Louise
Louise
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Asked on Sep 27, 2012

I planted 3 heucheras last fall. Bought them all from Pike's. They all did great until recently and now one seems to be

Louise360 Sod (Donna Dixson)Douglas Hunt
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Answered

dead or well on its way. They all received the same care and as you see in the photos, are right next to each other. The one on the left (Pistache)is the prettiest and healthiest, the middle one (Golden Zebra Heucherella) is the sick one and the one on the right (Sweet Tea Heucherella) isn't doing great. They're supposed to be perennial and all of these lasted thru last winter. Any idea why the Golden Zebra Heucherella one isn't surviving? Since Pike's has a one-yr guarantee, and I think I purchased them last Oct, I guess I should return it? Should I also return the Sweet Tea since it's pretty sad looking, too, or do they have to be DEAD to be returned?
The three heucheras.
The three heucheras.
Here's the Golden Zebra that's not doing well. It looks worse than this since I took the photo several days ago. You can see that the one on the right, Sweet Tea, isn't very healthy, either. The Pistache isn't as healthy as it was.
Here's the Golden Zebra that's not doing well. It looks worse than this since I took the photo several days ago. You can see that the one on the right, Sweet Tea, isn't very healthy, either. The Pistache isn't as healthy as it was.
8 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 27, 2012

    How much sun are these getting, Louise, and how much do you water them? "Pistache" is a Heuchera villosa hybrid, and Heuchera villosa is a southeastern native, so I am not surprised it is looking happiest. On the other hand, your two Heucherellas are crosses between Heuchera and Tiarella, or foamflower, a decidedly less robust species, and one that definitely is happier in shade. I would make a call to Pike's to see what their policy is, but it is also true that part of gardening is just finding out what is happy and what is not in your particular garden.

  • Missi S
    on Sep 27, 2012

    My heuchera's are doing the exact same thing. 3 are doing great and 2 are pretty much dead. Would love to know if you returned them successfully.

  • Louise
    on Sep 27, 2012

    Douglas, the plants are all in the shade. They might get a small amt of sun, but not much at all. As to water, I'm not good at that, but I watch them and if they start looking sad, I give them water. They all looked really nice nearly all summer and this sadness on their part is rather a new thing. Pike's policy, they say, is that they'll take back a plant that dies within a year, so I'm going to call them and see if I can bring in the two that aren't doing well. I much prefer the bright green one, anyway, because its color is so nice in the shade.

  • Louise
    on Sep 28, 2012

    Just re-read the Pike's return deal and seems it only covers trees and shrubs. Bummer!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 28, 2012

    If your drought was as bad as it was in some places this summer, Louise, I'm not surprised the heucherellas look that bad. They may come back better next spring. If not, you'll have learned to planted heuchera and not heucherella.

  • Louise
    on Sep 28, 2012

    We did have lots of dry periods, but when I'd see them looking droopy, I'd water them. Still, I probably wasn't as attentive as I should have been. But I'm going to buy some more of the bright green ones and hope they'll all survive well. AND I'll be a better plant mom with them. :-)

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Sep 29, 2012

    Louise, back in the day, in a far away galaxy, I used to manage a production greenhouse. One of the most difficult concepts for my crew to keep in mind, was that a wilted leaf is not always a thirsty plant. I drilled into them to do the finger test to make sure the roots are dry. Often times a plant that is hot (think Hydrangea) will collapse the leaves for protection from sun. It is very easy to over water at that point, because if the roots stay wet (or Heuchrera), you get root rot, which will cause the leaves to collapse as well and sets up a nasty cycle, until you eventually kill the plant. I am not saying this is what happened to your Heuch but just a mindful reminder to check first, then water your perennials. Happy planting!

  • Louise
    on Sep 29, 2012

    Thanks for that info, Four Seasons.

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