Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

Which ones have thrived for you?

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

So in assessing my winter garden damage, it looks like the only thing that suffered are the majority of my Heucheras. But I'm not really blaming it on the winter because it seems like I've been seeing a pattern of decline over the years, and this was a very mild winter. I only have one Heuchera that comes back every year looking good and full, and that is Guardian Angel. The rest just dwindle away, it seems.

So I'd really love to know if you have ones that do exceptionally well. I'd like to find a good peach/orange one and a dark one to replace my losers.

I'm also wondering if the problem is me....my soil, lack of fertilization program? Everything else in my shade garden is thriving.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I don't know which Heucheras are the hardiest, but mine seem to winter ok, whether they are in the containers they were purchased in or planted by me. Almost all our Heucheras are in containers, but the in-ground plants have done well, too. I try to keep the containers in a somewhat protected area for the harsh (usually) winter weather. Any that are really fragile or babies we bring into the house. When placed outdoors again, they seem to thrive.

If your plants are inground, I would check to see if any living thing is eating the roots for winter dinner. We lost a red twig dogwood last winter, and in the spring unearthed a hutch of little grey bunny wabbits almost directly below. Just guessing. :)

I think my favorite is Georgia Peach. I almost killed it last year by separating it, but she's doing fine now. Despite a mild winter, lots of heaving crowns need attention.

Marcia

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Yeah, I'm really thinking the winter is not what's killing them. Our winters are typically not severe.

I have some in the ground, and some are in black nursery pots that have been sunken in the ground.... I moved some into pots a few years when I discovered voles eating the hosta and a few other things....so I moved many plants into sunken pots or wire cages to protect them. Guardian Angel is actually one that is planted in the ground.

speaking of dividing, occasionally I'd find a Heuchera in my garden struggling, with many dead parts to the crown, so I would dig it up and separate out the dead parts in hopes to revive the rest of it. That hasn't worked for me either. Two years ago, I bought a huge dark one at a nursery and because it was so large, I split it into two halves. Only one tiny bit of one crown is still among the living now. I just don't get it.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

I've only had a few Heuchera so far, but mostly they just seem to get smaller each year. The only one that hasn't (yet) is Palace Purple. I know they're sold everywhere now and pretty common, but I got 3 on clearance during last year's drought. This spring they look great, even growing in dry soil beneath a very competitive pine tree.

And as much as I've abused Christa by relocating it four times, it looks the same each year. Maybe it will grow if I stop digging it up.

Thumbnail by Eleven Thumbnail by Eleven
Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Lol, Eleven, I just added Christa last year- doh! Well, after googling some more tonight I have learned two things- 1) Heucheras prefer either slightly alkaline OR slightly acidic soli, depending on which article you read, and 2). They just all dwindle away eventually (like, couple of years) and - quote- "do not get better with time" (like my beloved hosta).

So, with that in mind, I am determined to just buy the cheap, pretty ones as I find them and treat them as short lived plants. *shrugs*

But I highly recommend Guardian Angel if you want one that will stick around- and evidently, Palace Purple, which I don't have!!

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I have had what I think are Palace Purple and Lime Rickey or Key Lime Pie for about six years, and they continue to flourish. Also I leave them in at lease partial sun unless or until it becomes very hot and the leaves start to burn.

Besides those stated above, I've got Venus, Marmalade, Shanghai, Peach Melba, Caramel, Pinot Gris, a few I can't remember and some NOIDS. They all flourish in sun or part shade. The sunny location is not full sun, but it gets about 4 hours in the afternoon. If I think it's too much, it gets moved to an eastern exposure with only early morning sun.

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

I've had Guardian Angel for six years as well and have never divided it.


Peach Melba is one that continues to decline on me. I love the color, so I keep replacing them, but sure would like to find a better performer in a similar color. I don't have a great deal of direct sun anywhere in my garden...lots of dappled sun and bright shade. I think Venus is one I have that is doing well also.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Firefly. But the ones I grew, not the ones I bought. Of the three I purchased as plants, two died. Of the seven I raised from seed, three years ago, I have them all. I just transplanted two of my seven to a new garden, and despite neglect, they have thrived. I've never lost one, and bloom is reliable every year. I divided one to give to a friend, threw the rest in a pot, forgot about it, and it dried out. Just for the heck of it, I threw some water on it. It not only survived - it's ready for transplant.

The first picture is of one I transplanted last December on a warm (for Chicago) day. It is just starting to bloom.

I grew it from seed. I also grew Dales Strain for a friend at the same time and it has never thrived, or bloomed.

I gave up on Cherries Jubilee, Monet, Bridal Veil, Pewter Veil, Persian Carpet, Chatterbox and a number of others. I bought multiples of all of them. I cringe when I think of the money I spent!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Athens, PA

I lost Firefly a couple of years ago, but this past year I did lose a bunch of my heuchera. There isn't any rhyme or reason as to which I lost - I even lost Brownies and I didn't think anything would kill that.

Our winter was quite mild. I question if the culprit was the winter - my thoughts are that our drought and temps over the 100 degree mark last Summer. Wondering what to expect this year....

Ottawa, Canada

Noreaster, so far this year the following Heucheras appear to be doing well in my garden: Lime Marmalade, Marmalade, Electra, Tiramisu, Christa, Frosted Violet, Venus and of course Palace Purple. Of the darker ones that did well last year: Obsidian, Blackout. I planted a pile of new ones last year. It's a little too early to tell how well the new ones are doing. It appears as though I haven't lost anything but then I haven't done a thorough clean up of all my garden beds yet. From the posts I've read H. 'Melting Fire' can be difficult but mine appears to have survived. I will post pictures of the new heucheras/heucherellas when the garden has greened up a little more.

I plan to buy Pistache, Southern Comfort, Tara, Amber Waves, Purple Petticoats and Encore this year


BTW I planted hostas 'Parhelion' and 'Blue Hawaii' after I saw yours.

Carolyn, so sorry that you lost some heucheras. They looked so healthy in your posts. I'm tempted to divide 'Tiramisu' and 'Lime Marmalade' as they are a good size. Has anyone successfully divided these?

This message was edited Apr 16, 2012 1:09 PM

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Purple petticoats is one that i've had and lost. Well, I still have it, but it looks lousy and always has. I question if I have enough sun for that one.

Irawon, I was just out checking out the hosta eyes and Parhelion and Blue Hawaii both had huge increases this year, so I am very excited to see them. I guess I should really be thanking the neighbor for cutting down the trees that gave me extra light back there.

I don't have any heucherellas, but saw some orangey ones that interest me. Maybe I should give those a shot.

Carolyn, sorry about your losses. I find it particularly frustrating to lose a plant when you can't ascertain the reason.

Ottawa, Canada

Good to know everyone's experiences with the various heuchera cultivars. Eleven's 'Christa' looks healthy and appears to be in open sunlight. My question is ... was it moved 4 times because it wasn't doing well in the other 3 locations or were the moves purely for esthetic reasons. It appears to me that Cathy 166 seems to be on the right track with her heucheras and my question to her would be ... does she fertilize and water regularly and if so, what and how much? From Noreaster's comments if I end up buying 'Purple Petticoats' I will make sure to give it more sunlight.

My heuchera 'Citronelle' has struggled for about 3 years now. I 've moved it 3 times. From acidic soil (location 1) to more alkaline soil and to a more sunny position (location 2). I also added lime in its second location. The leaves became more crispy. I interpreted this to mean that it was getting too much sun and moved it to filtered light (location 3). I now believe that it didn't get enough water. In its third location in less sunlight 'Citronelle' has developed some black spots. So I'm going to try a bit of sulphur. I still have not decided whether the problem is genetics or environment. It took 3 attempts to get my 'Marmalade' to grow, three attempts from divisions I received from a neighbourhood friend, whose initial purchase flourished. 'Marmalade's' last location emulated my neighbour's location, northern exposure, not shaded and lots of water. So, from my experience I believe that if you start out with a healthy plant to begin with heucheras like a more alkaline soil and some sunlight. I'm also going to try adding a bit of Milorganite to the soil as well as some extra compost around all my heucheras to see whether this makes a lot of difference.

It also occurred to me yesterday as I was trimming dead foliage from my older 'Palace Purple' plants which had developed more woody branching than the younger plants that perhaps as with trees, heucheras have a limited life expectancy. I rejuvinate my other perennials by means of clump divisions. Should this not also apply to heucheras???

Since I have a lot of 'Palace Purple' plants (old plants and seedlings) available in my garden I'm going to experiment: alkaline v. acidic soil; sun v. shade; lots of water v. minimal water; fertilizer v. no fertilizer. The only drawback to this experiment is that 'Palace Purple' appears to be almost indestructable. So, I've talked myself out of the whole experiment because I already have 'Palace Purple' in acidic/alkaline; lots of water/little water; sun/shade. As Eleven states 'Palace Purple' is one tough heuchera. So that leaves fertilizer/no fertilizer and division. I can probably guess at the fertilizer/no fertilizer outcome. So, I'm going to consult with my neighbour who has aquired quite a few different heucheras which seem to thrive in her yard (former unstripped farmland/ regular additions of mushroom compost) and I will get back with what she says. How's that for talking yourself out of a pile of work?

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

irawon, one of the articles I read pretty much said that they are not a long lived plant (I think that primarily is referring to the myriad of newer cultivars of which there are so many). And by long lived, I think the writer meant, do expect to get more than a handful of seasons out of one...which made me feel better about my gardening skills, because maybe it's not just me!

One interesting thing I noticed. I was out looking at Guardian Angel. There are virtually NO tall woody stems in there anywhere. The leaves and stems are nearly flush to the ground as the day I bought it six years ago. Purple Petticoats, on the other hand has woody towers....is it trying to reach the sun, I don't know!

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Ok, I went shopping today and came back with Caramel, Binoche, and Crimson Curls. They are all full and healthy- lets see how long I can keep them that way!

Binoche is really dark....I suspect it will turn a slightly unpleasant shade of green once I lose this spring sun.

Lake Stevens, WA

I went to a lecture with Dan Heims on March 17 of this year. He said the most important thing for heuchera is good drainage. He also said very little or no fertilizer. The species of these plants grow in rock crevises. I think we are just to good to these plants and they die.
What i do to some of my plants the have long necks is cut them, in the spring. Then push the tops in the ground in a shady area. They will root by summer and you have lots of new plants. Most of the new ones will not make the long necks. I might take some pitures of this and post.

We have acid soil here and have luck with almost all heuchera and heucherellas. Most of mine are in large pots. I have never had any luck with 'pistache'
If you look at this picture you see a stump of 'Midnight Bayou'. I was thinking it was dead. Not so, it is showing buds on the side and I'll bet my May June it will be full and lush.
My big problem has been root weevil. I think that is now under control.
Some Heucherellas will die to the ground but come back in the spring. They will take more shade than Heuchera. I'm zone 7

Thumbnail by springcolor
Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Hm, all my beds are raised with good drainage and I never seem to get around to fertilizing anything. I think I will take the ones in pots and make sure their potting soil is very well draining.

I do have some that look almost dead....just the tiniest bit of live looking tissue near the center. I will give them time to catch up, but I can't imagine them filling out to the point that they look good.

Lake Stevens, WA

This is what I was explaining in my above post. DG will only let me post one picture of some reason. This is a very sad 'Lipstick' for some reason ( I think weevils) I had it in the greehouse over winter but it just is not thriving.

Thumbnail by springcolor
Lake Stevens, WA

Cut all the dead leaves off

Thumbnail by springcolor
Lake Stevens, WA

See the white and brown on the base. I trim that off. Its rot.

This message was edited Apr 17, 2012 2:42 PM

Thumbnail by springcolor
Lake Stevens, WA

Make cuttings. I will have 2

Thumbnail by springcolor
Lake Stevens, WA

I use HP potting soil. Wet the soil and plant the cuttings.

Thumbnail by springcolor
Lake Stevens, WA

I put mine outside this time of year in a shady place. I walk by this place about 6 times a day so I can keep an eye on them. With any luck i will have 2 plants around June.

Thumbnail by springcolor
Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Ok, so the piece on the right has no roots at all and it will actually grow some? I will definitely give that a shot with some of my unhappy campers!

Lake Stevens, WA

This is another picture of my 'Midnight Bayou' see the red growth at the base. I could be wrong but never give up, Spring is just starting.

Thumbnail by springcolor
Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

I was looking through my garden pics from last year and found this one of Guardian Angel. Old reliable!! I think Citronelle is next to it but is fairly new.

I'd love to have a thriving one with pretty flowers, though.

Thumbnail by Noreaster
Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

I try not to give up but it just seems like I find myself watching a slow death, over and over! None of my ailing ones ever have made a surprise comeback.

Lake Stevens, WA

Thats right! Keep the soil moist but not wet. Not full shade but a little morning sun is good. No hot afternoon sun. You can use root tone if you want. Not sure if it helps or not. I do it both ways. Some time you lose a few but you would have lost the plant anyway.

Lake Stevens, WA

Have you ever looked at the dead ones root system? That is a wonderful garden you have!!

This message was edited Apr 17, 2012 2:56 PM

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Thanks, Springcolor. When I look at the roots, they look pretty ratty and stringy...but isnt that what Heuchera roots typically look like? Hostas have distinctive roots...like plump noodles. It's hard for me to tell what is a healthy Heuchera root and what's not.

I am going to set up a little Heuchera infirmary and try your technique out. The first patients will be three Hollywoods and that Purple Petticoats.

Lake Stevens, WA

I wanted you to look for root weevil on the dead ones. But if they have roots then its not that. Remember i'm zone 7. you are zone 5. I'm in the 40's at night and 50-60 day. Cool moist conditions here. When you make the cuttings look for white stem at the cut part. No brown stuff inside that is dead.

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

We are having record high temps and it's bone dry out there. I googled root weevils and don't I've ever seen anything like that out there.

With the piece on the left, did you cut all the remaining roots off as well?

Lake Stevens, WA

No

Ottawa, Canada

Springcolor, thanks for the tutorial on the woody heuchera stems. I will try your method on my 'Lime Marmalade'. Thanks for passing on Heims' advice re drainage and fertilization.

Noreaster, your 'Guardian Angel' is a beaut and looks nice with 'Citronelle'. My Citronelle has not increased in size and I've had it for over 3 years. Same with Caramel. I got 'Binoche' last year. It doesn't get much sun and it's stayed the same color when it came up.

Lake Stevens, WA

Noreaster,
If you are still looking for a good peach/orange try Kassandra or Cassandra. You see it spelled differant ways. A great performer in my yard. I'll get a picture.

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Shoot, I saw kassandra last year at Lowes and didn't buy them. I will keep an eye out for that one for sure.

So, I planted the new ones today and dug up and examined my ailing Peach Melbas. PM had virtually no fine roots...just the woody part. These were in pots, not exposed to hungry critters or anything that would explain the lack of roots. When I pulled Binoche out it's pot, it was a solid block of roots...bone dry because there was virtually no soil left. And it looks full and healthy! So maybe Heucheras DO like to suffer??? I planted all the new ones in the soil but aded more compost and some perlite.

Lake Stevens, WA

Don't be to good to them. Their ancestors grew in rock crevices.

Beware of Lowes, ours here has them mislabeled all the time. If you do buy there do so from new stock they don't water plants well and they can be stressed.

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Springcolor, I happened to be at Lowes today and saw "Kassandra" again. They were inexpensive, so I got a couple to try in various spots. Here is a pic- do you think these are actually 'Kassandra"?

Thumbnail by Noreaster
Lake Stevens, WA

Sure looks like it. Do I see that right 5.98? That is a deal.

Lake Stevens, WA

I was going to show you mine. Has the flush of new growth, this will lighten up as we move to summer.

Thumbnail by springcolor
Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

That is very pretty and healthy looking. Yeah, they were only $6- could not resist that. I swear when I saw them last year they were priced at least twice that, which is probably part of why I didn't get them at that time. What lighting conditions are yours in during the summer? Last year I added Christa, hoping it would be a good replacement for Peach Melba, but didn't like the color as much in the shade. I have one more sunny spot I moved Christa to, and the color is better there. I like the color of my Peach Melbas in the shade I have, but they just dwindle away on me.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP