Daboecia cantabrica (St Dabeoc’s heath)
This species can be found naturally growing in Western Ireland and Northern Spain. It has small glossy green leaves with flower colour ranging from white through to pink, purple and crimson.
Some forms have upright flowers, defined as form ‘blum’ cultivars (‘White Blum’, ‘Purple Blum’) but in general the larger flowers hang downwards. A variegated form is available (Rainbow) and flower colour ranges from white (‘Alba’) through to pink (‘Tinkerbell’) to red (‘Andrea’). Daboecia should be trimmed back after flowering to keep them neat and tidy. They will grow to a height of 12-14” (30-35cm) flowering in early/mid Summer and require acid soil conditions. There are a few double flowered cultivars (‘Charles Nelson’, ‘Romantic Muxoll’),
Daboecia x scotica : Hybrid
A hybrid of garden origin between Daboecia azorica and Daboecia cantabrica, dwarfer in habit, growing to 8”(25cm) . It flowers slightly earlier than its parents, showing colour in May, requiring an acid soil with flower colour ranging from white (‘Silverwells’) through pink (‘Katherine’s Choice’) to garnet red (‘Jack Drake’)
Daboecia require an acid soil for it to grow successfully although it can be grown in containers or in beds using an acid or ericaceous compost isolated from the ground soil.
The texture of heavy (clay) soils can be improved by the addition of peat and/or coarse grit
Trim to base of flowering spike after flowering.
Ensure the plants are kept moist during the first year of planting and in dry conditions.
For best results feed sparingly in Spring and early Summer with a general fertiliser.
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