Growing Erica (Heath)

Latin Name Pronunciation: air'-ih-kah 

Plant out of the way of winter winds in full sun (or partial shade in the South and in warm inland areas of the West) and well-drained, acidic soil that retains moisture. A 3-6 inch layer of peat moss, dug in before planting, helps to satisfy all three soil requirements. Plants prefer lean soil; do not fertilize. At the limits of a variety's cold hardiness, cover lightly with evergreen boughs in late fall and spray an antidesiccant (available at garden centers) to prevent winter winds from "burning" the leaves. Prune stems that suffered winter damage as new growth emerges in spring; remove spent flowers and and awkward growth right after bloom.