Heuchera Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Heuchera
Heuchera plants are most known for their amazing foliage colors. They are reliable perenials that require little maintenance and have a common name of coral bells. The foliage is mounding and low with tall stems appearing each spring with small bell shaped flowers. They are rich in nectar and attract pollinators and hummingbirds. The flowers are also great for cutting and make a lovely addition to the vase.
Start Heuchera seeds indoors about 8 - 10 weeks prior to the end of frost season. The seeds benefit from a 2 week cold period prior to planting.
Heuchera plants do well in full sun to partial shade, but in the hotter climates, partial shade is much preferred. The plants prefer a rich soil that has been amended with compost. They require moderate moisture, but they do not tolerate sitting in wet soil, so good soil drainage is a must.
How to Plant Heuchera
- Mix the Heuchera seeds into some damp soil or sand and place this mix into the refrigerator or 1 - 2 weeks - a ziploc bag works well to hold the mix
- After the cold period, fill starter trays with moistened soil
- Heuchera seeds need light to germinate, so press the seeds into the soil but do not cover them
- Loosely cover the tray with clear plastic to help hold in moisture and warmth
- Place the tray in a warm, bright location for germination
- Lift the tray daily to mist down the surface of the soil
- Once sprouts emerge, remove the plastic completely
- Grow the Heuchera seedlings in a bright, sunny window
- A water soluable fertilizer diluted to half-strength can be given once true leaves appear
- Once there are several sets of true leaves, the plants can be hardened off for 7 - 10 days prior to transplanting
- At the time of transplanting amend the soil with organic matter to ensure good soil drainage and add some nutrients
Care And Maintenance
- Heuchera plants will need regular irrigation the first year of growth to help them establish well
- Deadhead the spent flower stems to help promote new blooms
- Each year, in preparation for winter, cut back any dead leaves and lightly mulch to give winter protection
- Divide the plants every 3 - 4 years to keep them at their best
- Provide a layer each spring of compost to help provide nutrients and suppress weed growth around the base of the plants