This week we are taking a look at one of my personal favourites – Heuchera! These evergreen perennials display beautiful lobed leaves in a plethora of different colours and shades throughout all of the seasons. However, while the foliage steals the limelight, we must not forget about the panicles of delicate flowers which bloom from spring to summer.
Heuchera like to grow in a non-acidic, well-drained soil in a sunny position or partial shade. Fairly rich soils are preferred but avoid planting in heavy soils, and remember to not let the soil dry out!
Heucheras demand for light varies depending on the variety, with some preferring sunnier positions whereas others will need a shady spot in order to flourish. If you are unsure of a variety and what spot may be best, a good rule of thumb (or should I say green thumb?), is to look at the colour of the foliage. Generally speaking, the lighter the foliage, the more shade they will need, whereas the darker leafed varieties will handle more sun exposure without leaves scorching.
Depending how cold winter gets where you are, it may be worth applying an overwinter mulch, which you can read more about here. In early spring removal of any dead foliage will clear the way for new shoots to emerge.
While Heuchera plants are famous for their foliage, their panicles of delicate, tubular flowers are great source of food for pollinators in spring. If you live in America, you may even be treated to visits by hummingbirds!
Due to how readily Heuchera species hybridize with one another, a huge amount of cultivars are available with different shades of foliage from nearly black to yellow with crimson veins. Below are some of my favourite cultivars.
Heuchera ‘Jade Gloss’
Glossy, green veined, silver leaves with an underside of burgundy makes this cultivar especially striking. If grown in a sunny spot, the leaves will be suffused with crimson during the summer. Pale pink flowers emerge in spring which contrast wonderfully with the frost foliage.
Heuchera ‘Green Spice’
Silvery green foliage with crimson veins make this cultivar another eye-catching addition to the garden. Delicate pink flowers will emerge in late spring to compliment the beautiful foliage.
This cultivar produces semi-evergreen, bronze-purple leaves that add dark tones to any border. Come summertime dainty coral pink flowers bloom, adding a splash of colour to contrast with the gorgeous dark foliage.