Erica × darleyensis ‘Silberschmelze’

Darley heath

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Its name means 'molten silver' and it forms a sea of small, bell-shaped, silvery-white flowers from December to May. These smother its evergreen, needle-like leaves of mid green. 'Silberschmelze' has a compact, mounding habit and has been a strong performer in the Pacific Northwest for decades. Mass plantings of this heath create an excellent groundcover for sunny locations, providing outstanding winter interest. Heaths add interest to winter containers and produce nectar that attracts bees on mild winter days. 'Silberschmelze' was found in Wuppertal, Germany, by plantsman Georg Arends and introduced by him by 1939.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 8

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: regular watering during dry weather

Wildlife Associations: bees

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, variegated, bronze

Great Color Partners: dark green, lavender, rose

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.