Are you growing any heuchera ("Coral Bells") in your garden? Once upon a time this plant was available in two different leaf colors: green, and purple (with the 'Palace Purple' cultivar). These days, you can get pretty much any leaf color you want (except blue), and there must be hundreds of different cultivars to choose from.

I've had four different kinds growing in my garden for several years now, and I may be adding a few more soon. It seems the buyer at one of my local nurseries loves heuchera, as I learned the other day. Let's see what local gardeners get to choose from this year...


Starting with Heuchera 'Paprika' above. I'm not going to bother with describing each of these cultivars, especially because some of them are quite similar to others. Suffice it to say that there are lots of choices!

Heuchera 'Georgia Plum'

Heuchera 'Delta Dawn'

Heuchera 'Galaxy'

Heuchera 'Rave On'

Heuchera 'Midnight Rose'

Heuchera 'Obsidian'

Heuchera 'Circus'

Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie'

Heuchera 'Encore'

Heuchera 'Autumn Bride'

Heuchera 'Big Top Gold'

Heuchera 'Silver Scrolls'

Heuchera 'Stainless Steel'

Heuchera 'Citronelle'

They had larger plants outside:

Heuchera 'Marmalade'

Heuchera 'Georgia Peach'

Heuchera 'Miracle'

Heuchera 'Caramel'

Heuchera 'Southern Comfort'

Heuchera 'Peach Flambe'

Heuchera 'Root Beer'

If that isn't enough variety for you, Heucheras are also crossed with Tiarellas, resulting in Heucherellas:

Heucherella 'Thunderbird'

Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'

There seem to be as many heucherella cultivars as there are heuchera, but this nursery only carried two -- at least right now. (I love the shape of the heucherella leaves!)

Only two things are keeping me from rushing back over there and buying several of these beauties:

  1. Price. These are not cheap. $14.99 for most of them, although some are $12.99. I smell big markup.
  2. Unknown palatability to deer. I would hate to plant one of these beauties in the ground, only to come out the next morning and see a stump where the lovely foliage should be. Only one of my current heucheras is planted where deer could easily get to it, and that one has been there for less than a year. So I don't really know if they'll munch these or avoid them.

I can justify the higher price (gardeners are terrific rationalizers when we want a plant) because heuchera are quite easy to propagate -- so I can turn one $14.99 plant into several. Plus I can plant the new plants alongside the existing ones where the deer won't find them...

I think I'll be making a trip back to that nursery soon.

Are you growing any heuchera in your garden?


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sandy lawrence –   – (March 13, 2013 at 9:02 AM)  

Wow. Thanks for the Heuchera fix, Alan! These plants are near the top of my fave list. I love the colors and interesting leaf vein designs. I have 'Georgia Peach'.'Georgia Plum' looks interesting. Two faves in my garden are 'Cassandra' with deeply ruffled leaf edges and'Frosted Violet', both of which I got from Plant Delights. I've ordered 'Chocolate Ruffles' from Chocolate Flower Farm this year. All of mine are in the gardens behind the fence because the deer eat them here. Your deer seem more polite. Maybe it's because yours don't have to scrounge so from severe drought like they do here.

Alan  – (March 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM)  

Sandy: thanks for the note about deer. I'll be careful where I site these, at least until I have enough that I won't mind sacrificing a couple if need be. I need to figure out two of the varieties I have, as I may have lost the tags.

Jennifer  – (March 13, 2013 at 6:14 PM)  

Those are the same prices we have here in Minnesota. I have Amethyst Mist and Palace Purple (I think) in my garden. Deer don't come by us so that isn't a worry. Although there were a lot of deer at one of my clients' houses, and they liked to nibble the new growth. Nothing too damaging. I've seen Caramel in other's gardens and it looks great. I planted Sparkling Burgundy for a client and it's among my faves. But the problem I find with Heucheras is that every year the previous year's varieties are replaced with the latest and greatest new ones. So by the time a variety has proved itself in the garden and I want more, no one sells it anymore! Like Sparkling Burgundy. Can't find it anywhere. If you find it, snatch it up - it changes color!

Heather  – (March 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM)  

I have one in my garden I planted about four years ago. You are certainly right about the price tag. I can't remember the variety now, but it's yellow/orange. It has held up pretty well through drought, and while I can't speak for deer, the rabbits leave it alone. It's good to hear that it divides easily because I'll probably be doing so this year.

Lisa  – (March 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM)  

I love heuchera! I see three of mine: caramel, root beer and sweet tea. I must only buy the ones that sound tasty! I have another that I don't see here but the name escapes me right now - deep burgundy leaves. I agree that you need to buy them when you see them as you may never find them again.

We have these in the areas around our common area ponds and the deer leave them be. But that could be because they have so many other delicious things to munch.

Lisa  – (March 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM)  

Purple palace! One of the more common varieties but very dependable in the heat and dry summers.

Terra Nova Nursery has beautiful and unique heuchera. They sell both locally and by mail order I believe. Not cheap, but really nice plants. And they have Sparkling Burgundy Jennifer - I got one last year at the end of the year on sale and I hope it makes it back this spring!

Alan  – (March 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM)  

You've convinced me that I need to go buy some of these this weekend!

You can usually find 'Palace Purple' at bargain prices as it's an older cultivar (mail order). If you haven't watched the video in the propagation link I posted above, you should!

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