There is something about an awesome leaf. It can sometimes be the texture, the variegation, the veining or simply the color. Heuchera or Alum root offers all of this, as well as a dainty bloom that rises above the mesmerizing foliage. Talk about a multitasking, yet quiet presence in the garden.
Named after Johann Heinrich von Heucher, a German Physician, the Heuchera is a native plant that lately has become quite the gardeners buddy. I was introduced to this garden buddy after being gifted with Hairy Alum villosa “Autumn Bride” in my Virginia garden. I was told that Autumn Bride would have babies and that it looks terrific en mass. Well, I found out that there was a lot of truth to this statement and with all the new cultivars in varying colors that are available – it is hard trying to decide which one is a must have.While each new cultivar has different care instructions, there are some hints to follow if you want to grow this Princess of the Garden. Most Heuchera adapt to relatively dry semi shade. Some can take full sun, but here in my zone 6 garden, a little afternoon shade seems to keep them perky, flourishing and very happy. I have to say that even with the heat and minimal rain over the summer of 2015, my Heuchera all stood up to the challenge! This is a plant anyone should just love!!!Look at the veining in this leaf. It was quite bodacious in my shade garden. Heuchera is virtually pest free for the most part. Some say it is deer proof. I have to share that last winter, I thought I had lost most of mine due to the deer . The deer had eaten them down to the crowns….but then they popped right back into action in the Spring.
The cultivar Grape Expectations was and still is simply gorgeous!!!!
Here is a baby from my original “Autumn Bride” in bloom, in December. After the Mother plant tires, one might notice a the center of the plant will die off leaving babies that can be incorporated in those difficult areas. Dry shade, something that has a colorful PUNCH – Heuchera can happily handle this task!!!“Berry Timeless” Coral Bells (in the Saxifragaceae family like Heuchera) hs wonderful semi-fuzzy leaves with some beautifully contrasting veining, making the foliage Outstanding!! It is not all about the bloom with these plants. The dainty blooms are known to attract hummingbirds (in season) and when planted en mass, gives the appearance of a pink, white or red cloud hovering above the foliage.You can share this plant throughout your garden either by dividing and transplanting the babies, seed or by allowing nature to do her thing. I have several that have drifted somehow into my walkway, become part of the garden. I let Mother Nature do her own random plant placement sometimes, as it is a perfect way to see where the plant looks from “Her” design manifesto.
Heuchera or Alum Root, so simple to maintain, by division or seed and Yes You Can Grow That!!!