Commonly known as the ‘Dorset Heath’ this species requires an acid soil and produces flowers in mid-Summer. Flower colour ranges from white (‘Stoborough’) through pink (‘Wych’) to rosy pink (‘Corfe Castle’). There is a golden foliaged form (‘Aurea’) which is a delicate plant but apart from this variety all the other have grey green foliage.
Erica ciliaris will grow to 12-18”(30-45cm) in height but can be trimmed to keep them neat and bushy.
Erica ciliaris have larger flowers than the norm and are especially attractive as a garden plant. They are found in the wild in wetter situations but will survive quite happily in a garden environment. It is unusual to find Erica ciliaris for sale in garden centres and only specialist heather growers are likely to have this plant available. Many of the varieties listed in catalogues are probably lost to cultivation.
Erica ciliaris requires 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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