Mediteranean White Heath Beginning to Bloom

Not many plants bloom in the dead of winter but you can count on Mediterranean White Heath (Erica x darleyensis) to put on a subtle show.  It blooms with tiny little snow colored blossoms that (at least in my Tennessee garden) emerge during January and February.  I have five of these little winter gems located throughout our front garden and once they begin to bloom they last for months.  All but one of them was a stressed out rescue plant from one of the big box stores.  They survived rough treatment at the store and drought conditions over the summer and so far seem to be doing very well this winter.

Mediterranean White Heath would be a great addition to a winter garden as a ground cover planted en mass.  It’s also a prime candidate for planting in rock gardens.  As for propagating Erica the easiest way is with mound layering.  Simply cover the base of the plant with soil and let the roots form naturally over a period of a couple months.  Check the plant for roots by gently pulling back the soil.  If there are roots snip the cutting and pot up your new heath.  If no roots have formed push the soil back around the base of the plant and wait a couple more weeks.  Cuttings can also be taken but are more difficult to root than mounding.

The Details: ‘Mediterranean White’ Heath is hardy in zones 6-8 and grows into an approximately 1-2 ft. high shrub with a roughly equal width.

9 thoughts on “Mediteranean White Heath Beginning to Bloom”

  1. Dave — I love the look of heaths (and they aren’t deer food), but I never see them available around here except in the big box stores. So, I’d been skeptical about using them in our climate. Thanks for sharing this info — if you can grow them in TN, then I should be able to grown them here in NC.


  2. Very interesting little shrub Dave. I love plants that provide winter interest. Maybe your winter was too wet that year Tina. I’ve had the same problem with some plants from time to time.

  3. Hey Dave,

    This is a nice little plant. I have the pink variety. I had two and they bloomed all winter for me the first year. I then added two more and for whatever reason none of them bloomed last winter. I’ve noticed that they are beginning to bloom now so hopefully they’ll provide me with a little winter color this year.

  4. Hi Dave, these are a favorite of mine, I have several in both pink and white. The only thing I can add to your wonderful post is that they need to be watered well the first year, especially in the summer. After that they are extremely drought tolerant, but do need that excellent drainage at all times. They will spread more than the two feet over time, making a nice dense planting and allowing no weeds between them. I never prune these heaths either. It is the Callunas that can be trimmed to make the growth more dense. A good place to get interesting varieties is Rock Spray Nursery.

  5. I like the blooms, Dave. I’m always attracted to tiny blooms, as they look gorgeous if you look at it closely like the chilli, and what’s the violet or purple-leaved plants with pinkish flowers at their nodes, to name a few.

  6. Dave,

    Happy New Year…I think that one’s garden must have pretty good drainage for any of the Mediteranean plants…Frances’ hillside is perfect. Our winters are always wet in Nashville so planting them in a rock garden is better. btw, the cool mud shoes arrived and I have enjoyed wearing them in the garden…Thank you! gail

  7. Cameron,

    They’ve done pretty well here so you might want to give them a try. All of ours were purchased at the box stores, they almost always have some left at the end of spring.


    They’ve been very forgiving here. They may like more sun than you have there.


    You might be right on the wetness with Tina’s. They do like well drained soil.


    They really are nice little shrubs. I don’t have any of the pink ones around. I like them really more for their fine foliage than the blooms but they are great because of both!


    Good points! Once established they are very low maintenance. Ours are close to the house and received residual watering from watering all the other plants and I never really noticed an issue with their establishment. The discount ones that looked a little sad to begin with did need that extra care.


    Tiny blooms really do invite you to look a lot closer!


    I’m glad you like the shoes! I may be moving a few of our heaths this year to the “winter” garden to add more evergreen color. A lot of the Mediterranean loving plants seem to do well here. I think they like the hot summers and full sun.

  8. I just plugged this plant in my blog, so it’s nice to see somewone else feels the same way. Cool plant! I’ve seen it growing just fine in Columbia, South Carolina, which is about the hottest place on Earth, so it will take summer heat. I think the key is good drainage.

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