Magazine article Sunset

Talk about Longevity! Heucheras Age Beautifully

Magazine article Sunset

Talk about Longevity! Heucheras Age Beautifully

Article excerpt

Perfect perennials for the time-, space-, and water-short 90s, plants in the heuchera clan (pronounced hew-ker-a) are compact, easy to grow, moderate in water use, and durable. In most of the West, their neat clumps of green, marbled, or purple foliage stay low and good-looking all year (where winters are severe, foliage dies to the ground). Flowers bloom from spring into summer, growing denser each year; after five or six years, divide, renew soil, and replant vigorous divisions. A few plants add a lacy finish to a landscape or bouquets. For more drama, plant masses of one kind and color. Unusual colors and kinds are most available in spring, but fall planting gives better bloom the first year. Watch for less common choices at native and perennial specialty nurseries, and at sales by botanic gardens and native plant societies. Which ones to choose? Easiest to grow and by far the most widely sold are coral bells (H. sanguinea), sold in sixpacks to gallon-size containers. Bressingham hybrids, also widespread, are sold in 4-inch and gallon containers. They have slightly larger flowers in mixed colors from bright red to coral, pink, and white. …

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