This is the most common and widespread of Britainâ€™s native heathers. It is a low perennial shrub normally growing from 20 to 50cm tall but occasionally reaching a height of 1m. It produces delicate pink flowers which appear from August until late October.
Sow indoors at any time, although for best results sow between March and May or from August to September. Surface sow onto moist, well-drained seed compost. Place the seed tray in a polythene bag and put in the fridge at a temperature of 4C for 4 weeks. Then remove to warmth, ideally at a temperature of 20C. Light is needed for germination. Germination takes around 30-60 days, although even under ideal conditions germination can be erratic. Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle to 8cm pots and grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Acclimatise and plant out the following spring when danger of frost has passed.