How do you care for the Italian heather called ventricosa?
The Italian heather (Erica ventricosa) does well in pots. It is picky about its living conditions. Containers may allow more control to keep conditions the way the plant prefers them. They also allow the plant to be moved in and out of the house since the plant is frost intolerant. In fact, it is only cold tolerant to around -1 degrees C/30 degrees F.
It likewise is strong sun and wind intolerant. It likes a sunny location. But it prefers to miss the hotter afternoon sun. Hot sun tends to evaporate moisture faster than Italian heather likes. The plant absolutely does not like its soil to dry out.
In fact, Italian heather wants a more acidic, free draining, slightly moist soil. So it prefers a pH in the 5.5-6.5 range. It does not like clay. It prefers loam. But it handles growing in potting soil that is mixed with good compost.
During the growing season, Italian heather responds well to fertilizer. But it prefers a controlled release fertilizer. It is a plant that likes to keep its nitrogen intake in check. Otherwise, too much nitrogen in the plant definitely shows up in lush, uncontrollable growth and little or none of the pink flowers that are the plant's pride and joy.