How to Grow Heucheras

Overview

Heuchera derives its common name, coral bells, from its tiny, bell-shaped flowers that appear spring through summer in shades of red, pink or white, depending on the variety. The plant's heart-shaped, rounded or ruffled foliage also provides ornamental value in the garden, particularly during the fall and winter months. An evergreen perennial, heuchera performs best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 through 8, though a few varieties can handle the heat and humidity of zones 9 to 11. All heucheras share the same minimal care requirements.

Step 1

Plant heucheras during spring after all danger of frost has passed. Choose a site that receives four to six hours of bright sunlight each day and consists of well-drained, evenly moist soil for the best results.

Step 2

Dig a hole at the planting site of equal depth and twice as wide as the root ball. Place the roots gently into the hole, and back-fill the hole with soil. Water lightly to initiate growth and compact the soil.

Step 3

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch over the ground surrounding heucheras to insulate the soil, improve moisture conservation and prevent the growth of competitive weeds. Replenish the mulch whenever necessary so it stays 2 to 3 inches deep throughout the year.

Step 4

Water the plants once every five days during the first two months of growth to establish the roots. Reduce the frequency of watering thereafter to once every week during spring and summer, once every 10 days during fall and once every two weeks during winter. Apply at least 2 inches of water at each application.

Step 5

Feed heucheras twice per year, once in early spring just as new growth begins and again in mid-summer, using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Follow the directions provided on the package for the best results, and water lightly after applying to encourage root absorption.

Step 6

Remove dead or faded heuchera blossoms whenever possible to improve the plant's health and encourage additional flowers to form. Pinch off the spent flowers close to the stem to minimize damage and encourage the re-blooming process.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Sooner Plant Farm: How to Plant, Grow and Purchase Coral Bells, Heuchera
  • Michigan State University Extension: Heuchera Sanguinea -- Coral Bells
  • "Mid-Atlantic Gardener's Guide"; André Viette, Mark Viette, Jacqueline Hériteau; 2003

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: heucheras, coral bells, grow heuchera

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.