For the premiere of GGW Plant of The Pick of The Month, heuchera, we got a slew of conflicting and emotional responses. There were a few of us who couldn’t say enough great things about heuchera.
As Nancy said: “A beautiful and versatile plant. I look forward to your pick on the 10th of each month.” Sylvia told us that they do very well in the Southwest of England. Sam wrote: “I am big fan of Palace Purple.” Frances turned us on to a cultivar that she swears by: Heuchera “Stormy Seas’. She originally gardened with it in Texas and moved it with her to Tennessee. Mark told us that he has used heuchera for the past two years successfully: so much so that he decided to line his front walkway with them in a variety of colors. Although Thomak had some major complaints, he admitted that 3 Obsidians have survived his Chicago winters. And Becky talked about the effectivness of using heuchera in the shade.
It seems that although heuchera is publicized to be a tough little plant, in practice, that just isn’t the case. For the majority of you, heuchera proved to be a finicky plant. Sure, it’s easy to fall in love with one of its many cultivars. Who wouldn’t? It’s a perfect front of the border plant. It comes in a wide swathe of colors. It’s initially just too hard to resist.
But as Nan said on her great post, ‘Heuchera Blues'(listed below), she has tried heuchera more times than she cares to remember and that it still continues to shrink for her. Dee said that she has a few cultivars that are doing well but that most of the other are dwindling acts. Our friend Ben asks: “Where are they?” Yet, she still can’t give up on them, using one of the chartreuse cultivars as a centerpiece on her deck. Benjamin goes so far as to say: “I hate these things now and they are so darn pricey”.
Hap gave us some worthwhile advice: become familiar with the parents of the heuchera cultivar in question prior to buying. He also mentioned that several of the commercial cultivars are grown with a slew of growth regulators. It seems that the best policy in dealing with heuchera is to find out which cultivars do well in what climates and conditions. Even if the tag says that it is hardy in a certain zone and does well in partial shade to sun, it appears that this information often doesn’t appear to be valid.
A good rule of thumb is that if you see a cultivar in your climate, or even better, in your neighborhood, it’s a good hunch that it will thrive in your yard under the right conditions. But if you haven’t yet seen a particular cultivar put to use in the landscape, check with a knowledgable retailer to hear from her where in the region it has been effectively used for the past few years, how long it has been selling at her store, and if so, what is the customer feedback on it?
The following folks offered up links to photos, article and information on heuchera.
Frances at: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/32483/