Hankering for Heuchera

Heuchera 'Caramel' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Caramel’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera, also known as coral bells, are a genus of about 55 species of perennials native to North America (a few in Mexico) and a much adored garden companion worldwide.  Heuchera is a petite garden companion that reminds me of a cheerful little leprechaun spreading a happy glow wherever it happens to land.  And oh, what a glow, in hypnotic shades from chartreuse to merlot, scalloped leaves of plum with silvery veins or copper with crimson undersides.  Some with splashes of color.  Some with different colored leaves all within the same plant.  The color combinations and complexity of patterns make heuchera delightfully harmonious for any garden setting, while providing oodles of fun as well. Most adore some shade, but will tolerate full sun conditions, requiring only well drained soil and an occasional primping to keep them looking stunning from spring through fall.  With Halloween’s magic in the air, here are a few that may work their ‘Hocus Pocus’ on you:

Starting with the dark side:

 

Heuchera 'Cajun Fire' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Cajun Fire’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Cajun Fire’ (PPAF) is a hot tamale indeed, with leaves that emerge in a shimmering shade of garnet in spring, darkening to a rich merlot in summer.  As the lighting exposure changes, the glossy leaves have a way of fluctuating from darker to lighter and brighter hues.  The white flowers provide a lovely contrast in summer, growing to about 18″ in well drained soils, sun to part shade, zones 4-9.

 

Heuchera 'Obsidian' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ forms a mound of large, reflective jet-black leaves that are considered one of the darkest to date. Sprays of ivory flowers appear in June, similar to a mini fireworks display.  In warmer locales this dark knight prefers some protection from all day sun, otherwise offering a dramatic color in the border or for edging.  May remain evergreen in zones 4-9, and flowers reach about 20″ in height.

 

Heuchera 'Silver Scrolls' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Silver Scrolls’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Silver Scrolls’ has long been a favorite with its metallic silvery-purple leaves accented with dark veining and open, rounded leaves that sometimes vary to frosty green.  When the edges of the leaves are curled, a beautiful magenta underside is revealed.  The plant may grow to 8″ tall by 12″ wide with tiny, light pink flower panicles appearing in late spring, rising above the foliage mound to almost 24″. Happy in shade to protected sun in zones 4-9.

And now a few from the lighter shade of pale:

 

Heuchera 'Caramel' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Caramel’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Caramel’ As the name implies, this has a deliciously unusual caramel bronze color that features uniquely ruffled foliage showing contrasting maroon undersides.  The whole effect is quite stunning, and when you add in the light pink 18″ flowers in early summer, what a show.  The 8″ leaves emerge a medium greenish-red in spring and mature to a warm golden apricot hue by summer. Content in shade or some sun in zones 4-8.

 

Heuchera 'Delta Dawn' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Delta Dawn’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Delta Dawn’ (What’s that flower you have on . . .) is quite the lady of intrigue with her mix of leaf color variations all on one plant; from green to pale red, and each lovely, scalloped leaf has its own ornate twist of colors. The center foliage tends to be a brick red edged with lime green, while the outer foliage is chartreuse with contrasting maroon veining.  Simply sublime.  Sprays of ivory flowers spring up in June reaching about 10″ making this another front of the border pick for part sun to shade in zones 4-9.

 

Heuchera 'Electra' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Electra’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Electra’  is indeed electrifying, and not for the faint of heart.  Its bright chartreuse leaf intricately veined in plum red makes this a terrific choice for adding a touch of color at the front of a border or simply to brighten up a shady area. It mingles nicely with the darker foliaged companions as well, especially when its 12″ white spires appear.  The dramatic contrasts within the leaf render this a specimen one will want to stop and adore, so plant where you will pass by often. Tolerant of heat and humidity in part sun from zone 4-9.

 

Heuchera 'Golden Zebra' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Golden Zebra’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Golden Zebra’ (PPAF) is an animal in the border, with leaves ranging from lime green to golden yellow, boldly accented with maroon brushstrokes starting from the center of each leaf and radiating out toward the edges.  The leaves at the center are richer in color, and as they enlarge the color tends to lighten.  Another bright foliage heuchera for shadier spots, the leaves have sculptured edges which add another complementary element of interest.  White flowers are borne on 18″ stems in late spring under filtered light in zones 4-9.

 

Heuchera 'Yellowstone Falls' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Heuchera ‘Yellowstone Falls’ (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Heuchera ‘Yellowstone Falls’  while Yogi Bear is at Jellystone Park looking for snacks, you can be lulled by the eye-catching bright green foliage and deep crimson splash markings that decorate the leaf of this unusual plant.  Unlike other heucheras, this will trail to 3′ in length, which makes it a perfect candidate for along steps, as a groundcover or spilling down the edges of a stone wall.  Just thinking of that color draped over a grey wall makes me drool. Delicate white flowers bloom 6″ throughout the growing season in sun to shady zones 4-9.

Alakazam, alakazoo, presto chango . . . suddenly you have a few heuchera, too!

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Comments

  1. Just wanted to say that your house is looking great . You have wonderful taste. Bev

    • Thank you, Bev. Both the house and gardens are a work in progress . . . constantly evolving . . . allowing the opportunity for creative expression and discovery. It’s an adventure!

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