HEUCHERA: A GREAT PERENNIAL FOR SHADE


Many people would think that a plant identification marker that reads "insignificant rose pink flowers" might make a gardener dismiss that plant altogether. After all, aren't beautiful blooms what we gardeners covet most?
gardening tips heuchera shading colorful, gardening
gardening tips heuchera shading colorful, gardening
Of course, the opposite is true! Experienced gardeners soon realize that flowers are fleeting, but foliage is in the garden for the long haul. And attractive foliage not only provides color, it can also add interesting texture and form.
Private Garden, Milton ON
Private Garden, Milton ON
Soundly in their favour, is the fact that Heuchera form neat round mounds. Most bloom in spring or early summer, but there are late blooming varieties as well.
Not all Heuchera have the same light conditions and so you really need to pay attention to the recommendations on your plant markers. (I learned this the hard way!) Some like full sun to part shade, while others prefer part shade to full shade. All varieties like a bit of afternoon shade and somewhat moist, well-drained soil enriched with some organic matter.
In my garden, I find that frost tends to heave Heuchera out of the ground over the winter. I have read various techniques for dealing this. One school of thought recommends gently pushing them back into the earth, the other recommends re-plating them. If you have any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.
Let's take a look at some of the varieties available, shall we?
gardening tips heuchera shading colorful, gardening
'Berry Marmalade' has large ruffles, deep-purple-black, leathery leaves with a silvery vein. Height 30 cm. Drought tolerant. Full sun to part shade. Insignificant rose pink flowers.
gardening tips heuchera shading colorful, gardening
Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade' has ruffles lime colored leaves and a large mounding habit.
Part shade to shade. 25 cm tall
gardening tips heuchera shading colorful, gardening
Heuchera 'Ginger Peach' has large crimped and crinkled leaves that are a blend of apricot and rose, with bronze highlights. Height 40-45 cm and small ivory flowers. Full sun to part shade.
gardening tips heuchera shading colorful, gardening
Heuchera 'Midas Touch' has ruffled and fluted peach and gold foliage. Part shade to shade.
gardening tips heuchera shading colorful, gardening
Heuchera 'Marmalade' has foliage ranging in color from umber to deep sienna. Red-brown flowers. Sun to part shade. 40 cm tall.
The Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton
The Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton
I am going to end this post, with a few planting strategies that I admired in local gardens. Idea 1: Plant a single color en masse.
Private Garden in Brampton, ON
Private Garden in Brampton, ON
Idea 2: Plant heuchera in a row at the front of a border.
Private Garden in Brampton, ON
Private Garden in Brampton, ON
Idea 3: Mix them in with other perennials near the front of a border.
Shady private garden in Milton, ON
Shady private garden in Milton, ON

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2 of 26 comments
  • Judith Monti
    on Aug 6, 2014

    yes. I have had some in pots for years! They look nice when mixing different colored heuchera's.

  • Bea F
    on Aug 7, 2014

    Thank You, Judith Monti for your reply.

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