Erica, also known as Heath, is a genus of about 700 species!  They are available as shrubs through to tall trees. Their pretty flowers are shaped like bells and come in a variety of colours including pink, lavender & white.  If frosts are prevalent in your area, be sure to choose a European species. Besides using these trees as an ornamental, they are also cultivated for firewood and as a source of yellow dye.   

How to grow erica in a garden

  1. Choose north facing edges of the garden or edges which receive at least a few hours of sunlight through the day. Enrich the well drained soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes. 
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, two to three times a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed every 6-8 weeks from spring to mid autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  7. For a hedge, plant them at a distance of 3 metres. 


Growing tips

  • For best results ensure to check the soil pH before purchasing the type of heath you wish to grow. 

  • They do not need pruning, though to achieve best flowering and growth habit, they can be pruned annually after flowering.  They prefer light pruning to encourage new growth and flowering.

  • For prolonged flowering best to prune them hard (for some heaths it will differ) early spring.

  • Avoid water logging soils as that leads to root rot leading to death of the shrubs and trees through stem and root rot can be controlled by Yates Anti Rot with improved drainage. 

Project guides & articles


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