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.

Plant profiles pointer

By Karen

14 thoughts on “Plant Profile: Mediterranean Heather (Erica darleyensis x ‘Mediterranean White’)”
  1. Lucky you to find them on sale! The evergreen garden with the weeping spruce sounds like the perfect setting; sounds beautiful!

  2. I thought
    i got a good deal i found 4 on sale pretty. put in my garden for the fall. love the look.

    1. Glenda,
      Lucky you! I always love a bargain and some o my best plants were bargain. Of course some of my worst plants were too.

  3. I am looking for the zones so I don’t plant more heather to die. I live in zone 9 near the Cascade Mountains. thanks

    1. Paty,
      It thrives is zones 6-7 according to the literature but mine struggles a bit in zone 7 during the heat of the summer. Make sure it has plenty of water if temperatures are high.

  4. My mediterranean heather has gotten out of hand and is rather ratty looking. How much can I prune them?

    1. Cheryl,
      Heather takes quite a bit of trimming; my husband mows the front off everytime he mows and they respond by coming back bushier than ever. This is a good time to trim them back as they are in a growing mode. I cut mine back after flowering by as much as a third.


  5. I just found two of these at Lowes for $2.00 each. I was so excited, I couldn’t believe it. I just wish they had more. Now I have to figure out where I’m going to put them.

    1. Cheryl, Lucky you! I would use them in the front of my formal garden. They respond well to trimming, are evergreen, and increase in size. Happy Hunting! You have inspired me,


  6. A nearby house has heather that blooms all year long. I thought it was Erica mediteranean pink X darleyensis so I bought some. When I got it home and read the instructions it says it only blooms Dec – May. Could theirs bloom all year because it gets 100 percent sun everyday? We live in upstate NY.

    1. Lynne,
      I am surprised that heather would bloom all year long in upper New York State. Are you sure your neighbor has heather? Have you looked at it closely to see that the “flowers’ are actually flowers rather than variegated leaves or something else that is colored and flower like? I grow my heather in full sun but it only blooms fro Dec to May, as the label on you plant says. Sorry, that’s all I know about this.


  7. At seven years old my Mediterrranian Heather is way too large. When trimmed down by a hedge cutter, they look too soldier like. I want them to look airy. I have cut some from the sides underneath and they look better but will they bloom? Must you trim off old flowers on top to stimulate next year’s bloom?

    1. Marilyn,
      When Mediterranean heather is sheared back it will look like a solider for a while but will get back its nice airly look fairly rapidly. For best bloom, it should be sheared back immediately after flowering but mine seems to do well being sheared on one side every week when my husband mows the lawn. If you want to increase your heather you can do so by taking cuttings or layering.


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