Glandular heath Erica glandulosa

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
glandular heath


E. glandulosa is an evergreen shrub, to 1.5m tall, with both leaves and stems covered in tiny, glandular hairs giving the plant a sticky feel. Curved, tubular, pale pink to pale orange flowers, up to 25mm long, are borne over a long period

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Heath, Cape Heath, glandular heath.

    • Common names

      Erica baueraefolia, Erica grandiflora, Erica purpurea.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 centimeters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 centimeters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Erica glandulosa or the glandular heath is known to attract bees and other pollinating insects, which is beneficial for the ecosystem.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: The striking pink to purple flowers add color and beauty to gardens, making it a popular choice for ornamental use.
    • Habitat Support: It provides shelter and habitat to various small animals and insects.
    • Soil Stabilization: The plant's root system helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, especially in sandy soils where it naturally grows.
    • Drought Resistance: As a native to South Africa, it is adapted to dry conditions and can help in landscaping to reduce the need for irrigation.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Erica glandulosa requires minimal care, making it suitable for low-maintenance gardens.
    • Cultural Significance: In its native range, it is part of the fynbos vegetation and has cultural importance in South African traditional uses and folklore.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Erica glandulosa, commonly known as glandular heath, can be used as a natural dye for fabrics and wool, giving a range of colors from yellow to green depending on the mordant used.
    • In some cultures, the flowers and foliage of glandular heath may be used for ceremonial or decorative purposes, including as adornments in rituals or festivals.
    • This plant can be incorporated into landscaping and garden design, valued for its attractive foliage and flowers to create visually appealing natural borders or flower beds.
    • The hardy nature of Erica glandulosa makes it suitable for erosion control on slopes or areas prone to soil degradation.
    • Glandular heath can be used in crafting, where its flowers are dried and incorporated into wreaths, potpourri, or other dried floral arrangements.
    • The branches and twigs of Erica glandulosa can be used in miniature construction for model making or as a resource in creating small-scale decorative items.
    • Some enthusiasts may use the intricate flowers of the glandular heath for macro photography, capturing the complex structures and vibrant colors of the blooms.
    • Glandular heath can be grown in pots or containers, making it a versatile plant for balcony gardens or indoor settings that receive ample sunlight.
    • The tough, woody stems of Erica glandulosa can be harvested for use in traditional crafts, such as basket weaving or the creation of small utensils or tools.
    • In regions where the plant is native, local bird species may use the dense foliage of the glandular heath as nesting sites, making it beneficial for bird watchers and conservation efforts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Erica glandulosa is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Erica glandulosa is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Adaptation: Erica glandulosa, commonly known as glandular heath, often symbolizes adaptability due to its ability to thrive in various soil types and environments.
    • Resilience: The resilient nature of glandular heath, enduring harsh conditions and still flourishing, represents toughness and the ability to withstand life's challenges.
    • Isolation: As a plant often found in secluded areas of South Africa, it may symbolize solitude or a desire for isolation.
    • Beauty: With its delicate blossoms, glandular heath is often associated with natural beauty and the appreciation of life's aesthetic pleasures.
    • Endurance: Its evergreen property and ability to survive poor weather make it a symbol of enduring through hard times.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The plant commonly known as glandular heath requires careful watering to avoid both waterlogging and drying out. It should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. This may vary depending on the season and climate, but typically watering once a week with 1 to 2 gallons of water during growing season is sufficient. In winter, reduce watering to half of this amount every other week. Ensure that the water is distributed evenly around the base of the plant.

  • sunLight

    Glandular heath thrives in bright, indirect light or partial shade. It is best situated in a spot that receives morning sunlight but is protected from the intense heat of afternoon sun. Avoid placing it in deep shade, as this can lead to poor flowering and weak growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Glandular heath does well in moderate temperatures and can survive in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit to highs around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the ideal temperature range for optimal growth is between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It's crucial to protect the plant from frost, as temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit can be damaging.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning glandular heath helps maintain its shape and promotes vigorous growth. Prune immediately after flowering by removing dead flowers and any straggly or dead branches. This is generally done once a year; however, if the plant is growing vigorously, a light trim can be given in late summer or early fall to keep its compact shape.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Heath soil prefers acidic conditions, so a mix rich in ericaceous compost with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 is ideal for Cape Heath. The soil should be well-draining with added peat or pine bark to maintain acidity.

  • plantRepotting

    Cape Heath should be repotted every two to three years to prevent soil compaction and refresh the nutrient availability. Choose a slightly larger pot to encourage growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Cape Heath thrives best in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50-70%. Avoid placing it in very dry environments which can lead to stress and leaf drop.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light and keep soil moist for Cape Heath indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade and well-draining acidic soil for Cape Heath.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Erica glandulosa, commonly known as glandular heath, begins its life cycle as a seed shed from the mature capsules of the parent plant. These seeds require a well-drained, acidic soil to germinate, typically doing so with the assistance of fire or scarification, which breaks seed dormancy. After germination, the seedling grows into a young plant, developing a root system and foliage as it matures. During its growth, it forms the characteristic needle-like leaves and begins to produce the glandular, bell-shaped flowers for which it is named, usually flowering between mid-winter and spring. Pollination is primarily conducted by insects like bees, after which the plant sets seed in capsules that will eventually release them to restart the cycle. With favorable conditions, Erica glandulosa can live for many years, and mature plants may survive for over a decade, continuing to grow, flower, and produce seeds throughout their lifespan.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Erica glandulosa, commonly known as glandular heath, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This is typically done in late summer when the new growth has begun to mature and firm up. Cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long and have a few leaves left at the top, while the lower leaves are stripped off to expose the nodes. The cut end of the cutting is often dipped in rooting hormone powder to facilitate root development before being placed in a well-draining potting mix. The cuttings should then be kept in a humid environment with indirect light until they root, which usually takes several weeks. To maintain the necessary humidity, the pot can be covered with a plastic bag or placed in a propagator if available. Regular misting also helps in preventing the cuttings from drying out before they root.