Consistent durability, year-round leaves, long lasting bright flowers – few plants match the appeal of heaths and heathers. The difference between the various sorts of heathers and heaths are important to plant geeks and botanists, but most gardeners simply refer to the entire category broadly as “heathers”.
While all varieties are wonderful additions to the landscape, of particular value are the winter blooming heaths. Low shrubs or groundcovers, they offer dense blooms of small bell shaped flowers in colors ranging from white to light pink to bright magenta. The flowering period of the winter heaths is particularly long: about four months, with individual varieties blooming November to March, December to April, or January to May.
Plant winter heaths in full or nearly full sun, in well-drained soil. Most prefer at least occasional summer water. Size can vary – some are quite low and rather slow spreading, but many often reach 2-3 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide; and a rare few, the “tree heathers”, are more upright shrubs exceeding 4 feet in both height and spread.