Saturday, January 9, 2010

Landscaping with Heucheras

With over 400 varieties to choose from this group of plants, grown primarily for their colourful leaves and intersting texture offers Gardeners and Landscapers an excellent low maintance, highly attractive solution to their landscaping needs.

Basic Care: Heucheras require good drainage, slightly acidic pH, and soil with moderate moisture retention. They prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. Typically they can be grown in full sun to part shade but some varieties will tolerate more shade than others and some will tolerate more sun so be sure to read the care tag before you make your final selection. Heucheras are not heavy feeders so be careful not to over fertilize. When planting heucheras the crowns must be exposed and not barried other wise they will rot.

Heuchera 'Stormy Seas'

'Stormy Seas' is one of my favourite heucheras and one of the best landscaping heucheras. The plant has a compact mounding habit with ruffled foliage enhanced with an appliqué of silver, lavender, pewter, and charcoal-gray. Flower stalks bloom over a long period adding to the delight of this plant. This hardy variety seems to do well in a multitude of growing conditions. One of my favourite aspects of this plant is how it is able to subtlety blend into its surroundings; as the seasons change its leaf colour appears to change along with it.

Heuchera 'Marmalade' & 'Peach Melba'

'Marmalade' (the larger of the two plants shown here) offers a unique foliage colour that is hard to find. The leaves are shinny and range in colour from umber to deep sienna. Mature height is 18" wide by 10" tall with a nice mounding habit. 16" flower spikes are a creamy colour.

'Peach Melba' (the smaller plant shown here) has unusual veiled leaves that emerge coral-peach in the spring and fade to a light peach in the summer. Flower stalks rise up to 24" tall with pink flowers. It is a great mixer plant. In southern Ontario where I grow, 'Peach Melba' lacks in hardiness but I continue to plant it sparingly just for its unique colour.

Heuchera 'Licorice'

'Licorice' is one of the darkest, shiniest and largest Heucheras on the market. Its deep purple leaves and neat mounding habit make it both a great mixer and a great specimen plant. 'Licorice' also does well in container gardens (as shown here). The flowers stalks are quite insignificant reaching up to 2' high, but the amazing leaves more than make up for the lack lustre flowers. Does well in full or part sun

Other noteable varieties: 'Can Can', 'Chocolate Ruffles','Hollywood', 'Plum Pudding', 'Silver Scrolls'.

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