Erica carnea ‘Porter's Red’

winter heath

Outstanding Qualities

winter heaths provide months of color just when we seems to need it most. 'Porter's Red' has hundreds of small, urn-shaped, magenta flowers from December or January until May. It is an evergreen shrub with a low, spreading habit, making it an excellent groundcover for sunny locations or for adding interest to winter containers. Its needle-like leaves are bright green. It is similar to 'Myretoun Ruby', but it begins to bloom a bit earlier in mild areas. This cultivar received high ratings from judges during a GPP Erica evaluation held in 2003 at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, B.C. Judges commented that the flowers contrast well with the foliage. winter heaths also produce nectar that attracts bees on mild winter days.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: dark green, blue, chartreuse, bronze

Great Color Partners: pink, orange, yellow, gold

Culture Notes

Heath produces the most flowers in full sun. It prefers a location with well-drained or sandy soil and it is best to water regularly during dry weather. Newly planted heath can dry out quickly once planted so it is important to water often and deeply when the plant is young. It can also be helpful to soak the plant in a bucket of water to fully saturate the soil before planting. After the blossoms have faded a light shearing will remove most of the faded flowers and promote dense growth.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 4 in. (0.40 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: violet

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: regular watering during dry weather