and it is very useful for floral arrangements as the flowers last well in a vase. Try planting Erica 'Eva' with early spring bulbs such and crocus and daffodils, along with low growing evergreens for an early spring welcome.
Neatly shaped plants that are easy to grow, ideal for small spaces and provide valuable winter colour.
Plant Type: Heather
Hardiness: H7 Very Hardy. Minimum temperature < -20.
Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 15cm x W 30cm (Mature age: 3 Years)
Foliage Colour: Green
Flower Colour: Pink
Fragrant Flower: No
Aromatic Foliage: No
RHS Award of Garden Merit: Yes
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
Flowering (from - to): February - March
Erica carnea 'Eva' 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.