Fire Heath

Fire Heath

Erica cerinthoides

Scientific name

Extremely variable in leaf, flower and size across its range. Resprouts and flowers prolifically after fire. Acid well-draining soil. Prune after flowering

Propagation instructions

By seed

Seed is sown in autumn and seed that has been treated with the 'Instant Smoke Plus Seed Primer' smoke extract show improved germination. A suitable sowing medium consists of two parts acidic river sand : two parts composted pine bark : one part loam. Seedlings germinate after six weeks and are delicate in their early stages. Particular care should be taken to water gently and to protect the seedlings from direct sunlight. Seedlings may be planted out into individual bags or pots once they have grown to a height of at least 1 cm, but only planted out in the garden once they have grown to about 10 cm. Planting should preferably be done in autumn or winter, but they may be planted at other times of the year providing that they are well cared for and watered during the hot months.

By cutting

Vegetative propagation should be done using proper rooting facilities, i.e. overhead misting and heating from below. These facilities are unfortunately not available to most amateur growers. The best time to root cuttings is in autumn or spring. Fresh actively growing thin shoots taken as heel cuttings and treated with rooting hormone for semi-hardwood material give best results. Roots may develop after eight weeks and are very fine and delicate. Rooted plants should be hardened off away from the mist unit for a few weeks before the cuttings are planted out.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

This is a bird-friendly species

Good potplant

Easy to grow

Suitable for clay soil

It provides food for:


Southern double-collared sunbird

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