Winter Heath Erica carnea 'Spring Day'

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


Erica carnea 'Spring Day', commonly known as Winter Heath or Spring Heath, is a low-growing evergreen shrub with a dense, mat-forming growth habit. This plant is characterized by its needle-like leaves that are bright green and give the shrub a fine, textured appearance. Throughout late winter into early spring, it erupts in a profusion of bell-shaped flowers that can vary in color but typically showcase shades of pink, ranging from pale to a more vibrant hue. The blossoms are small but abundant, covering the branches and creating a striking contrast against the evergreen foliage. The combined visual effect of lush greenery and prolific blooms gives this plant a cheerful and colorful presence in the garden during a time when many other plants are still dormant.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Spring Heath, Winter Heath, Alpine Heath, Snow Heath.

    • Common names

      Erica carnea 'Spring Day'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Winter heath, including the variety 'Spring Day', is considered non-toxic to humans. There are no widely recognized toxic effects from ingesting winter heath. However, all plant material can potentially cause some form of gastric distress, and it is not recommended for consumption.

    • To pets

      Winter heath is also known to be non-toxic to pets. While ingestion of winter heath may cause mild stomach upset in some animals due to the natural fiber and plant materials, it does not contain any known toxic compounds that would lead to serious poisoning or long-term consequences. However, it is generally advisable to prevent pets from eating plants to avoid any potential stomach discomfort.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Winter Blooming: The 'Spring Day' blooms during winter and early spring, providing color and interest when most other plants are dormant.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is quite drought-tolerant, requiring minimal watering and care.
    • Low Maintenance: This variety requires very little upkeep in terms of pruning or pest control, making it ideal for low-maintenance gardens.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Its flowers can attract bees and other pollinators, which are beneficial for garden ecology.
    • Ground Cover: Its growth habit makes it an excellent ground cover, reducing weed growth and soil erosion.
    • Adaptable: Erica carnea can adapt to a variety of soil conditions, although it prefers acidic soils.
    • Hardy: It is frost hardy and can survive in cold climates down to USDA zone 5.
    • Evergreen Foliage: The plant’s foliage remains green throughout the year, providing a constant backdrop of color.
    • Compact Size: 'Spring Day' has a compact growth pattern, making it suitable for small gardens or container planting.
    • Versatile Use: Can be used in rock gardens, as edging, or in mixed perennial borders for added color and texture.

  • 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 color: Erica carnea 'Spring Day', commonly known as winter heath, provides vibrant color to gardens during late winter months when most other plants are dormant.
    • Attracting beneficial insects: Planting winter heath can help attract pollinators such as bees to the garden during its flowering period.
    • Groundcover: Winter heath can be used as a low-maintenance groundcover that effectively suppresses weeds due to its dense foliage.
    • Erosion control: Thanks to its mat-forming habit, winter heath is useful for stabilizing slopes and preventing soil erosion.
    • Container gardening: Its compact size makes winter heath ideal for container gardening, adding evergreen beauty to patios and balconies.
    • Rock gardens: Winter heath is suitable for rock gardens, complementing stones with its evergreen leaves and early flowers.
    • Lining pathways: This plant can be used to line pathways, offering a splash of color and guiding visitors along garden walks.
    • Thematic gardens: Winter heath fits well into fairy or miniature gardens due to its small scale and delicate flowers.
    • Ornamental dried flowers: Winter heath’s flowers can be dried and used in floral arrangements or crafts for their enduring color.
    • Culinary decoration: Although not widely recognized for culinary use, the non-toxic flowers can be used as a decorative element for plating in gourmet cuisine.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Winter heath is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Winter heath is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Renewal - "Spring Day" indicates the plant's association with the rejuvenation and fresh beginnings of springtime.
    • Endurance - Erica carnea is known for its hardiness and ability to survive harsh winter conditions, symbolizing resilience and perseverance.
    • Protection - In folklore, heathers are often considered to bring luck and protection, possibly because of their widespread growth on moors and their use in thatch roofing in the past which provided shelter.
    • Admiration - Heather in general has been seen as a symbol of admiration due to its beauty and the admiration for its ability to grow in difficult environments.
    • Solitude - The plant can also symbolize solitude or a preference for isolation, as heather typically grows in sparse, open areas.

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

    The Winter Heath, scientifically known as Erica carnea 'Spring Day', should be watered deeply to ensure the root zone is moist, typically receiving about 1 inch of water each week. During hotter, drier periods, increase watering slightly to maintain soil moisture, without causing waterlogging. In cooler or rainy periods, reduce the amount as necessary to avoid overwatering. If grown in a container, check moisture levels more frequently, as potted plants may dry out quicker, and provide water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Always water the plant at the base to keep the foliage and flowers dry, which helps prevent disease.

  • sunLight

    Winter Heath thrives best in full to partial sunlight. It should be placed where it can receive at least four to six hours of direct sun per day. A spot that offers morning sunlight and afternoon shade is ideal, especially in regions with very hot summers, to prevent scalding the delicate foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Winter Heath does well in a wide range of temperatures, tolerating winter lows down to about 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and thriving in temperatures up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for Erica carnea 'Spring Day' is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant is quite frost-hardy and can survive and bloom in cold winter climates.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Winter Heath after it blooms to maintain its compact shape and encourage new growth. This usually occurs in late spring or early summer. Pruning is also used to remove any dead or diseased branches to maintain plant health. It's not generally necessary to prune annually, but doing so every few years can help rejuvenate older plants.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Winter Heath 'Spring Day' thrives best in well-drained, acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 6.0. A mix of peat, sand, and loamy soil is ideal, ensuring good aeration and moisture retention without waterlogging.

  • plantRepotting

    Winter Heath 'Spring Day' should be repotted approximately every two to three years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth, ideally during the fall or early spring.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Winter Heath 'Spring Day' prefers moderate to high humidity levels but is relatively adaptable and can tolerate lower humidity environments typical of many temperate regions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, cool conditions, and acidic soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, acidic soil, provide mulch.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Erica carnea 'Spring Day', commonly known as winter heath, begins its life as a seed, which germinates in the spring or summer, depending on when it is sown. After sprouting, the plant enters a vegetative stage, where it develops a dense mat of dark green foliage. Over time, usually in its second year, it reaches maturity and starts to produce bell-shaped pink flowers, typically blooming from late winter to early spring. Following pollination by bees and other insects, the plant sets seed, which can be dispersed by wind or animals to begin the cycle anew. Winter heath is an evergreen plant, so while individual leaves may age and fall, the plant does not have a distinct senescence or dormancy stage. Instead, it can continue to grow and bloom annually for many years, often with minimal care in well-drained, acidic soils.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • The most popular method of propagating Erica carnea 'Spring Day', commonly known as winter heath, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This involves taking cuttings of about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long from the current year's growth in late summer. The bottom leaves are stripped off, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone for better establishment. Then, the cutting is inserted into a mix of peat and perlite or sand, ensuring good contact with the soil. The pot with the cutting is kept in a well-lit place, out of direct sunlight, and maintained at a consistent humidity by covering with a plastic bag or placing it in a propagator. The cuttings usually root within six to eight weeks, after which they can be transplanted into individual pots to grow on before being planted out in the garden.