Erica carnea f. alba 'Whitehall'
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Sculptural mounds of ling topped by clean white flowers -like a dusting of snow on the hills
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: well-drained acid soil. Will tolerate mildly alkaline soil.
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: January to March
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Masses of white, urn-shaped flowers appear from January to March among bright green foliage. This winter heather has an upright and compact habit, making it a particularly suitable container plant. Try it in a pot near the house with winter-flowering pansies and early-flowering crocuses, where it will lift the spirits in the depths of winter. In the garden it looks best planted in bold drifts among other heathers, or beneath deciduous trees. As it tolerates mildly alkaline soil there's no need to use a special potting compost.
- Garden care: During the growing season water regularly, applying a half-strength application of a balanced liquid fertiliser every four weeks. After the plant has flowered trim with shears or secateurs to remove the dead flowers and encourage bushy growth.
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Q:Plant advice for 2 new beds please
Hello, I need some help to decide which plants to put into two new areas please:- 1: A semi-circle flash bed at the front of the house, size approx 2m x 0.80m and 0.80m deep. I thought about the 3 following options for a small tree/bush in the middle:- a) Magnolia soulangeana, but I was worried about the size that it could grow to and possible problems with roots etc . Will it stay small if the size of the container is used to restrict it? b) Witch Hazel (Hamamelis intermediana 'Diane'). Will it spread too much? I think this is very pretty. c) Corylus avellana 'contorta' Then I also need to think about ground cover plants to help suppress weeds. I am only interested in fully hardy, easy to look after plants, could be with some flowers or coloured leaves. 2:- A thin path between neighbours (approx 2m x 0.40). My idea is to plant bamboo. I would love a modern thin run of bamboo with ground cover. My worry is which bamboos to use. I love the yellow, like Phyllostychys aureocaulis (Golden Grove) but not sure if it is strong enough as it could be exposed to some wind. I bought from you a couple of years ago the Phyllostychys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' which I planted in pots but it died this year. I see on your website some other bamboos but I don't like them as much as their canes seems less exposed and have a lot more foliage. But possibly these would be a better alternative... ...? For the ground cover I as thinking of Ophiopogen nigrescen. Do you think these plants will be suitable, or have you any other suggestions? Thank you for your help, GaliaAsked on 15/2/2010 by e moran
A:Hello Galia, All of the taller shrubs you mentioned for the semi-circular bed will get quite large, but their growth will be restricted (both in height and spread) if they are kept in a pot where their roots are restricted. For groundcover you could opt for any of the following:- Bergenia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.bergenia/ Helleborus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.helleborus/ Heuchera http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/ Epimedium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.epimedium/ Geranium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.geranium/ Erica http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.erica/ As for the bamboos, even the most well behaved one (Fargesia murieliae) will spread to around 1.5m across so you should keep this in mind when planting it in such a confined space. Perhaps a better option would be one of our hedging plants, which can be cut back hard against the wall. Taxus http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/trees/hedging/conifer/bigger-trees/best-in-very-large-gardens-parks/taxus-baccata-/classid.6230/ or Ligustrum http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/hedging/ligustrum-ovalifolium-/classid.4093/ would be good options. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 16/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Erica carnea f. alba 'Whitehall'
Dear Sir/Madam, I was advised to contact you regarding problems I have been experiencing with my heathers (I have now bought 4 of these). They have been in the same place since they were planted (in pots with ericaceous compost on sleepers underneath conifers - orientation is north-east-ish, so they only get sun in the afternoon). Symptoms are that they suddenly turn off-colour (i.e. a greying green) as if they had been deprived of water for a long time, then the leaves become all dusty and fall off, and most of what remains becomes brown. As there were a few green branches left after cutting all the dead ones out on the last heather affected, I had hoped that it would 'pick up', and grow again but it just died after a few weeks. Both of them were absolutely magnificent up until a few weeks ago and remained in full bloom for approximately 6 months. As a comparison, I have two other heathers (Calluna Vulgaris 'Dark Star') purchased at the same time at the first two Erica carnea, which are flourishing. These are not normally kept under conifers but on a patio which gets the shade of the house in the afternoon. I would be grateful for any diagnosis/advice you may have about this problem! Thank you, kind regards, ChristineAsked on 24/9/2009 by Christine Barrat-Sweeney
A:Hello Helen, Thank you for your detailed reply. I failed to mention that I have watered these heathers carefully and regularly because of their position (as you mention, the conifers block a lot of the rain, not so much the light because the bulk of the conifers' foliage is several feet off the ground) and never allowed them to dry up, so I can only conclude that a pest got the better of them? Kind regards, ChristineAnswered on 24/9/2009 by Christine Barrat-Sweeney
A:Hello again Christine, They can suffer from over-watering, but this usually
causes the leaves to turn yellow and then drop, but this is usually a
slower process than drying out. The foliage will tend to go limp too,
rather than dry and crispy. Occasionally the roots can become so dense
the water simply runs around the edges of the rootballs and the centres
rarely becomes wet, despite being watered regularly. I'm sorry
not to be more help. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 24/9/2009 by Christine Barrat-Sweeney
A:Hello Christine, I'm sorry you have had problems with some
of your heathers. They are prone to a number of pests and diseases, but
the brown, crispy foliage usually indicates that they have become a
little too dry at some point, and have simply suffered from drought.
Ericas will tolerate some shade, but prefer a sunnier spot, and most
plants will struggle under a conifer as it will block out rainfall and
sunlight. I can understand your disappointment, but if the plants are
moved to a better spot and watered regularly and deeply, then they may
rally around and start to put on new growth in spring. I'm sorry
not to be more help. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 24/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Winter flowering bedding plants for planters and window boxes
Hi I need to order 30+ plants for planters and window boxes. They need to flower during the winter and be fairly hardy. Can you recommend 3 or 4 types please. They are to be planted in the school so not too expensive as pupils do have access to the areas! Pansies and Begonias have been suggested but I thought I would ask an expert! All suggestions gratefully received. DarrenAsked on 18/8/2009 by Darren Maeers
A:Hello Darren, The best options for winter colour are pansies, polyanthus, bellis and heathers. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor .Answered on 19/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hello I was just wondering if there is such a thing as 'Dwarf' Hydrangeas? If so, are they available in different colours, and how high do they grow? We have a curved walled bed that is about 30' long, and we would like put in some colourful flowering but dwarf plants (about 6-10" high), that require little or no maintenance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kind regards RahmeAsked on 16/8/2009 by Tim and Rahme
A:Hello Rahme, I'm afraid there are no Hydrangeas that will stay that small, and most newly planted things will need some maintenance. Having said that here are a couple of plants which might be worth considering Erica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/heathers/erica-%C3%97-darleyensis-j.w.-porter/classid.567/ Erica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/heathers/erica-carnea-whitehall/classid.539/ Bergenia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.bergenia/ Vinca http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.vinca/ Ajuga http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.ajuga/ I hope this gives you a few ideas. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 17/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:When should I plant?
I recently received some new plants from Crocus. I've unpacked them, made sure they are moist and they are presently in my garage as its snowing outside. I have Clematis, heather, some Roses and Camellias. The days have been very sunny but the nights frosty, could you please tell me the best time to plant them as I know they shouldn't stay in my garage?Asked on 3/3/2006 by Tracey May
A:As a rule plants grown in containers, such as ours, can be planted at any time of year as long as the soil isn't frozen solid. Also the plants you have mentioned are all hardy so don't need to be kept indoors until you are ready to plant. They should be taken out of the garage as soon as possible and stood outside in a sheltered, sunny spot until the weather warms up.Answered on 6/3/2006 by Crocus