Known as the Cornish Heath where it can be found naturally occurring on the Cornwall peninsula as well as areas of Northern Spain and the western coastal regions of France.
Whilst there are not so many varieties in cultivation compared to Calluna or Erica cinerea there is a range of flower colour from white through pink to deep rose or cerise. ‘Golden Triumph’ has the dual attraction of creamy coloured young Spring growth and large white flowers in mid Summer.
There are a couple of gold foliage varieties, ‘ Valerie Proudley’ and ’Yellow John’. I find that ‘Valerie Proudly’ will scorch in strong sunlight and ‘Yellow John’ with its lightest shade of pink flower is more sun scorch tolerant.
Cultivars with deeper coloured cerise flowers are ‘Mrs D F Maxwell’ and the newer larger flowers ‘Keira’, an introduction bred in Germany and produced by Forest Edge Nurseries. Most varieties are flowering during the mid to late Summer period on compact bushy plants
Erica vagans will grow in acid or slightly alkaline soils although it can be grown in containers or in beds using an acid or ericaceous compost.
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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