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Erica flower

Erica fiore origins and characteristics

The name heather actually indicates a botanical genus that includes hundreds of different shrub species, native to Africa, Europe and the whole Mediterranean area. Calluna vulgaris, a plant derived from heather, is also usually included in this large ensemble. With all the existing species, it is difficult if not impossible to classify them and grasp the original species. Let’s say that many varieties of heather are ground cover and reach a maximum of thirty centimeters in height; then there are also larger species, up to two meters in height. In any case, all types of heather have a needle-like and fleshy foliage, which grows on semi-woody and little branched stems. In spring or autumn, on the tops of the branches or among the leaves, many small flowers sprout. The heather flower is small, shaped like a cylindrical bell and can be white, red, purple or pink. Mammal heather is the one that has the largest flower, measuring several centimeters. All the other species, on the other hand, have tiny but graceful flowers.

Erica flower cultivation


Heather can grow naturally in the undergrowth and in humid environments. Today it is widely used as a ground cover to give color and liveliness to gardens and public parks and, if desired, it is an excellent border plant, provided it is contained, as it tends to expand, like all ground cover species. The varieties of African origin do not tolerate the cold and have a very early flowering, which begins in autumn. If we choose these species, it is better to cultivate them in pots and move them if necessary. All types of flowering heather need acidic soil because they are acidophilic and should be watered with limescale-free water. Alternatively, it is necessary to provide the seedlings with greening fertilizer, which is essential to give them the right amount of iron. The typical garden heathers in general prefer humid environments while they fear drought and strong heat. Usually, in fact, they develop fully during the cold season, while they rest in the hot one.

Erica flower care


To see the first heather flower, whether it is autumn or spring, we need to provide our plant with the necessary care. First of all, it must be watered regularly because the soil must always be humid, without however stagnating water that could damage the roots. It goes without saying that the soil must therefore be very well drained, perhaps with the help of a little sand. If we live in an area with a mild climate, the heather can also be in a sunny area; if, on the other hand, we live in a very hot area, then it is preferable to place the heather in the shade or at most partial shade. At the end of flowering, the plants must be pruned, cutting a small portion of the branches that bore the flowers; this operation is best done in spring because many specimens of heather produce flowers on the branches of the previous year,

Erica flower diseases and reproduction


Any flowering heather is very sensitive to the development of molds and fungi, for this reason it is absolutely necessary to check that the soil is never soaked with water. We must also be careful about the climate in which our plant lives, because if it is too hot we risk that the aerial part will dry out, if it is too dry, it is easy for the heather to be attacked by parasites, such as mites and scale insects, which damage the foliage. Furthermore, another big problem is chlorosis: if the heather is planted in a calcareous soil, there is a risk that the leaves lose their color until the plant dies, therefore it is essential to use a soil for acidophilic plants. Heather can be propagated by seed or by cuttings. With sowing, however, we will never get a specimen identical to the mother one and then often the seeds are not fertile.

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