Erica (Erica) - evergreen shrubs from the Heather family, numbering in its genus more than 500 different species. In their natural environment, plants can be found in the Mediterranean and South Africa.
The high decorative qualities of erica allow it to enjoy well-deserved respect among landscape designers. Erica flowers are often used for landscaping household plots and decorating areas near buildings. It can be planted as a ground cover plant. Among the many species and varieties, there are bushes with different shades of leaves and flowers, with a varied shape and duration of flowering. The blooming culture is perfectly combined with other natural specimens and can feel harmoniously in various compositional solutions. Excellent companion plants for evergreen shrubs are rhododendrons, thuja, junipers and other conifers. One of the features of Erica is a wide palette of her colors and shades - from delicate pastels to bright and rich pinks, purples, oranges and yellows.
It is recommended to choose an area for planting Erica that is sunny and illuminated for a long time during the day, protected from cold drafts and strong gusts of wind. The splendor and duration of flowering depends on the amount of sunlight. Conifers or deciduous hedges can be used as wind protection. Small buildings can also serve as a windbreak. The light-loving and heat-loving Erica needs full-fledged warmth and lighting.
Most of the varieties and varieties of erica prefer to grow on acidic soils, but some species grow well in neutral and slightly alkaline areas.
It is necessary to water the moisture-loving plant regularly and generously, especially during hot summer days and during dry periods. Watering should be done every day, especially in the first year after planting.
In the evergreen erica shrub, the root part is located close to the surface of the earth, so it needs additional protection in the form of a mulch layer of peat, rotted foliage or pine needles. Mulch will not only protect the roots, but also prevent the appearance of weeds, retain the necessary moisture in the soil and maintain the acidity level of the soil.
Erica has a low level of winter hardiness and weak resistance to cold, therefore, in regions with snowless and little snowy winters, and even with very strong and prolonged frosts, thermophilic crops must be protected with additional shelter. In the autumn, a thick mulching layer of peat is applied to the trunk circles near each bush, and the bush itself is covered with spruce branches in the form of a small hut in large quantities. It is recommended to remove the cover in early spring to provide crops with free access to sun and air and to ensure full development.
Erica reproduces by seeds, cuttings, bush division and layering.
The seeds are sown in small planting containers with a moistened acidic soil mixture. It can consist of two parts of peat and one part of coarse sand and coniferous land. Sowing - shallow, without seeding. The box with seeds is covered with glass and kept in a warm, bright room with a temperature of about 20 degrees for about a month. When shoots appear, it is very important to regularly moisten the soil and maintain high humidity. The grown seedlings dive into individual pots. Shortly before transplanting, the plants are hardened and gradually accustomed to open air.
For grafting, apical cuttings 3-5 cm long are used. They are rooted within a month in a peat-sandy substrate. Care consists in watering and feeding.
Reproduction by layering and dividing the bush is considered the most convenient and popular way. Young seedlings adapt very quickly to new growing conditions and a new place.
Possible diseases are powdery mildew, rust, various fungal and viral infections. Most often, the reason for their appearance lies in the violation of the rules for caring for plants. An excess of moisture in the soil and high humidity can lead to the appearance of gray rot. As a preventive measure, it is recommended to plant crops only in well-lit areas and avoid wet soils and the proximity of groundwater. Another reason for the onset of fungal disease can be a winter shelter with high humidity and little air access. Control measures - fungicide treatment. In case of a viral disease, when deformation of leaves and flowers occurs, it is better to remove the plant. Erica is practically not affected by pests.
Erica darlenskaya "Darley Dale" -height of an evergreen plant reaches 40 cm. On strong thin stalks there are numerous oblong needle-like leaves of dark green color 3-5 cm long. The annual growth is 8-10 cm. The flowers are numerous (4-6 cm in diameter), bell-shaped, lilac-pink, odorless. Blooms in April - May.
Grows well in the sun, but also in partial shade. In the shade and partial shade, the flowers turn pale, and their number decreases markedly. The location must be protected from the wind. Prefers neutral or slightly acidic, shallow soils. Shelter is recommended.
Erica darlenskaya "Darley Dale" good in group plantings, in rocky gardens - rock gardens and rockeries or on rocky hills, in the form of small blotches, as a ground cover plant.
Benefits of the Darley Dale variety
Prefers neutral or slightly acidic, shallow soils
Has a beautiful and long flowering period
Delicate, elegant evergreen shrub for the decoration of rocky hills
Advantages of buying seedlings from Agro-Market24
Not every plant can boast a bloom that lasts from fall to Christmas or even to spring. Erica can. How to grow this unique plant?
Erica is an evergreen shrub from the Heather family. This plant has very brittle twigs and delicate, small flowers of white, purple or lilac color. Erica is popular in gardens not only because of her attractive appearance. It is unpretentious, so even beginners can easily grow it on their site.
The best a place for growing Erica - in the sun or in partial shade. The soil should be moderately moist. In dry weather, watering is necessary - especially during the active growth of shoots. Otherwise, they will grow short, and there will be few buds.
Erica even puts up with heavy clay soils that contain calcium
A plant with a closed root system can be planted in a permanent place at any time of the year. The diameter of the planting holes should be 1.5-2 times larger than the diameter of the pot. At the bottom you should put peat or sand (depending on the mechanical composition of the soil on the site), some mineral fertilizers. Mix everything thoroughly and plant the plant 2 cm deeper than in a pot. The plant must be watered abundantly and, when the water is absorbed, mulched.
Plant care is minimal. All Erica needs is timely feeding and weeding, as well as mulching.
Feed the plant follows 2-3 times per season. In the spring - with ammonium nitrate or urea, and in the summer (in June and early July) - with complex chlorine-free mineral fertilizers. Potassium chloride is extremely disliked by all heathers. From potassium fertilizers, it is better to use potassium sulfate.
Erika needs very little phosphorus: when planting, they add a little superphosphate, after a while - complex fertilizers (5-7 g / m2).
Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil, inhibits weed growth and performs well as a decorative function. Chips, bark or sawdust can be used as mulch.
Erica blooms for a very long time. The buds are colored in late September - early October and so they leave before winter. In a snowless winter, Erica is able to delight with beauty for a very long time until the snow falls. And in the spring, as soon as he leaves, Erica is again among the first beauties!
Erica flowers continue to develop and their beauty reaches its peak in April-May. Moreover, even closed buds help to create it - they are bright and do not lose their charm.
Erica is famous for its long flowering
Erika can be propagated summer cuttings escapes, but the easiest is - dividing the bush in autumn or early spring.
The height of different varieties usually does not exceed 25 cm. Erica grows in breadth, the lower branches lie on the soil and take root after a while. Bushes can form rather large sods with small dense "cushion mats"
1-2 years after planting the bush, it can be carefully dug up, divided into several parts and planted. The roots are very small, fibrous, so they cannot be kept in the air for a long time. If Eric is raised for several years without dividing, large blooming clumps will turn out. However, it is advisable to plant the plant in 3-5 years, otherwise "bald spots" will appear.
To get a more compact bush, after flowering in late spring - early summer, the tips of the shoots need to be trimmed a little. This will stimulate branching: more young shoots will appear, and, accordingly, flowers.
It may seem that Erica looks very modest - a kind of fluffy lilac "rug". To heighten the effect, you can "add" ground cover to it. Plants with bright green, yellow or variegated foliage (stonecrops, rejuvenated, saxifrage, conifers, etc.) are especially good in this regard.
Erica looks very beautiful in rocky gardens, in groups with conifers, various shrubs, as well as in combination with snowdrops and crocuses. Florists are happy to include this plant in winter and Christmas compositions.
If you like this gentle and "long-lasting" plant, also plant a related heather in the flower garden.
It is easy and not difficult to care for the Erica plant.
It grows very quickly, on the basis of which many use it as a ground cover, for example, in the west, lawns of ground cover plants are not rare in which Erica herbal also takes part in her feasible part.
Despite the fact that in mono compositions it is also often used (mainly for framing flower beds), especially herbaceous erica is effective in group plantings - in them you can see her from afar.
In the South of Russia, Erika herbaceous will bloom when other plants, both trees and shrubs, have already shed their leaves. Therefore, it is so important to choose neighbors for herbal Erica.
First of all, look from among the ornamental grasses (of which bearded feather grass, fescue are suitable). Also, next to Erica, dwarf cedar, small pine, juniper and other dwarf shrubs and trees, including coniferous dwarfs, will look good.
Since Erica herself is a herbal representative of the heather family, her neighbors can also be looked for from other representatives of this species.
So frosts, for example, are tolerated not only by one erica herbal - from heather, using their this property, you can plant next to her Erica Darliens, erica four-dimensional, and the most ordinary heather. They will endure the frost together.
The rest of the heather are winter-hardy only conditionally - these are:
Despite the fact that it comes from heather, unlike the latter, it can grow well on clay soils with neutral acidity or even slightly acidic.
Loosening the ground for planting erica herbal should be, if it is very very dense. If you are engaged in loosening the flower beds under it, then add a little river sand to the soil. On such a soil, Erica herbaceous will grow by itself for many years.
1. First Weise Rosalie - a lot of flowers. It blooms in the south of Russia in April and May, but it happens that it can begin to bloom as early as January-March.
2. 'Winterfreude' (Winter joy). Flowering time March-May. The flowers of this variety are reddish purple.
3. Golden Starlet. It justifies its name because the flowers are white and the leaves are deep yellow. This variety of Erica blooms in the period from February to March.
4. Erica Wintersonne (Winter Sun) Blooms from February to April. A deep red color. A very beautiful variety. Leaves, or rather their veins, can darken in severe frost
5. March Seedling Blooms in March, flowering time rarely more than a month. The color is purple.
6. Tanja is a late blooming Erica. The color is dark red. It usually blooms between March and April.
Photo of varieties of erica herbal
Erika pruning should be done in the spring, after flowering.
Pruning is needed for two reasons - firstly, so that the plant does not become woody and ugly, and secondly, such pruning, as in the case of pruning garden trees, always promotes the growth of new young shoots.
You only need to cut off the tops of Erica, right under the last wilted flower.
Formation of the crown of the bush is recommended semicircular. If you prune regularly, the plant will lay more generative (flower) buds, and the Erica bush itself will acquire a beautiful miniature shape.
The difference between Erica and other plants of the heather family
Many gardeners are wondering “how to distinguish erica herbal from ordinary heather, or erica four-dimensional” ..
So, the flowers of herbal erica are oval. The fruits are located in them as in a kind of "protective boxes".
Common heather can be distinguished by flowers that look like small tiny stars.
In 4D Erica, flowers are like little bells, they are found only at the tips of the stems.
Other heathers (note)
As soon as the snow melts, Erika is blooming meat-red. A little later, perennial andromeda blooms - an evergreen, low and dense shrub up to 25 cm high with leathery leaves. Its pink flowers appear in May - June.
Rhododendrons and Cassiopeia bloom from mid-spring to early summer. 8 late June - early July blooming brukentalia styloid-leaved - an evergreen compact shrub, reminiscent of Erica, with pink flowers in spike-shaped inflorescences at the tops of the shoots.
Around the same time, recumbent haulteria and kalmias - narrow-leaved and broad-leaved - bloom. From late July to October, common heather continues to bloom. All of these plants can form a single heather garden. Heather ones look especially harmonious against the background of conifers in combination with stones and gravel dumps.
Ideal neighbors for colorful Erica (not heather) are boxwood, gaultree, calocephalus, sedge, heuchera, duckweed and veronica.
All plants are undersized and grow as bushes.
buying blooming spring ericas in supermarkets, do not flatter yourself - this is a short-lived, albeit beautiful, choice.
They are grown using technologies that do not provide for a long life in the garden. However, when it comes to plants, miracles are always possible.
Indeed, most of its species are suitable for growing both in the garden and in the room. If you have experience in growing heathers and erik, you can easily master agricultural techniques and haulteria.
Gaulteria needs peaty and acidic soil. She does not tolerate her compaction, stagnant water. A planting hole is dug up to a depth of 30-40 cm, drainage from river pebbles or broken brick is necessarily laid on the bottom, and semi-rotted coniferous litter is added to the soil. The plant is planted so that the root collar is at the level of the soil (a depth of 1.5 cm is permissible, no more). It is very important to mulch the trunk circle with bark or wood chips.
In the spring, the gault is fed with “Kemira. Universal "(100 g / sq.m.). The soil is loosened superficially. Watered abundantly, but rarely, only more often in drought. Spray on the leaves, but only in the evening. For the winter, young plants are covered with dry leaves, and the soil under the old ones is mulched. Snow is thrown in in winter. In early spring, in order to prevent podoprevaniya root collar, the shelter is removed, and the mulch is removed. If you want to immediately see how the plant will look in the garden, buy it in the fall. Gaulteria will have a great winter in a glazed loggia, and in the spring it can be moved to the garden. This type is sufficient
exactly winter-hardy and with a small shelter grows successfully even near St. Petersburg. Propagated by seeds, cuttings, and by dividing the bush.
With seed reproduction, the plant develops very slowly, blooming in the fourth year.
With green cuttings treated with root stimulants, rooting rate is up to 40%. The 15 cm high "pillow" occupies about 40 sq. Cm of area in diameter. That is why it is so good in the shady areas of the rock garden, in the border of plants that also need acidic peaty soils.
In room culture, the plant is planted in a mixture of high peat, coniferous soil and sand (3: 2: 1). Drainage is laid at the bottom of the pot. The plant is kept in a glazed loggia or on a north or west windowsill. Watered twice a month abundantly, the water from the pan must be drained. In the haulteria, only dry twigs are cut. In the spring, the plant is taken out into the garden and the pot is added to the soil. You can put it on a balcony, in a loggia and protect it from the sun.
I bought the seeds of the bedridden. Some sources say that it can only be grown in a room, in others - and in a garden. I would like to know more about the plant. How to propagate it?
A small evergreen shrub with narrow needle-shaped leaves, belongs to the heather family.
It should be noted that in nature, plants grow only on air-permeable soils. Without good drainage, they simply won't develop fully. The plant does not tolerate stagnant water. When choosing a landing site, avoid areas where there is an accumulation of melted snow. In order to maintain the bright color of the leaves and flowers, Erica needs a sufficient amount of sun. Do not plant it in shaded and windy areas. Erica is a plant, planting and caring for which is not difficult if the place for it is chosen correctly.
Erica prefers slightly acidic or neutral soil. If you add a little river sand to it, then the plants will feel great for many years. Growing erica is within the power of even a novice gardener. All this plant requires is to provide timely watering, feeding and pruning the shoots when flowering ends.
Home care which also includes preparation for the winter. Before the onset of the first frosts, it is necessary to moisten and mulch the soil, and cover the plantations with dry foliage or spruce branches. Mulch will not only provide the plant with a good wintering, but also enrich the soil with useful substances.
Although the Erica plant is a drought-tolerant crop, caring for it necessarily includes regular watering. It is necessary to ensure that the soil is always moist. The water should be soft and of a certain temperature. When the soil dries up, watering is required especially plentiful. The potted plant can be completely submerged in water for half an hour. Eric's plant is very sensitive to air humidity. Therefore, it is recommended to spray the ground part periodically.
Despite the long winter, witch hazel flowers open in March, when the snow has not yet melted. If it freezes outside, their bright petals curl and bend in different directions. But as soon as the sun appears and the air warms up, they straighten out again. Plus, witch hazel flowers not only attract attention with their unusual shape, but also fill the spring garden with a pleasant aroma.
Erica is a beautiful evergreen shrub, small in size, with narrow needle-like leaves visible. Erica can be seen blooming in summer and winter. If the place of its growth is cold regions, then flowering occurs in spring and autumn. Since dried flowers do not fall off for a very long time, it seems that flowering lasts for six months.
The very name Erica is rooted in Ancient Greece and means "to break" (ereiko). Ancient people believed that if you insist on Erica leaves in a special way and drink liquid, you can break kidney stones, and then they will come out on their own. Some people generalize Erica with heather. But botanists argue that this is not true, although it can be quite difficult to distinguish common heather from erica. To do this, you need to have special knowledge in the field of crop production.
Erica can grow in the form of a shrub, shrub or tree with leaves that look like needles. When flowering, Erica is covered with a large number of small white or pink flowers. The flowers form dense clusters and resemble drooping bells.
There is practically no place where Erica cannot be found: it grows in Europe, Turkey, in Africa, where there is a temperate climate. But most often it can be found in the Cape Province (South Africa). Who was in Scotland, could not help but see the massive thickets of this plant on the mountain slopes, vast wastelands and peat bogs.
The genus Erica has over 600 species. They have significant differences among themselves: in the size and shape of the bush, the shade of flowers and leaves, unpretentiousness to the environment (some prefer swampy wastelands, while others prefer dry heaths). On some bushes of this plant, the color of the leaves changes in winter. For the most part, Erica is a winter-flowering shrub, and only a few of them throw out flowers on warm summer days. Let's take a closer look at the most common varieties of this beautiful shrub.
Representatives of the Erica genus, who in nature are considered an invariable adornment of Scandinavian and British landscapes and are known mainly for the beauty of the moorlands, are able to surprise with their diversity. In the genus Eric, which is part of the family of the same name, there are more than 5 hundred species of plants. And although most of them remain wild plants that have not been introduced into horticultural culture, and the most famous erikas are garden plants, there are still among the five hundred varieties and those species that will not refuse to grow as a solo indoor plant. True heathers (Calluna) are also grown in indoor culture, but their maintenance requires a slightly specific approach and the heather must be outdoors most of the year.
As a houseplant, only two, but incomparable types of Erica are grown - Erica herbacea, which has many magnificent varieties with different colors of inflorescences and a less capricious, but less spectacular Erica graceful (Erica gracilis). Both plants have a lot of similarities in the type of flowering, and in size, and in the structure of the bushes. Moreover, almost all specimens on the modern market are hybrid varieties and their specific origin is sometimes not quite easy to find out. And species of plants are often confused with each other and sold under the name of each other. But you can still distinguish the herbal Erica from the graceful one: in the first, the flowers are painted only in pink or red, in the second - in pink-lilac-purple tones. Everything else in plants is very similar. They are actively experimenting with other types of eric today in the West, trying to increase the range of these plants in indoor representation, but there is no talk of any noticeable "breakthrough" in other types of speech. On sale today, Erica x willmorei is sometimes found with long, up to 2 cm flower bells and Erica ventricosa growing in the form of a spherical bush, but they are rare.
Erika herbaceous or ruddy (Eríca cárnea) and Darleys (Erica x darleyensis) bloom earlier than anyone else in late winter and early spring. Flowering continues until the end of April. In the second half of June and until the end of August, the flowering time of the four-dimensional erica (Erica tetralix), which prefers moist and ash soil (Erica cinerea), begins. Erica vagans blooms in August-September with pink, white or cream flowers, can reach 75 cm in height.
Erica Darleys is a hybrid obtained in the early twentieth century by the English breeder Darley Dale by crossing Erica ruddy. The popular variety "Kramers mouth" grows up to 50 cm in height and is one of the tallest varieties of this species. Grows rapidly, creating large clumps.
Small, green, needle-like leaves are densely packed around the shoot. From late February - early March, as soon as the frosts subsided and the snow melted, ruby-red flowers appear on the raised stems on the bushes. It blooms at relatively low temperatures, so bloom can last until May. Shelter is required during winter.
Erica herbaceous is the most popular in the culture. Very hardy, tolerant of most soils and the most frost resistant of all cultivated species. It is a low-growing (10-25 cm) spreading shrub. Thanks to selection, more than 100 cultivars and hybrid forms of high decorativeness were obtained. Some famous varieties: Golden Star, Ice Princess, Myretoun Ruby, Natalie, Pink Spangle, Sunshine Ramble, Jenny Porter, etc.