Register with us or sign in
I wondered if anyone has some good tips for getting the best from their Heuchera's. Mine always look a little bedraggled and tend to grow up leaving a bare stem underneath and become very vulnerable to snapping off. Any advice would be gratefully received because I do love these plants and the range of foliage colours you can get. Just don't feel i'm doing them justice at the moment.www.alisonpike.com/blog/
EASY! Heucheras do have a short life (in my experience 2, maybe 3 years before that happens. I have only ever bought one each of every variety I own (about 10?) and have loads of plants of each variety now. In the Autumn I cut off little plantlets from the outside of the plant, make sure the cut is clean and put them in a mix of approximately half compost, half gritty sand. I just leave them standing around outside in the winter and find that at least 33% have rooted in late spring/early Summer. I just judge them ready to pot up when they've started growing. A year and a half later the plant is very big and will have loads of new 'plantlets' to start all over again. Some varieties obviously work better than others, I have not had much luck with the black ones, but the caramel-type colours are very successful indeed. Hope you don't become as obsessed with propagating them as I am!
In the spring we lift ours, cut them down, and replant deeper, was told this by Heuchera expert (gold Medalist winners) also you can trim them again later on in the year, I do agree they do respond well by taking cuttings, well some do!! Do watch out for the dreaded vine weevil, they love them.....
what are the cultural conditions? i have friends who grow them with basically no care-benign neglect at its best. mine languish and decline-slowly and miserably-if i love them or hate them they are always the one that got away
Thanks for the advice! I suspect I may well become obsessed ingrid they just have amazing foliage variety and are handy little plants. Pokadotdaisy I have already had problems with vine weevil when they've been in pots but not in the open ground as yet... fingers crossed! I can see a two pronged attack of propagation and replanting deeper! David, mine grow in abit of shade and I try not to let them dry out and that seems to do them ok, to be honest I sound a little like the friends you mention that pretty much neglect them.
my penstemon's are very tall and caught the frost slightly when can i cut them back??
Where do the vine weevils live when they are not eating my polyanthus and heuchera's? They seem to turn up from no where..
l never cut my penstemons till all the frost has gone then l cut them right back. l live in a very cold area in the west-mids and sometimes lose them, the very hardy ones live.
but l go to garden centre's and buy any they are selling off l usually end up with some lovely plants but l must admit l have very green fingers, l took four cuttings from a old deep red rose in a garden that the house was up for sale three of them survive they have the most beautiful scent, also a yellow one from spare ground it is a lovely plant very tall plant, the originals were disposed of.
Have a look at our vine weevil advice. As you'll see they spend a lot of time hiding in soil / compost. As you say, they do favour polyanthus and heuchera. In a nursery where I worked we made a point of vigilantly checking the 'h' section at certain times of year. I have recently discovered that Americans call them snout beetles, which is rather sweet.
I love heucheras, the advice I was given was to divide them every three years or so as you would with lots of perennials- discarding old woody bits in the middle of the plant- and replanting more vigorous outer parts.
I am a heuchera novice, I have four from nursury, yet my mum who almost lives with us put small cutting all over from her own garden. Since we have a large garden, this is the score:
1) cuttings are in heavy clay and exposed to strong winds have done really badly, ie they didn't grow an inch since last summer, however they are not dead yet and may try to get up and go this season.
2) Two reasonable size heuchera's from nursury are in a dry, sunny and exposed postion, yet soil has slightly better drainage than above clay have survived winter and escaped various animals attacking other plants such as lupins and lambs ears around them, look fine however they don't seem to have added more leaves on or made any progress.
3) Two heucheras from Coblands, one dark and one chocolate in our front garden which are near and part forest condtions, ie moist dark, under trees so soil is rich with leaves and mould, mostly shady throughout the day, seem to be glossy, added leaves on and very happy inspite of previous nibbles
I think for me the answer is visible.
Enjoy and good luck.
You are probably right, my Obsidian and Choc Ruffles are doign well, whereas my Suger Icings look tired, the ones at the back garden originally from my mum's gardery, I have no idea what they are as they were small cuttings last summer, and they are very small still.
I have just bought more from a reputable nursury on line, I am getting five young Rings of Fire, I will let you all know how I get on, this time they are going in the front bed shady bed again.
ps. I am not interested in potting them, I think they look best when they provide colouful foliage between other plants.
I've got some in large pots, under planted with small bulbs. The rest are in the ground.
IME they do better in slightly richer soil conditions- not too dry, nor too shaded. Although I have VW in the garden, they seem to leave them alone in most circumstances.
Every Feb I remove all the old, tatty leaves. Later on in the Spring, if they've become 'woody' & lifted out of the soil/compost, I replant the youngest 'stems' deeper. Advice from an exhibitor at a RHS show. You can do it in the Autumn, but the risk I find then, is them starting to rot off over the winter. I keep the older stems for cuttings-
If you look closely at the stem you can see the 'nodes' from where new growth will start. so you can chop an old stem into sections, making sure there are 'nodes' on each section. Keep it the correct way up, & replant them level with the compost in pots & a top dressing of grit. Keep out of direct sun- coldframe, side of wall etc- & you'll soon have new plants to use. J.
Karen you can get specific nematodes for VW control. Try local GC or on-line suppliers. That may be easier for you in that it saves having to remember to regularly spray.
This yr, after 2 yrs without, am resuming using Nemaslug nematodes again for my slug infested garden. J.