TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – September Outdoor Plant of the Month


Some of you may know this plant by its common name: “CORAL BELLS.”

Heuchera gets its’ common name because of the small reddish “bell-shaped” flowers that they have in late summer and early fall.

I chose this plant to highlight because of all the varieties that we have in our nursery stock look beautiful right now. For so many of our hardy perennials, they are beginning to look a little “tired” right now and are in the beginning stage of going dormant for the approaching winter months.

In recent years there has been an explosion with new varieties of Heuchera for sale in a garden center.

Heucheras are famed for their range of spectacular maple-leaf shaped foliage. They really do have amazing leaf color that ranges from a bright chartreuse to a deep burgundy with many colors in between. When so many plants are fading for the growing season, all the Heuchera varieties are beautifully colored and really stand out in the gardens this time of year.

For the fall planting season, we have a great selection of Heuchera plants right now. We must have 25 varieties for you to marvel over and fall in love with. But, here are my top 5 favorite varieties:  Caramel, Citronelle, Solar Eclipse, Black Pearl, Amethyst Mist.



Solar Eclipse

Black Pearl

Amythest Mist

Heuchera Care

Heuchera needs to be planted in well drain soil and in partial shade. They don’t do well in deep shade and in full sun. Too much shade and too much watering and Heuchera will struggle to survive.

So here are some planting and care instructions: Heucheras are hardy anywhere between hardiness zones 4 to 9 (here in Central Virginia we are zone 7). Choose an area of partial shade for best results. They like nutrient rich (be sure to add some Espoma Bio-Tone inside the hole at the time of planting. Bio-Tone is a root stimulator), well-drained and slightly acidic soil (add some compost. We have Leaf Gro and Meadows Farms Planting Mix which both are excellent products), so be sure to give the space a bit of preparation. One additional bonus with this hardy perennial is that it can be partially evergreen. Mine keep their leaves year round.

Because of their low-growing, compact, mounding growth habit, Heuchera is perfect for the front of a border. If any of you are into container gardening, Heuchera does quite well growing in containers, mixed with annuals or other partially shaded perennials.

Like I stated earlier, right now we have a huge selection of Heuchera. Believe me when I say that these colorful perennials will brighten up your garden with their vibrant range of colors and distinctive foliage. Come to see us and see for yourself why I chose Heuchera as my September plant of the month.


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