Add some Colour with Heuchera
If you’re looking for stunning colour in the garden, then Heuchera is a great option. The German pronunciation is HOY-kera, but it is more commonly referred to as WHO-kera, or coral bells.
Heuchera are extremely appealing because of their gorgeous foliage which adds welcome colour to a Winter garden. Heuchera produce small bunches of flowers that grow on long stalks. Although the flowers are lovely, they pale in comparison to the foliage. And as an added bonus, they are low maintenance!
Where to Plant
Heuchera are native North American plants that are at home in rock gardens, borders, woodland, containers and when used as ground cover. They are wonderful edging plants and really put on a show when planted en masse.
Heuchera thrive on 4-6 hours of sunlight per day, however you should check each cultivar to learn about its preferred conditions. Partial shade is preferred in hotter climates. Full sun or high heat and light can cause the colour to wash out slightly.
In general, the darker coloured varieties can withstand plenty of sunlight while the lighter-hued varieties prefer the shade. Like most plants, Heuchera of all types prefer some shade from the hottest afternoon sunlight, so keep this in mind when laying out your planting.
Heuchera are happy to grow in containers, which is perfect if you’re short on space but want to add a pop of colour to your patio. They grow well in containers and are happy to mingle with other plants. The variety of colours available makes Heuchera an easy complement to almost any design.
Heuchera prefer moist, but well-draining soil, preferably full of organic matter, they do not do well in heavy, dense soil. Sitting in damp soil can lead to root rot. A twice-yearly composting is all you need to keep your Heuchera fertilised.
Their roots tend to be quite shallow and fibrous, so you do not need to plant too deep. It is rare to find a root-bound Heuchera, but if you do stumble across one, feel free to remove some of the excess roots before planting.
In really cold areas, Heuchera can ‘heave’ above the soil line in the Winter time. This is when the freezing and thawing of the ground pushes the plant upwards out of the soil. Mulching is highly recommended if you live in an area that is prone to frost. Regular checking to ensure that the roots are not exposed is advised.
Once established, Heuchera require little in the way of maintenance, other than the occasional watering. If desired, you can dead head spent blooms.
Pests and Diseases
Heuchera are rarely affected by disease, and if they’re planted in the wrong place, chlorotic leaves and a failure to thrive will let you know they need to be moved. They’re actually pretty tough plants that will recover if misused or misplaced. Most of the foliar problems that arise are usually due to sunburn, bacteria, mould or dehydration.
To reduce the occurrence of rust or mould, ensure that your plants have adequate airflow, good drainage and aren’t getting too much moisture. When you water your plants, make sure you’re doing so around the base of the plant rather than the leaves.
Fungal issues become more pronounced in hot, humid weather, so keep an eye on your plants. Careful watering practices are usually enough to prevent fungal problems, but if you spot an infection and want to fix it, utilise a copper fungicide.
Our favourite Heuchera varieties
Stock may vary by store so we recommend checking in with your local branch to see if they have your desired variety available.