Welcome to our continuing Plant of the Month slot, where we aim to showcase plants available in our garden centres that provide a range of interest and diversity to your garden. Heuchera is our Plant of the Month for August. It’s commonly known as ‘Coral Bells’ or ‘Alumroot’. It is a semi-evergreen perennial which is native to North America. Heuchera are low-growing, with gorgeous broad leaves which grow in neat mounds. Tall, thin stems produce delicate little green, white, pink or red flowers from early summer through to autumn, which attract pollinating insects. Differing varieties have leaves ranging from dark purple and pinks, to red, orange and bright lime green.
How to Grow
Heuchera do best in partial shade and in well-drained soil, and can be planted year-round (albeit avoid frozen ground or parched dry soil when first planting). Adding rich compost will encourage root growth. Plant slightly proud of or at the same level to the soil to avoid any rotting. The young plants may need some light watering in dry weather, but once established these plants are quite hardy. They are susceptible to rot in wetter soils, so consider planting in large containers or in raised beds if this is the case. Mature plants can cope quite well with very dry soils, and this makes Heuchera particularly good for planting under the shade of trees. Too much sun can bleach the leaves, so do ensure to plant in partial shade. If planted in containers, Heuchera may need extra water in summer, and may need to be moved to shelter in winter to avoid exposure to too much rain.
The plants require little by way of pruning, simply cut back any old or damaged leaves from the clumps. The flower heads can be cut back after flowering to encourage the plant to produce more flowers. If leaves die back during colder weather, leave the dead leaves in situ to protect from further cold weather until the new spring growth is established.
Heuchera make a wonderful addition to shady borders, planted to the front and as ground cover between other plants. Due to their wide variety of leaf shades, planting different varieties together can make for a stunning display. Try planting the varieties Marmalade, Sugar Plum, Lime Marmalade, Cherry Cola together. Salvias, ferns, hostas and astilbes also work well beside Heuchera. Don’t forget to plant shade loving spring bulbs, such as snowdrops, bluebells and fritillaries, in autumn to enhance the lovely woodland space around your Heuchera for spring.
With 10% off all Heuchera in our Cork and Wexford garden centres for the month of August, now is a great time to try these gorgeous plants for a shaded area of your garden.