Andromeda Polifolia 'Blue Ice'

{ Bog Rosemary; Marsh Andromeda }

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About Ava

Ava is a pretty little lady with a hardy personality - she's from way up north, so she can handle frigid London winters like a pro. She was christened by the Swedish botanist and big dog in the plant world, Carl Linnaeus, during his 1723 trip to Lapland, Finland. Linnaeus compared her to Andromeda, the mythological Greek princess with boastful tendencies, and the name stuck.

Her species name, 'polifolia', means 'gray leaved' in Latin - a nod to her amazing foliage, which looks like silver-y sprigs of rosemary. We also love her delicate pink bell-like flowers, which come to life between April and June.

Quick facts

Botanical name: Andromeda polifolia

Nicknames: Blue Ice, Bog Rosemary, Marsh Andromeda

Plant type: Evergreen shrub / outdoor

Toxic?: Toxic to pets and humans

Current height: 40-50 cm

Nursery pot size: 23cm

Pro level: Easy

How to care for Ava (Andromeda Polifolia)

The basics:

Ava is super easy to care for, all you have to do is plant her in the right place. We recommend planting her in a wet or moist area of your garden - true to her name, the girl loves a boggy spot. If there's a dry period, make sure to give her a good shower.

Going the extra mile:

She doesn't generally need to be pruned unless parts of her foliage are dead or damaged - in this case, simply snip off the problem areas with sanitised shears or scissors.

She'll need to be planted in quite acidic soil. After planting, you could pop about two inches of peat moss or pine needles on top of her soil so that it retains its moisture.

Things to look out for

If you notice some of Ava's leaves are coated with a white powder or have white-ish blotches, then you're probably looking at powdery mildew. This disease is rarely serious, so no need to do anything - if you don't like the look of it, though, you can spray her down with wettable sulfur once or twice weekly.

If Ava's leaves begin to turn yellow and fall off, then she likely has leaf spot disease. This is usually coupled with small black spots on the leaves. To control it, shake out all the fallen, diseased leaves from inside the bush and destroy them, then prune off the dead branches from the center of the plant. Give her some copper fungicide before she starts to grow again in spring.

Rust-coloured, orange, yellow, or white and powdery spots on her foliage are a sign of rust disease. Carefully prune off the infected leaves with sanitised shears or scissors, then destroy them.