Monday, 17 September 2018

Erica x hiemalis Ericaceae French heather


This winter-flowering heather, which forms a small shrub, has erect stems with whorls of tiny deep green leaves. The 3/Vin/2-cm- long tubular flowers are pink with white tips and are borne in clusters at the ends of the stems. Erica carnea, winter heath, is another popular winter-flowering houseplant. 

It has more slender stems, which are densely clothed in small, round rose-pink or purple flowers. Because they need cool conditions, winter heaths are difficult plants to keep in the home, and they should be discarded after flowering.

FACT FILE

ORIGIN South Africa (Cape Province); hybrids. HEIGHT 12-18in/30-46cm.

POTTING MIX Ericaceous (acidic) medium. REPOTTING Plants are usually discarded before repotting is necessary.

PROPAGATION By semiripe stem cuttings in late summer; these are difficult to root successfully in the home.

KEEPING PLANTS Ericas lose their leaves rapidly in a dry atmosphere and tend to be short-lived in centrally heated houses.

PLANT CARE

Bright light with some direct sun. • Keep cool, preferably at a maximum of 50°F/10°C. • Keep the medium moist at all times; never allow it to dry out. Use lime-free water where possible.

• Spray the plant frequently and stand the pot in a tray of moist gravel.

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