I have two small Heucheras in pots. Can I keep them indoors over the winter? Are they going to go dorment? What should I do in preparation for colder weather? I know the outdoor Heucheras should be mulched over (I think). Some expert advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Question about wintering over Heucheras
what kind are they Ash. you might just want to put the pots in the ground are in a pile of mulch. I would not really bet on anything other than Palace Purple. these new hybreds are a finicky bunch if i ever seen any.
One of them, if I can keep them straight, is Amethyst Mist.
Do you suppose it's ok to keep them indoors?
I am beginning to understand what you mean by "finicky" --I lost my Sun Spot a few months back:-( Don't even know what killed it. The Palace Purple (with green AND purple leaves all on one plant), on the other hand, seem to be indestructible!
Hmm, this a good question BlueAsh. I can't find any definitive info on this except for one guy saying he overwintered a piece of his heuch inside and saying it did rather well. I'm game to try to this as an experiment of sorts. I have an Amethyst Myst, who I'm certain hates me, that I could bring in just to see what happens. If it gives up the ghost, I wouldn't be heartbroken. I have hunch that the heuchs brought in doors won't exactly go to sleep. Mine seemed to do that in the intense heat & humidity of summer!
Heuchera leaves are supposed to be good for winter interest so I won't mess with the others,lol. Purple Palace retained it's colour in my garden last winter and looked great peaking through the snow.
No way I would keep them indoors.
Erynne---- I have had a discussion with Sandy about heuchera failing around here this summer and Like I told her I am convinced not all Heuchera hybreds will adapt as in hot and humid conditions. I thought that it had something to do mostly with plants that had a linage that linked to Sanguinea. But I forgot I had a actual Sanguinea in the garden and it has done well. It is in very little sun , and so was some of the others I lost. My area of the country is just not going to support some of the hybreds. Others have done well. snow angel and beauty color are a couple and Dolce Moucha Mint sit in a place with a fair share of hot sun. I won a ribbon at the state fair with a leaf from Obisdan and it dropped dead a week later. I say dropped dead because they go flat in a matter of hours. I think humidity is also involved. Around here it can rain in the morning and be over 90(32c to you) by noon. I still do not understand what it is gets to some of them.
This message was edited Sep 23, 2006 9:48 AM
In zone 6, I wouldn't think you shouldn't have any problems planting the pot and mulching over winter.
My Amethyst Mist spent last winter in a tall raised bed, very close to the edge, so it had minimal insulation from the cold, although the bed is a south facing one. It came through with flying colors, looked good all winter, and was very early to begin new growth in the spring. So I think the recommendation to heel the pot into a mound of mulch might work well, especially if it has good warm sun.
I've been so busy lately that I barely manged to move most of my potted plants inside, let alone read through any of the threads.
Erynne, Shortly after this thread started, I read somewhere--and I meant to find it again--that Heucheras don't bloom unless they go through a cold period. Perhaps that's why you must keep them outside, Oz?
When I first posted this question, I still had a chance to plant them. But now it may be too late. I think I'll keep the two pots inside as an experiment. If they don't give up on me (knock on wood, I don't think these two hate me:-), I'll plant them come spring. I'll keep you all posted.
Blueash----- I have some out in pots for the first year. I have heuchera Carmel in a pot and Heucherella Stoplight in a pot. I have a small area I store my plants in and think i will put both of them in there burried in shedded leaves until spring. But others in the ground like Palace Purple will try to grow all winter long. As a matter of fact most of my Heuchera have looked better since it has turned cold. Have had a couple light frost and they seem to really like that. I will be trimming my purple palace back very short any day now and potting the cuts for the spring garden club sale. I really think most heuchera prefer colder weather.
BlueAsh, you should keep them outside. Have wintered over Heucheras in containers here (same zone) for 2 years without a problem - although they were in a large container planting versus a small pot. The biggest problem you need to avoid if you leave them outside is to make sure they don't get too wet - they hate wet feet and their roots/crowns will rot. I just push my containers up against the house, under the eaves, and don't water them at all over the winter until temps start warming up in the spring.
Oz - I agree with you about the Heucheras preferring colder weather. They really strut their stuff in the spring and fall and are more bland through the summer.
Yep, that's what I did with my Peach Melba's. It was neglect, not intentional, though. But they did very well under the eaves, and I never watered them. Never even looked at them except to note that they were frozen at one point after an ice storm.
I am in Chicago area zone 5a and I have successfully overwintered in pots sunk in a holding bed the following (some for multiple winters):
- Amethyst Mist (2 winters)
- Dolce Key Lime Pie (1 winter)
- Dolce Peach Melba (1 winter)
- Velvet Night (1 winter)
- Palace Passion (1 winter)
- Amber Waves (2 winters - 50% of the plant died but the other half did OK)
I have been lurking on this forum trying to read and learn all I can. I have a few new ones that I planted in the ground. I hope they all return next year. I am in zone 6. So hopefully they will make it. KEY LIME PIE did great last winter without any extra care.
Teresa in KY
I want to give an example of Huechera winter hardiness. I will try to take a pictures. We had almost 5" of pure sleet. This was topped with 6-8 inches of wet snow. It was enough to cause more damage to buildings in central Mo that the 13 tornados we had that one night this past spring. Yet I have a lime ricky that after about 5 days of being covered with that slushy stuff looks like it does in the spring time. I also have a small small Frosted Velvet and a Dolce Mocha Mint that were burried in a drift of that slush about 15 inches deep. I looked at them yeeasterday and they look just fine. It has been my experience that the cold means very little but the heat is what you will have trouble with.
Oz, do you have those in a dappled shade or full shade area? I bought Silver Scrolls and really liked it this season. Marmalade is pretty too or was that Cappachino? I have the order form.
Part sun Bluegrassmom. I try to keep them out of any sun after 11am. But i have a Dolce Licorice that seems to love the sun. I lost a couple this years because of the heat. I think it the more than the sun is the problem.
HI i got into heucheras buying walmart end of the year specials--the last one befor they dump them in the dumpster-one buck- apalace purple and dales strain with only green with silver patches--i watered them till winter and then they died-never planted--sat on east end of porch all winter-open porch-in the spring they sprouted new leaves--then grew some seed-more palace purple and silver patch leaves-last spring-planted some and left some in three ounce cups right now i have heucheras from last spring that are four inches tall --im plannin on planting some this spring-because of limited root space- some i planted in bigger containers those eight inches tall and lookin good-and one original from wall mart in a four inch pot lookin bad but still intact---none ever fertilized just watered ---the ones outside have died twenty times last fall and winter leaves frosted frozen reacurringly went flat on the ground -then with a few warm days would rise right up off the ground---again--we had a great winter here in iowa i had standing heucheras two weeks befor christmas-the palace purple faring better than the silver spotted leaf ones--now the leaves from last year have risen off the ground again and it looks like sprouting new leaves ---leaving me to believe these heucheras at least are the toughest flower in the world --its the last week in march here--best of luch stevo