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Plant Profile: Mediterranean Heather (Erica darleyensis x ‘Mediterranean White’)

Mediterranean Heather

Mediterranean Heather

One of the plant gems I found this weekend at the local big box store was this fabulous heather. I have grown it before and love it so I could not resist buying two white ones to add to my heather collection. They have much to recommend them. They bloom in late winter to early spring with a mass of small bell shaped flowers and have needle like, attractive foliage, that adds textural interest to the garden all year. They are low growing and well behaved, forming small mounds, about a foot high and no more than two feet across. They do especially well in rock gardens, as edgers, and in containers.

Type: Evergreen shrub.

Bloom: Small, white bell shaped flowers in winter through early spring.

Size: 1’ H x 2’ W.

Light: Full sun.

Soil: Exceptionally well drained but moist; humusy; low fertility; acid.

Fertilizer: Spring mulch of well rotted manure; every 2-3 years you can use a rhododenron type fertilizer if plants look ratty.

Hardiness: Zones 6-7.

Care: Never let leaves or other debris accumulate in/on the plant as it resents any shading. If the plant gets ratty looking it can be sheared back after blooming.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance.

Propagation: Layering in spring or autumn is probably the easiest way to propagate these. The plants can be dug up and then dropped into the soil a few inches deeper than before. Roots will form along the stems in 6 to 12 months. Alternatively, soil can be put on the lower stems to accomplish the same thing. Stem cuttings can be taken from the twiggy lateral growth near the base of the plant in July/August.

Companion plants: Other cultivars of this heather; conifers.

Outstanding Selections:
‘Atropurpurea’ – Purplish pink .
‘C. D. Eason’ – Dark red
‘Kramer’s Red’ – Red flowers; bronze green foliage in winter
‘Mediterranean Pink’ – Rosy-lavender.

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