Winter Heath Erica carnea 'Claribelle'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
heather 'Claribelle'


Erica carnea 'Claribelle', commonly known as Winter Heath or Spring Heath, is a charming evergreen shrub that boasts a dense, mounding growth habit. The plant is covered with tiny, needle-like leaves that are bright green, creating a lush backdrop throughout the year. These leaves may take on bronze or purple tints in colder weather, adding to its visual interest. The most striking feature of the Winter Heath 'Claribelle' is its blossom. The plant is adorned with copious, bell-shaped flowers that emerge in the winter or early spring, depending on the climate. The flowers are a vibrant shade of pink, creating a carpet of color that contrasts beautifully against the dark green foliage. These blooms are not only exquisite to look at but are also a valuable nectar source for bees and other pollinators during the colder months when few other floral resources are available. The overall appearance of 'Claribelle' is one of a lush, compact evergreen that enlivens the garden with its bright green foliage and prolific pink flowers. Its ability to provide color during the leaner months makes it a desirable choice for gardeners looking to maintain year-round interest in their outdoor spaces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Winter Heath, Spring Heath, Alpine Heath.

    • Common names

      Erica carnea 'Claribelle'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Winter heath, the common name of Erica carnea 'Claribelle', is not typically known as a poisonous plant to humans. There is little to no toxicological information indicating that winter heath poses a significant risk if ingested. As with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities are possible, but it is generally considered safe around humans with no notable symptoms of poisoning associated with it.

    • To pets

      Winter heath, the common name of Erica carnea 'Claribelle', is similarly not known to be toxic to pets. It is not commonly listed as a plant of concern for pet poisoning, and there are no widely recognized symptoms of poisoning from ingestion. However, it is always best to prevent pets from eating plants as individual sensitivities can occur, and the ingestion of any non-food plant material can potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some animals.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-12 inches (15-30 cm)

    • Spread

      12-18 inches (30-45 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Winter-Blooming: Provides vibrant color during the colder months when most plants are dormant.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Invites bees and other pollinating insects, supporting biodiversity.
    • Ground Cover: Helps prevent soil erosion and suppresses weed growth.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is quite hardy and can withstand dry conditions.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care, making it ideal for gardeners seeking low-effort plants.
    • Cold Resistant: Can tolerate frost, making it suitable for gardens in cooler climates.
    • Evergreen Foliage: Maintains its foliage throughout the year, ensuring continuous garden interest.
    • Landscape Versatility: Suitable for rockeries, borders, and containers, offering varied landscaping uses.
    • Deer Resistant: Less likely to be damaged by deer, an advantage in areas with deer populations.
    • Long-Lived: Has a lengthy lifespan, providing long-term enjoyment without the need for frequent replanting.

  • 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

    • Winter Heather (Erica carnea 'Claribelle') can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, producing colors from pale yellow to deep amber depending on the mordant used.
    • In model landscaping, such as for train sets or dioramas, Winter Heather can serve as realistic miniature shrubbery due to its small scale and dense foliage.
    • The dense growth habit of Winter Heather can be harnessed for erosion control on sloped gardens or embankments, helping to stabilize the soil.
    • Winter Heather, being evergreen, can provide year-round screens in gardens that require low privacy hedges.
    • The plant can also be used in sensory gardens for its textural foliage and the winter bloom, offering tactile and visual interest.
    • Due to its resilience in cold temperatures, Winter Heather can be used in frost garden designs to maintain visual interest when other plants may wilt.
    • The plant is sometimes included in bee and butterfly gardens as it flowers early in the year providing a food source when other nectar sources may be scarce.
    • Winter Heather can also be utilized in the craft industry, where its branches and flowers are integrated into wreaths and other floral arrangements.
    • Ground cover plants like Winter Heather can reduce overall garden maintenance by suppressing weeds when planted densely.
    • In photography, the vibrant colors of Winter Heather in bloom are used to create striking natural backdrops for portraits and macro photography.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Winter Heath is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Winter Heath is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Heath: Erica carnea, commonly known as Winter Heath or Spring Heath, typically symbolizes solitude and protection. Heath grows well in barren landscapes and can often be a sign of self-reliance and resilience.
    • Good Luck: In some cultures, heath signifies good luck and is believed to bring fortune and protection from danger.
    • Admiration: Given as a gift, heath is often seen as a gesture of admiration for someone's strength and endurance.
    • Beauty: With its delicate blossoms, Winter Heath can symbolize natural beauty and a love for the wild, rustic parts of nature.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Winter heath should be watered deeply but infrequently, aiming for about one inch of water per week during active growth periods in the spring and autumn. In the summer, its water needs will decrease, and it may require watering only every two weeks to a month, especially if there is rainfall. The best method is to water at the base of the plant, avoiding wetting the foliage to prevent fungal diseases. During the winter, if the soil is frozen or there is adequate rainfall or snow, additional watering is usually not necessary. It is important to ensure that the plant is in well-draining soil, as Winter heath does not tolerate waterlogged conditions.

  • sunLight

    Winter heath thrives best in full sun to partial shade. It should be positioned in a spot where it receives at least four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. The ideal location provides morning sunlight and shade or filtered light during the hottest part of the day to prevent scorching, especially in areas with very hot summers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Winter heath is a hardy plant that can survive in temperatures as low as 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and tolerate heat up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 35 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It's well-adapted to cooler climates and is capable of withstanding occasional temperature fluctuations outside of these ranges.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Winter heath to maintain its shape and encourage bushy growth. The best time for pruning is immediately after flowering, which is usually in the late spring. Remove spent flower stems and lightly trim the tips of the branches to promote new growth. Annual pruning helps prevent the center of the plant from becoming woody and bare.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Winter Heath prefers well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A mix of peat moss, sand, and loamy soil is ideal to ensure good drainage and the right acidity.

  • plantRepotting

    Winter Heath does not need frequent repotting and can be repotted every two to three years or when the plant has outgrown its container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Winter Heath thrives in moderate to high humidity conditions but is also quite adaptable to lower humidity levels commonly found in home environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, cool temps. Acidic soil, moderate water.

    • Outdoor

      Part sun to full sun, acidic soil, mulch, protect from harsh winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Erica carnea 'Claribelle', commonly known as Winter Heath, begins with seed germination, which occurs in a well-draining, slightly acidic medium with consistent moisture. Following germination, the seedling stage is characterized by the emergence of the first true leaves, gradually forming a small shrub with a dense, mat-forming habit. As it enters the vegetative stage, 'Claribelle' develops needle-like foliage and expands in both height and spread, requiring minimal pruning to maintain its compact appearance. This cultivar reaches maturity and begins its reproductive phase typically within a few years, producing small, bell-shaped, pink to purple flowers in late winter to early spring, which are attractive to pollinators. After pollination, flowers give way to small seed capsules, containing numerous tiny seeds that can disperse to produce new plants. The plant can live for many years, with some Winter Heath shrubs lasting decades, eventually reaching the end of their life cycle when they succumb to environmental stresses, disease, or old age.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The Winter Heath 'Claribelle' is commonly propagated through the method of semi-hardwood cuttings, typically during midsummer to early fall, which is late July to September. To propagate, a gardener would cut a 2 to 6 inch (5 to 15 centimeters) length of stem that has begun to mature but is not fully woody. The lower leaves are stripped, and the cut end is often dipped in rooting hormone to facilitate growth. The prepared cutting is then inserted into a well-draining potting mix, ensuring that the soil stays moist but not waterlogged. The cuttings should be placed in a warm, bright area but out of direct sunlight until roots have developed, which can be checked by very gentle tugging on the cuttings after a few weeks to a couple of months. Once rooted, the new plants can be gradually hardened off before transplanting them into the garden.