Winter Heath Erica carnea 'Vivellii Aurea'

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


Erica carnea 'Vivellii Aurea', commonly known as Winter Heath or Spring Heath, is a vibrant evergreen shrub that boasts a tapestry of colors throughout the year. The foliage of this plant exhibits a striking golden hue that adds warmth and brilliance to its appearance. During the colder months, the leaves may take on an even richer golden-orange to coppery tone, providing a delightful contrast against the dreary winter landscape. As the seasons change, Winter Heath 'Vivellii Aurea' comes alive with a profusion of bell-shaped flowers. These blossoms are typically a rich shade of magenta or crimson, creating a striking contrast with the golden foliage. The flowers are grouped together, forming clusters that blanket the plant, making it an eye-catching addition to any garden. The evergreen needles of Winter Heath are fine and needle-like, giving the plant a soft, textured look that is both elegant and inviting. The overall appearance of the plant is lush and full, with the rich colors and dense foliage providing visual interest year-round. Whether used as a ground cover, in rock gardens, or as an addition to mixed borders, Winter Heath 'Vivellii Aurea' is a plant that captures attention with its colorful display and enduring charm.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Winter Heath, Spring Heath, Alpine Heath.

    • Common names

      Erica herbacea, Erica mediterranea, Erica carnea.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Winter Heath is generally considered non-toxic to humans. Therefore, ingesting this plant typically does not result in poisoning or severe adverse effects in people.

    • To pets

      Winter Heath is also generally considered non-toxic to pets. Ingesting this plant is not known to cause poisoning or serious health issues in animals such as dogs and cats. However, as with any non-food plant, consumption in large quantities may potentially cause mild stomach upset.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Winter Interest: Erica carnea 'Vivellii Aurea', commonly known as Winter Heath, blooms in the winter, adding color to gardens when many other plants are dormant.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, Winter Heath is relatively drought-tolerant, requiring minimal watering in well-drained soils.
    • Low Maintenance: This hardy plant requires little maintenance, making it a convenient choice for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Ground Cover: With its spreading habit, Winter Heath effectively covers the ground, suppressing weeds and reducing soil erosion.
    • Attractive to Pollinators: The flowers of Winter Heath attract bees and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity.
    • Evergreen Foliage: The plants evergreen leaves provide year-round greenery and structural interest in the garden.
    • Deer Resistant: Winter Heath is relatively resistant to browsing by deer, making it suitable for gardens in areas with deer populations.
    • Versatile Landscape Use: Suitable for rock gardens, borders, and containers, Winter Heath is versatile in landscaping applications.
    • Tolerates Poor Soil: It can tolerate a range of soil conditions, including poor soils, as long as they are well-drained.
    • Cold Hardiness: Winter Heath is cold hardy and can survive in low temperatures, making it suitable for 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 Floral Arrangements: The striking foliage and flowers of Winter Heath can provide color and structure to floral arrangements during the colder months.
    • Dye Production: Historically, plants in the Erica genus have been used to produce dyes for textiles, and Winter Heath could potentially be used for this purpose.
    • Garden Borders: Winter Heath is great for defining the edges of gardens and pathways due to its compact growth habit and year-round interest.
    • Fauna Habitat: When planted in groups, it can offer shelter and nesting sites for beneficial garden insects and small wildlife such as bees and butterflies.
    • Miniature Topiary: With careful pruning, Winter Heath can be shaped into small topiary forms for ornamental garden or indoor display.
    • Photography: Its vibrant winter blooms offer a rare splash of color and make it a popular subject for garden photographers.
    • Trainable Ground Cover: It can be trained to cover unsightly bare spots in the landscape where other plants might struggle to grow.
    • Winter Interest: It adds visual interest to a winter garden when most other plants are dormant or have died back.
    • Erosion Control: The dense, mat-forming habit of Winter Heath is useful for stabilizing slopes and preventing soil erosion.
    • Container Gardening: Because of its small size and hardiness, it is well-suited for container gardening, adding greenery to balconies and patios.

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

    • Endurance: Erica carnea, commonly known as winter heath or spring heath, typically blooms in late winter or early spring, symbolizing enduring or overcoming adversity due to its ability to survive and thrive in cold conditions.
    • Protection: In folklore, heath plants were often considered protective, thought to guard against negative influences and to offer shelter to fairies, which would in turn bring goodwill to the household.
    • Solitude: Heath grows in expansive, often isolated patches on open ground, which can be symbolic of solitude and self-reliance.
    • Beauty: The vibrant colors of Erica carnea 'Vivellii Aurea', which can range from pinks to purples, symbolize natural beauty and an appreciation for the subtle yet vivid displays of nature.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late winter to early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Spring Heath should be watered regularly during periods of dry weather, typically receiving a thorough watering once a week. During the growing season, increase water allowance to ensure the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. Depending on the weather and soil drainage, you may need to adjust the frequency, but generally, applying about 1 gallon of water per plant is adequate. Always check the top inch of soil before watering; if it feels dry, it's time to water. During winter, reduce watering as the plant's growth slows down.

  • sunLight

    Spring Heath thrives in a spot that receives full sun to partial shade. The best light conditions include at least four to six hours of direct sunlight daily, while too much shade can lead to sparse flowering and leggy growth. An ideal spot would be one that is bright, but sheltered from the harsh, afternoon sun to prevent foliage scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spring Heath is cold hardy and can tolerate temperatures down to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for many temperate regions. However, the ideal temperature range for optimal growth and flowering is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Prolonged exposure to temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit can stress the plant, so provide some afternoon shade in hotter climates.

  • scissorsPruning

    Spring Heath should be pruned to maintain its compact shape and encourage vigorous flowering. Pruning is best done immediately after flowering, usually in late spring. Remove any dead or diseased branches, and lightly trim back the spent flowers to promote new growth. Annual pruning will keep the plant looking tidy and healthy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Winter Heath (Erica carnea 'Vivellii Aurea') thrives in well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. The best soil mix can be made of equal parts peat moss, coarse sand, and loamy garden soil to ensure proper drainage and the right acidity. Adding a bit of compost can provide slight enrichment, but keep the mix predominantly acidic to match the plant's natural heathland habitat.

  • plantRepotting

    Winter Heath should be repotted every two to three years to refresh the soil and provide room for growth. The best time to repot is after flowering in late spring, allowing the plant to settle into its new container before the winter months.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Winter Heath prefers moderate humidity levels, typical of its natural habitat. While it can tolerate lower indoor humidity levels, it should not be in an overly dry environment. A range between 40-60% is generally suitable.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure acidic soil, bright light, and cool temps for indoor Winter Heath.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining, acidic soil in a sunny spot for outdoor Winter Heath.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Erica carnea 'Vivellii Aurea', commonly known as Spring Heath, begins its life cycle as a seed, emerging in spring with germination occurring under warm, moist conditions. Seedlings develop into small shrubs with needle-like foliage that may turn gold in bright sunlight. Over several years, the shrub grows and matures, producing abundant bell-shaped flowers in late winter to early spring. After pollination, typically by bees and other insects, the flowers produce small capsules containing numerous seeds. The plant eventually reaches a mature size and can continue to flower and set seed annually, given appropriate conditions. As a perennial, Spring Heath can live for many years, with the oldest specimens persisting and propagating through layering as well as seed dispersal.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter to early spring

    • Propogation: Erica carnea 'Vivellii Aurea', commonly known as winter heath, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. The best time to take these cuttings is in late summer after the plant has finished flowering and the new growth has started to harden. With a sharp knife or pruners, a gardener should cut a 2 to 4 inch (approximately 5 to 10 centimeters) length of stem, ensuring there are several sets of leaves. The lower leaves are removed and the base of the cutting is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. Then, the cutting is placed in a pot filled with a well-draining, sandy soil mix. The cutting should be watered well and placed in a bright, indirect light until roots establish and it can be transplanted outside.