How to Grow and Care for Heuchera

Heuchera

Quick Overview

Plant Type: Perennials
Family: Heuchera
Sun Exposure: Partial sun
Watering: Average. Humusy, well-drained soil
Colors: Red, white, coral, pink, orange
Size: 8–18 in. tall, 12–24 in. wide
Hardiness Zones: 4-9
Soil Type: Loam, Sand
Soil pH: Neutral
Propagation: By taking divisions or cuttings.
Toxicity: Non-toxic

The heuchera, often referred to as the coral bell flower, is a plant that grows dainty flowers. It sprouts small, bell-shaped blooms. The small flowers bloom off of long stems and have large, luscious leaves.  These flowers will sprout at least two times the height of the leafy mound below the stem.

Heuchera are easy to take care for. They require a constantly moist soil and don’t require pruning. Coral bells survive in most climates but don’t place them in full sun or the leaves will burn and the flowers will lose a bit of their beautiful colors.

The heuchera comes in an array of colors depending on the variety you select. There are hundreds to choose from. They have rich nectar that will bring birds and butterflies to your garden. These colorful flowers will make a great addition to your garden.

About the Heuchera

Coral bell flowers are native to North America. They make for great edging plants and grow well in groups. The more coral bell flowers in your yard, the more vibrant it will be. These flowers are also easy to care for. They have been increasing in popularity due to both their unique look and easy maintenance.  They don’t require much work from the gardener. Due to this, they make fun additions to anyone’s garden.

These plants can be evergreen or semi-evergreen. That means they will keep their bell-shaped flowers year-round. They are also tolerant of many climates. This is exciting because you can even have blooming flowers in the snow! They are a great flower choice for both experienced gardeners and casual plant lovers alike!

Heuchera

How to Grow the Heuchera

The heuchera can be grown from seeds. You will place your seeds in the soil during late fall or early spring. Avoid placing your seeds in the soil during the winter and summer months. Make sure you are sprinkling the seeds on top of the soil and not covering them up. These seeds need light to germinate and flourish. Heuchera seeds can take up to eight weeks to germinate. If you are inclined to grow them indoors, this works well also. Make sure you are growing them indoors for several months before you place them in outdoor soil.

If you are growing indoors, you can transfer the grown plant after hardening it for ten days. You can place them in the soil at any point, as long as any harsh winter conditions have passed. These plants will not thrive well if they are transferred to the dirt while frost is still on the ground. You do not need to transfer your container-grown plant into outdoor soil unless you would like to. The heuchera does well when planted in containers. If you are looking for the perfect flowering plant to fill a pot, the heuchera might be for you. Just be sure your pot has a good draining system.

You will want to plant your heuchera in the early spring months. While planting in groups is suggested, make sure they are 1-2 feet apart.

Heuchera

Propagating the Heuchera

You can propagate your heuchera by taking divisions or cuttings.

  • If you would like to go the division route, remove 6-8 inches of soil. Pull apart the roots at the crown of the plant gently. You should be able to pull the roots apart without cutting them. Take your root divisions and place them in well-draining soil. Then water them well and continue to do so for two weeks, as well as regularly during the growing season.
  • Taking cuttings of your heuchera is an easy way to propagate them. Cut four inches of stem and remove some of the leaves. You will want to dip the stems in a rooting hormone. Then, you’ll fill a tray with soil. Make sure the soil is moist. Provide your tray with a clear cover. Place the tray in an area that is warm and sees a good amount of sun. Once it grows roots, you need to remove the tray cover. You can transfer your propagation to a container or your garden.
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Heuchera Varieties

There are many varieties of heuchera plants. The main difference between varieties is the color they bloom in. The autumn leaves variety is exactly how it sounds, a plant that changes leaf color from red to brown. The chocolate ruffles variety is a dark brown with burgundy bottom leaves. The green spice variety is both green and red in color. These varieties are all very unique. They will add a change of pace to your garden with their interesting color combinations.

Caring For your Heuchera

Watering your Heuchera

The heuchera enjoys a soil that is constantly moist. It prefers a medium amount of water at each watering. Some older heuchera plants that have been in your garden for a while can tolerate drought more than new additions. It is recommended that regardless of age, your heuchera receives about an inch of water a week. If your heuchera is in direct sunlight, watering more often is needed to keep its roots moist.

If your plant is in a container, you will need to make sure the container drains well. While these plants enjoy moist soil, they do not like when it becomes soggy. You can’t go wrong providing your potted plant with a well-draining container.

Pruning your Heuchera

These plants do not need regular pruning. They are very low-maintenance plants. It is suggested that you cut back the flower stalk after it has bloomed to encourage better growth of the leaves. These flowers will also need to be divided every few years to keep them healthy. You’ll want to divide them in fall or early spring. Other than that, the only pruning you may want to do is to prevent the leaves from overgrowing. These plants can look a bit wild and you may want to cut them back to keep them looking their best.

Heuchera

Fertilizing your Heuchera

These plants like to fertilizer. You can use compost or a slow-releasing fertilizer to keep them happy. They don’t need much, though, so apply compost and fertilizer with a light hand. Too much fertilizer can be a bad thing for these plants. It can actually prevent the flower from growing, which is counterproductive.

If your heuchera is in a container, the fertilizer needs to be water-soluble.

Soil

The heuchera is particular about what type of soil it likes. It prefers soil that drains well and is somewhat acidic. The pH should be around 6.0-7.0. The soil should be humus-rich.

Light

If you want to make your heuchera happy, plant it or place the container in an area that sees partial shade. Partial shade is the ideal light condition for the plant. They can live in full sun, but the constant sun will cause the color of the flowers to fade. Too much light can cause your plant’s leaves to scorch, so while they can technically handle direct sunlight, it isn’t recommended. But, make sure your shaded plant gets enough sun to dry out the roots. If it sits in soggy soil, the plant will be at risk of getting a fungal disease.

Climate

These plants can survive in most climates. If you live in a colder region, your plant may be at risk during the winter months. The heuchera may heave above the soil line during the coldest months of the year. You can help prevent this by adding some mulch during this time. Make sure the roots of your plant are not exposed during the winter season.

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Pests and Diseases

While these plants are easy to care for, they are also known to attract some pests. The weevil bug larvae can make their way into the plant’s roots. This usually happens in the spring and summer months. You will know your plant is infested with these bugs if the leaves begin to droop. You can easily get rid of them because they will show themselves to you. So, you can remove them by hand. You will likely not need to treat them with insecticide, but if you do, make sure it is mild to keep the plant safe.

Fungal infections are the only real diseases that your heuchera plant will be at risk of. You can prevent this by making sure you are using well-draining soil. As long as the roots do not sit in soggy, wet soil, your plant should be free of fungal disease.

Conclusion

The heuchera is a unique plant to add to your garden. They come in a wide variety of colors, all of which are unique. These dainty and bright flowers will catch everyone’s eyes! They need very little maintenance and are evergreen or semi-evergreen plants. You will need to monitor the amount of water you give them. While they enjoy consistent moist soil, too much water can put them at risk of fungal infections. This is easy to control and aside from that, these plants are rarely at risk of disease. You will need to keep your eye out for a few pesky bugs, but they are easy to remove.

Do you love the look of these charming flowers? Share this post on social media and with your friends so they can grow their own heuchera plants!