Darley Dale Heath Erica × darleyensis f. albiflora 'Silberschmelze'

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


The plant known as 'Silberschmelze' has a striking appearance characterized by its clusters of bell-shaped flowers that are pure white, giving it a frosty look. The foliage underneath these beautiful blooms consists of needle-like leaves that remain evergreen throughout the year, providing a constant display of vibrant green color against which the white flowers stand out prominently. The leaves are arranged closely together on the stems, creating a dense and bushy form. As for the overall look of the plant, it is well-structured and often has a mounded habit that contributes to its ornamental appeal. The combination of the bright white flowers and lush green foliage makes 'Silberschmelze' a popular choice for gardeners seeking to add a touch of elegance to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Darley Dale Heath, Mediterrean Pink Heath, Darley Heath, Winter Heath, Silberschmelze Heather.

    • Common names

      Erica × darleyensis f. albiflora 'Silberschmelze'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Darley Dale heath is not commonly known as a toxic plant to humans, and there is generally little concern about toxicity from handling or accidental ingestion. However, as with any plant, individual sensitivities or allergic reactions can occur, so it is always a good idea to exercise caution. If ingested in large quantities, it might cause stomach upset or discomfort, but it is not typically associated with serious poisoning or severe symptoms.

    • To pets

      Darley Dale heath is also not considered highly toxic to pets. While it might not be a common cause for poisoning, ingestion can potentially result in mild gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea for sensitive individuals or when consumed in large amounts. As pets can react differently to various plants, it is advisable to keep an eye on them and prevent them from consuming plants that are not part of their normal diet. If any adverse effects are noted, contacting a veterinarian would be the best course of action.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Low Maintenance: 'Silberschmelze' requires minimal care once established, making it an excellent choice for gardeners of all levels.
    • Drought Tolerance: This plant can tolerate periods of dryness, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Winter Interest: With its evergreen foliage and sometimes winter blooms, 'Silberschmelze' provides color and texture in the garden during the colder months.
    • Erosion Control: Its dense growth habit makes it useful for stabilizing soil on slopes and preventing erosion.
    • Attracts Wildlife: The flowers can attract bees and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity in the garden environment.
    • Versatility: Suitable for a variety of garden uses including borders, groundcover, and rock gardens.
    • Hardy: It is capable of withstanding cold temperatures, typical of its heath family traits, making it suitable for many temperate climates.

  • 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 garden interest - With its evergreen foliage and white flowers, 'Silberschmelze' can bring color and life to an otherwise dormant winter garden landscape.
    • Habitat for wildlife - The blossoms can attract bees and other pollinators, providing a valuable food source during the cooler months when other flowers may not be present.
    • Erosion control - This plant can be used on slopes or banks to help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion due to its dense root system and foliage.
    • Ground cover - 'Silberschmelze' can spread across the garden floor, reducing weed growth and minimizing garden maintenance needs.
    • Containers and pots - This variety of heath is well-suited for container gardening, adding year-round interest on patios, balconies, or even indoors with adequate light.
    • Floral arrangements - The long-lasting flowers and foliage are suitable for creating winter floral arrangements and bouquets.
    • Themed gardens - Plant 'Silberschmelze' as part of a white-themed garden design to create a monochromatic aesthetic.
    • Bonsai - With careful pruning, 'Silberschmelze' has the potential to be grown as a miniature bonsai plant, showcasing its delicate appearance on a small scale.
    • Garden borders - Utilize 'Silberschmelze' to define the edges of garden beds or alongside walkways, providing structure and color contrast to the garden design.
    • Cultural significance - In some cultures, white flowers are associated with purity and rebirth, and thus 'Silberschmelze' can be used in gardens designed for meditation or remembrance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Heather is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Heather is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Endurance: As a heather plant, Erica × darleyensis, commonly known as "darley heather," often symbolizes resilience and the ability to survive in harsh conditions, given the plant's origin in the rugged landscapes of Europe.
    • Protection: Traditionally, heather is seen as a protective plant, believed to guard against danger and to bring good luck, possibly related to its use in bedding materials and thatched roofs in the past.
    • Admiration: Heather's association with admiration stems from its delicate beauty and the charm of its widespread growth on moors, which can inspire feelings of awe in those who encounter it.
    • Solitude: The plant's prevalence in solitary, open spaces such as moors links it to the concept of solitude, reflecting the plant's ability to flourish unaccompanied in nature.

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

    The common name for Erica × darleyensis f. albiflora 'Silberschmelze' is White Heath. White Heath should be watered deeply, allowing water to reach the roots without waterlogging the soil. It's best to water when the top inch of soil feels dry, which typically equates to about once or twice a week, depending on climate conditions. Provide about 1 gallon per square yard each time you water, ensuring even coverage across the planting area. During hot, dry periods, watering frequency should increase, but in cooler, wetter conditions, it should decrease to prevent overwatering.

  • sunLight

    White Heath thrives in areas with full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot is one where the plant can receive at least four to six hours of sunlight daily. Bright, indirect light is beneficial for the afternoons, especially in regions where the sun is particularly intense.

  • thermometerTemperature

    White Heath is hardy and can tolerate a temperature range roughly between 10°F to 75°F. However, the ideal temperature for this plant is between 60°F to 70°F. Ensure that the plant is protected from extreme cold by providing mulch or shelter if temperatures are expected to fall below its tolerance threshold.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune White Heath in late winter or early spring to maintain its shape and promote bushy growth. It's often pruned right after the blooms have faded, which is an ideal time to remove dead flowers and any damaged or unhealthy branches. Pruning should be done annually, trimming back about one-third of the plant's height.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Heather (Erica × darleyensis 'Silberschmelze') should be acidic, well-draining, and rich in organic matter. A mix containing peat moss, sand, and loamy soil in equal parts is ideal. The soil pH should be between 4.5 and 5.5 to ensure optimal growth and flowering.

  • plantRepotting

    Heathers (Erica × darleyensis 'Silberschmelze') typically do not require frequent repotting; every 2-3 years should suffice. It's best to repot in the spring, only when the plant has outgrown its current container or the soil has degraded.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Heathers (Erica × darleyensis 'Silberschmelze') prefer moderate humidity levels, but they are quite adaptable and can tolerate the humidity conditions typically found in temperate climates. They do not require any special humidity adjustments for growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, acidic soil, and keep cool in winter for Heather.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining acidic soil, full sun to partial shade for Heather.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Erica × darleyensis f. albiflora 'Silberschmelze', commonly known as the white-flowered Darley Dale heath, begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in well-drained, acidic soil. Upon sprouting, it enters the vegetative stage, producing needle-like leaves and forming a woody stem as a perennial shrub. As it matures, the Darley Dale heath produces abundant white flowers, typically during late winter to early spring, attracting pollinators such as bees. After pollination, the flowers develop into small seed capsules, containing numerous seeds that are dispersed by wind or wildlife. The plant continues to grow and spread, often forming dense mats, and can be propagated through cuttings to create new plants. In its mature phase, the Darley Dale heath can live for many years, with some individuals surviving for decades if provided with appropriate care and growing conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating the Winter Heath 'Silberschmelze' is by semi-ripe cuttings. This is done mid to late summer when the new growth has stiffened slightly but still retains some flexibility. Shoots from this period have the perfect balance of maturity and vigor for rooting. The process involves selecting healthy non-flowering shoots and cutting them to a length of about 2-4 inches (5-10 cm). The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is dipped into rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting is then placed into a well-drained potting mix, such as a blend of peat and perlite, and kept in a humid environment until roots have developed, which usually takes about 4-8 weeks. After rooting, the new plants are gradually acclimated to less humid conditions before being planted out.