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Kramer's Red Winter Heath
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Energize your winter landscape with fun fuchsia flowers! The arrival of the cold season doesn’t mean that you have to do without blossoms until spring. There are some brave souls that will gladden your heart while most other plants are fast asleep. Kramer’s Red Winter Heath is one. This sprightly Accent opens its tiny fuchsia-pink flowers (they’re not really red) from December through April, giving your garden a surprising burst of color. Use it in a container or mixed border to create a sweet pink color pop, or plant a whole swath to make some bigtime drama. Delightful.
Kramer’s Red is a hybrid form of Heath that hails from Europe. The Winter Heath from central and southern Europe crossed with the Irish Heath from Ireland, Spain, and Portugal to produce it. The first instance of this naturally occurring hybrid appeared in 1890 at a nursery in a small town in England called Darley Dale. Since then, plant breeders have deliberately crossed the two species to come up with a variety of new plants. Kramer’s Red was developed by a German plant breeder named Kurt Kramer.
Winter Heaths impart a romantic feel to the landscape, bringing to mind the picturesque countrysides where they are native. Their tiny, needle-like leaves and clouds of dainty flowers create a dreamy look. Juxtapose Kramer’s Red Winter Heath with bold-leaved plants to accentuate its fine, frothy texture.
How to Grow
Grow Kramer’s Red Winter Heath in full sun for best results. It doesn’t like to be shaded by other plants. Soil is important, too. It should be acidic, free-draining, and well supplied with organic matter, yet not overly rich. Heaths are plants that are adapted to peaty, low-nutrient soils. (Heavy clay is a no-go.) Provide regular water during dry spells. Winter Heaths thrive in cool-summer places and do best in this country in the Pacific Northwest and the milder parts of New England. They tend to suffer in the hot and humid Southeast, although Kramer’s Red is one of the more durable in that region.
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