Using winter heather in the garden

Using winter heather in the garden

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Among the many varieties of heather, some have the audacity to flower throughout the winter. Available in magnificent colors, winter heather lines the ground to give us a generous flowering even in the snow. It also makes bees happy during a season when flowers are missing. Charly de Jardiland tells us where to install it, how to prune it and what plants to associate with winter heather in the garden.

What variety of heather do you recommend for flowering a garden in winter?

In regions where winter is mild, almost all varieties of heather can flower throughout the year. But it is better to opt for a winter heather, not frost-resistant, if the off season is generally harsh. You can for example opt for Erica x darleyensis which we call snow heather, and Erica carnea native to the Alpine massifs. Rustic, they will undoubtedly be the queens of your garden, of the rock garden, or even of your balcony because they are enjoyed as much in the open ground as in a planter. Be careful, however, to choose a place little exposed to frost for varieties of heather with golden foliage.

In what soil to plant winter heather?

A slightly acidic sandy soil composed of garden soil and heather enriched with about 1/5 of good quality compost is enough for this type of plant. It is important that the soil that hosts the heather does not retain water because excess moisture is harmful to this ground cover plant. A semi-shaded exposure is recommended although the sunshine is appreciated by the heather provided that it is not too direct.

Does heather have to be pruned?

The size of the heather is not compulsory if you want to bring a wild touch to your garden. In this case, depending on the variety, a winter heather can reach a height of 80 to 100 cm. On the other hand, in a small natural space or if winter heather is cultivated in a pot, it can be pruned each year from June to discipline its many branches. We can then give it all the shapes we want: diamond, ball ... We choose the time of size to divide the feet of winter heather a little too bushy. On the other hand, we gradually remove all the wilted flowers.

Does winter heather need fertilizer?

We recommend a fertilizer during the spring. The ideal is to prefer a fertilizer intended for heather earth plants, that is to say the same one that is used for azalea, rhododendron, camellia, hydrangea.

What plants can winter heather be associated with?

Thanks to winter heather, the garden is transformed into a magnificent painter's palette. Virgin white, red, purple, pale pink: each bell-shaped flower contrasts with the equally elegant evergreen of heather. And to complete the picture, we can combine winter heather with boxwood, fern, grasses, crocus, broom or cyclamen. Rock garden, waterfront garden, lawn ... any natural space lends itself to these divine marriages.