Andromeda is a delightful dwarf, evergreen shrub, with pretty little flowers in varying shades of pink. A low growing, slow spreading hardy perennial that is ideal for a lightly shaded spot.
Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Botanical Name: Andromeda (an-drom-e-da)
Common Names: Bog rosemary
Foliage: Evergreen, short narrow, leathery, rosemary-like green leaves. Leaf margins roll under.
Flowers: Small urn-shaped flowers that hang from the stem tips. Available in varying shades of pink or white.
Flowering Period: Spring and early summer.
Soil: Moist drained or poorly drained soil (clay, sand or loam). Acid pH.
Conditions: Full sun, shade or partial shade. Plant in a north, east or west facing aspect, in a sheltered position.
Habit: Low growing, carpeting.
Origin: Northern Europe.
Hardiness: Hardy throughout the UK.
As a member of the ericaceous family bog rosemary only thrives in acid soil, although it may tolerate some neutral soils.
Best in light shade, but will cope with sun if sufficient moisture is provided for the roots. Dislikes very hot dry conditions.
Add composted pine needles or well-rotted leaf mould when planting.
Ideal for shaded areas of the rock garden or a damp shady border with other acid loving plants, such as heather, rhododendron, azalea and fothergilla.
Low growing spring bulbs can be planted under it so they poke up through the foliage.
It can also be container grown in ericaceous compost, provided it is kept well watered.
Keep the soil moist in dry weather. Water with rainwater if you live in a hard water area.
Mulch in early spring with ericaceous compost, composted pine needles or well-rotted leaf mould.
Not necessary except to tidy up the plant after flowering.
Generally trouble free. Most plant failures are due to high pH levels.
Spreads by underground runners so it can easily be increased by removing rooted sections or by layering. Alternatively, increase from softwood cuttings in late summer.
Andromeda glaucophylla is a slightly taller form with glaucous (bluish-green) leaves. Height from 12-36in (30-90cm).
Andromeda polifolia is the most popular garden form, with oval leaves and clusters of urn-shaped flowers. Slow growing, it forms a low evergreen dome. Height to 12in (30cm). For sale at Suttons. Variety 'Compacta' has clear pink flowers. For sale at Crocus.
Andromeda grows well with other acid loving plants, such as: