A herbaceous perennial native to North America, the shade-tolerant heuchera is an excellent choice for gardens that get anything less than full sun. Although typically planted as a foliage plant, heuchera is known for its bell-shaped blooms that give the plant its common name, Coral Bells.
Palace Purple is a particularly striking variety with its star-shaped foliage that fades from olive green to a rich maroon as the seasons progress from spring through fall. Tall stems begin opening their cream-colored flowers in late spring and early summer, enticing bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the garden to feed.
When to Plant Heuchera Roots
Plant heuchera roots in late spring, after the ground has warmed and all danger of frost has passed.
Where to Plant Heuchera Roots
Heuchera roots prefer partial shade, so choose a planting location accordingly. Heuchera roots are ideal for small spaces, so don’t hesitate to tuck the compact plants into borders and container gardens. If possible, work organic compost into the soil to improve drainage and add essential nutrients.
How to Plant Heuchera Roots
Heuchera roots benefit from soaking prior to planting. Soak heuchera roots in room-temperature water for at least 12 hours the night before you intend to plant.
Loosen up the soil to a depth of 18 inches, and place heuchera roots between one and two feet apart. Dig a separate hole for each plant, placing plants between one and two feet apart, depending on how densely planted you want your rows. Hold the bare roots close to the surface as you backfill each hole, making sure that each crown is just barely covered by soil. Water the heuchera roots thoroughly.
How to Harvest Heuchera
Heuchera is usually grown for its foliage and not its flowers, but heuchera blooms can certainly be used in cut flower arrangements and bouquets! Wait to harvest heuchera stalks until at least half of the flowers have unfurled, and make a clean cut about eight inches down. With a floral preservative, heuchera blooms will last a week or so in the vase.
Deadhead the first round of spent flowers to encourage heuchera to bloom again.
How to Care for Heuchera
Heuchera likes to stay moist but not overly wet–one inch of water per week is all that is recommended. If grown in full sun, heuchera will require a little more water than plants grown in partial shade.
With the proper care, heuchera is winter-hardy down to USDA zone 4. Mulching around the base of the plants in autumn helps protect the roots and crowns from freeze damage.
Keep heuchera alive and looking nice by digging up the plants every two to three years to divide the root clumps. If possible, wait until fall to dig up heuchera roots and divide, since the plants will have already entered dormancy.