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Cape Heath

Erica cerinthoides

Also known as

Fire Heath, Fire Erica, Red Hairy Heath

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Cape Heath Overview

This re-sprouting, low growing erica has clusters of hairy tubular flowers that are mostly bright red, but can vary to white and creamy pink. Some can grow up to 1.5 m, if not burnt, and is a tough plant that can withstand dry conditions. Fertilizers need to be low in phosphates and roots should not be disturbed. This attractive garden plant brings birds to the garden.

Common problems with Cape Heath

Fire heath is generally not bothered by pests or diseases.

    Cape Heath Companion Plants

    Restios and other fynbos plants

    How to harvest Cape Heath

    Flowers can be harvested for flower arrangements.

    How to propagate Cape Heath


    Sow seeds shallowly in Autumn. Germination takes 6 weeks but can be improved if seeds are treated with “Instant Smoke Plus Seed Primer” smoke extract. Transplant when about 10 cm tall.


    Best time to root cuttings is in autumn or spring and takes 8 weeks. Treat heel cuttings with rooting hormone for semi-hardwood material for best results. Use overhead misting and heating from below.

    Special features of Cape Heath

    Attracts birds

    The showy red flowers are high in nectar - attracting bird pollinators.

    Pot plant

    Fire heath does very well in containers where they can be kept compact and well shaped by pruning after flowering.

    Attracts bees

    Attractive flowers

    Flowers are generally deep red, with white and creamy pink varieties.

    Other uses of Cape Heath

    An attractive garden plant that brings birds to the garden.