Winter-flowering Heather

Winter-flowering Heather or Heath, Erica carnea, covered in December snow. © Karen Andrews

Heather makes a great addition to winter pots and baskets. A potted Erica carnea in my garden has withstood heavy frosts, icy conditions and this week’s covering of snow. Just about everything else has keeled over in shock, after the late arrival of true wintery conditions this year.

Artificial v. Natural

Heather seems to have fallen out of favour with gardeners. Every year I mutter when I see heather spray-painted in garish unnatural colours of blue, lurid green, bright yellow, shocking pink and orange. Why? I cannot understand. Why would anyone choose the unnatural colours over the naturally beautiful whites and pinks? The artificial covering obstructs photosynthesis. The plants cannot feed themselves.


Heather is an excellent source of nectar for bees. Heather honey is much sought after. The winter-flowering Erica species provide a vital source of nectar when there is little else about for winter to early spring foraging bees.

Maybe give natural, resilient heathers a second look?

© Karen Andrews


Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.

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