More Information About Heuchera
Few plants have undergone a resurgence in popularity like heuchera (coral bells). The coral bell craze started with the discovery of Heuchera 'Palace Purple', followed by Heuchera 'Montrose Ruby' in the 1980s. The popularity of these woodlands garden plants began building at that point, slowly at first but has crescendoed in the last 5 years due to the efforts of Heuchera breeders like Dan Heims, Charles Oliver, and Thierry Delabroye. These clever folks have driven the popularity of coral bells through the roof by introducing dozens of Heuchera cultivars with exciting new leaf colors, variegation patterns, and leaf shapes.
Modern heuchera leaf colors include green, chartreuse, yellow, peach, pinkish-red, copper and purple, and every shade in between. Coral Bell leaves are often patterned with contrasting leaf veins in silver, or in a darker shade than the main leaf color. Coral bells were originally grown for their flowers, which are great butterfly attractors. Although modern breeders of landscape heucheras have not focused on the flowers, they are still quite attractive...clusters of dozens of tiny bell-like flowers at the end of a tall wiry stalk during the summer. Heuchera looks great planted in a mass or paired with hosta, ophiopogon, phlox and tricyrtis.
In the south, Heuchera plants are best in open woodland gardens, but will tolerate a fair amount of morning sun provided they are sited in a well-drained soil that doesn't hold too much moisture. In the north, you can grow coral bells in full sun in the same types of conditions that you would grow a hosta. Here at Plant Delights Nursery, we focus primarily on the coral bell hybrids that have Heuchera villosa as a parent, which we find produces the longest-lived, most humidity-tolerant plants in our southern garden.
Heuchera has been crossed with its cousin Tiarella to produce another nice shade plant called heucherella. We sell all three of these genera and in addition, we also carry another botanical cousin, Mitella. If you live in the humid Southeast and are looking to buy heuchera, then check out our selections of coral bells for sale.
Don't forget to read our in-depth Heuchera article.