Heuchera, Heuchera, Heuchera!
It's the one plant that I can't help myself from buying when I stumble upon a new cultivar (a plant that has been produced by selective breeding). With Heucheras, or Coral Bells as they are commonly called, new cultivars come and go quickly so I am compelled to grab a couple for fear that I won't find that one again. Names like 'Marmalade', 'Plum Pudding', 'Cherry Cola', 'Berry Smoothie', and 'Caramel' make me act like a kid in a candy store, drooling at the possibilities.
Heucheras make great border or accent plants. They come in a plethora of colors, leaf patterns and shapes, are semi-evergreen, and produce clouds of small bell-shaped white, pink, or red flowers which attract hummingbirds. They need moist, well-drained soil and do not do well in dry shade or with landscape rock as mulch. The darker-colored varieties like 'Obsidian' can take full sun, while the lighter shades, like 'Key Lime' will do best in part to full shade.
Heucheras' root crowns usually frost heave (pop out of the ground) with fluctuating soil temperatures in winter, so they benefit from a winter mulch after the ground freezes. They should have their flowering stems cut close to the ground at the base of the plant when all flowering is finished.
Heucheras do fabulously well packed tightly in containers.
In fact, I like them best in containers since they can't be beat
for foliage color and interest.
At one nursery in particular, I was overwhelmed
by all the new Heucheras.
Heuchera make a nice combination planting with fine textured plants such as Blue Eyed Grass. Photo Credit: Stephanie Town
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