The Q&A Archives: Sumiko Heather

Question: I have a houseplant called sumiko heather. (I do not have a botanical name.) It is a new variety. The leaves look like a bushy evergreen, the flowers look like tubes, and they seem to come right from the stems. This plant was just purchased this year. I believe it has not survived, now, but I would like to have any information that you may be able to give me, or if you could refer me to some resource that I may research. <br><br>

Answer: Your plant may be a type of heath of the genus Erica. This is a genus of about 600 species of wiry-stemmed evergreen shrubs with urn-shaped or tubular flowers. <br><br>Plants of this genus need an acid, peaty, compost-rich soil; they live in association with a fungus that colonizes its roots and helps provide the plant with minerals.<br><br>These plants, more common, I think, in England, are most suitable for conservatories rather than growing in the house. The common method is to grow the plants in a greenhouse/conservatory, then bring them in the house just while they are in bloom.

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