Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Scotch Heath, Winter Heath
Erica carnea

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erica (ER-ee-kuh) (Info)
Species: carnea (KAR-nee-uh) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)
Scarlet (Dark Red)
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By simple layering
By serpentine layering
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By LynnCanGrowIt
Thumbnail #1 of Erica carnea by LynnCanGrowIt

By LynnCanGrowIt
Thumbnail #2 of Erica carnea by LynnCanGrowIt

By Meredith79
Thumbnail #3 of Erica carnea by Meredith79


1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive LynnCanGrowIt On Dec 7, 2005, LynnCanGrowIt from Shenandoah Valley, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

The species, Erica carnea, grows as a prostrate shrubby perennial that blooms in the winter here in the northern border of Zone 7a. This Heath is relatively care-free and grows in a sprawling manner, sending aerial roots as it grows outward. Since this Heath is quite low to the ground, it will air-layer itself. To keep the shrubby plant within a confined area, cut back once a year.

My planting receives abuse from cold northern winds and even tolerates accumulated snowfall, yet the Heath lives on! And the rewards of seeing small pink, nodding blooms in January is my first reminder that my garden lives on.

Neutral Baa On Aug 2, 2003, Baa wrote:

A small shrub from Western Europe, mainly occuring in the Great British Isles and France.

Has deep green, rolled, almost needle like leaves borne in 3s up the stem. Bears bell shaped, bright reddish purple, pink to pure white, honey scented flowers.

Flowers late June to early September.

Needs a well drained, acid soil in full sun, it's a native of dry, sandy heaths.

Neutral lupinelover On Apr 26, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Protect from drying winds in winter while blooming. This variety tolerates higher soil alkalinity than other ericas. Foliage color varies with season and variety from green through yellow, orange, pink, red, purple.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Riverdale, Maryland
Piscataway, New Jersey
Syosset, New York
Greensboro, North Carolina
Philomath, Oregon
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Stephens City, Virginia
Kirkland, Washington

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