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01/03/2012 at 14:56

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/

01/03/2012 at 18:37

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!

01/03/2012 at 18:56

  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.....

01/03/2012 at 20:08

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

01/03/2012 at 20:27

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.

01/03/2012 at 21:39

my penstemon's are very tall and caught the frost slightly when can i cut them back??

02/03/2012 at 08:14

Where do the vine weevils live when they are not eating my polyanthus and heuchera's? They seem to turn up from no where..

02/03/2012 at 13:54

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.

    02/03/2012 at 15:02

Hello rucklidge,

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.

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

02/03/2012 at 16:11
I find my Heuchers at the top of my garden where it tends to be damper do much better than the ones at the bottom end where it is stony and drier. I have now decided to plant new ones at the top and hope I am making the right decision. I love them and have been told that too much care is not the answer. They like to be ignored.
02/03/2012 at 18:30

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.

16/02/2013 at 21:07
Can anybody help, something is eating the new shots on mine, (ones planted in the garden, we do have field mouse, as they have had a few crocus bulds, ones that are in pots, the outer leaves have gone dry, do I cut them off to new growth light? Any hints and tips would be great.
17/02/2013 at 00:00
My regime for Heucheras is Provado vine weevil killer every spring and autumn.....now moved on to nematodes for this. Yellow varieties in total shade. Others in sun or partial shade. Split or pull apart every two years and re plant in new area. Pot up and grow on.....ideally using John innes ..surplus plants. Plant deep. I cut plants hard back, starting now, leaving not a leaf, and sprinkle fish blood and bone around them. Heucheras will even grow from the woodiest of pieces I find and I like to grow them in threes. Dead head flowers regularly too to prolong flowering. Finally plant association.....plants something of different colour or shape next to them...e.g. Ophiopogon next to yellow Heucheras or elymus magellanicus next to red or orange foliaged ones. That's what I do, anyway.
17/02/2013 at 20:13

Hiya,

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.

17/02/2013 at 22:41
All quite logical Deena but Heucheras are so different one from another. Some are hardier, more robust and more tolerant of conditions than other varieties. For example, choc ruffles has thrived whereas Berry Smoothy sulked in same spot. A variety Obsidian.....a very dark variety.....thrives with me but one or two yellow varieties struggle. A variety called Marmalade does well yet a similar one just will not grow for me. It's trial and error and I'm not totally sure if soil conditions are whole reason for failure. Vine weevil-prone ground, position, soil, variety, exposure to mid day sun, etc all play a part and I've moved my plants to lots of different areas until I find best ones. I think Heucheras are temperamental...they suffer virus problems very suddenly for example.....but I have found best ones for me simply by experiment. Some in full sun, some in partial shade and others like some yellows in full shade. However I love them and think they are worth growing but they are frustrating at times. One thing.....they do very well in pots in John innes no 3.
19/02/2013 at 17:33

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.

19/02/2013 at 18:00

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.

19/02/2013 at 18:07
Thanks, will try vine weevil spray, perhaps blaming field mouse for too many things lol, next will be hostas and my lilies, slug, can't put down slug pellets, as we have frogs, and for my lilies I use provide bug spray on them, after squashing the beetle, hey this is why we love our gardens. It's a lovely problem to have.
19/02/2013 at 19:04
Hello dreamsofspring, I get mine online . Would like to know how Rings of Fire fare. Maybe on this thread we can compare varieties of Heuchera. How we treat them and how the various varieties grow. Maybe pool tips because they can be a frustrating family! If I dig mine up every spring.......well, end of Feb......clean them of soil and replant elsewhere I can avoid all vine weevil controls but I prefer to leave them and treat them. Usually, vine weevils attack Heucheras so soil needs to be sifted too.
19/02/2013 at 19:05

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.

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