Tree heath

Erica arborea

The tree heath, a member of the evergreen ericaceae family, is native to southern Europe and east Africa where it can grow to fairly tall tree. The fragrant grey-white flowers, borne in dense terminal clusters, appear in spring. Because of its small, needle-like leaves, the plant does not transpire much, which means that it does not mind prolonged periods of drought. They prefer a sunny position but need plenty of lime-free water during the growing and flowering season; however they must not be waterlogged. Although tree heath is more tolerant of lime than other species, it should be planted in peaty soil. It will tolerate slight frost but it is best to over-winter it in a light, well-ventilated room at a temperature of 5-10° C (41-50° F). It needs regular watering even during the winter. It can be propagated from semi-ripe cuttings taken from non-flowering shoots in mid-spring. Older specimens can be cut back if necessary.

10. July 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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