By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Well campers, fall has begun. With this comes crisp mornings and a chance to review your garden’s performance. Time to edit the failures, the overgrown thugs that took over the beds, and the colors that… really didn’t work together.
What heuchera provide is consistency. They play well with others, are never thugs, and the foliage color changes with the seasons, as if you had a different plant in the same pot. Heuchera are mostly evergreen, which works well in providing your containers with frost-proof colored foliage, to play off the color of your traditional kale and mums. Christina Salwitz, one of the top container designers from the Pacific Northwest, rarely plans a container without them. In a word, they’re versatile.
The Color Of The Year in ’24 is a lime-green, as you see in Heuchera ‘Lime Ruffles’, so you can be the “hip kid” on the block with a hot-colored palette. Heuchera LITTLE CUTIES™ 'Sugar Berry' provides a heavy blooming, more diminutive plant with stunning plum-metallic shades. It’s perfect for the oranges in autumn. Heuchera ‘Peach Crisp’ echoes the oranges of fall and provides contrast with the kales. Unlike the mums and kales which are unsustainably tossed, heuchera can be transplanted to well-drained spots in the garden or moved to another container for all seasons. Frost on the ruffled leaves is a pleaser for the eyes as well. Let’s take a look!
Looks just like the name - a vigorous mound with very large and ruffled lime green leaves with a frosty white overlay. 'Lime Ruffles' was bred using some big Heuchera villosa and therefore it has larger leaves and should show more heat tolerance. Makes a medium to large, rounded mound. It will take full sun in the Pacific Northwest. Attractive white flowers come out in late summer to fall on medium spikes. Hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4-9 and can bloom from August till October! In full sun it can grow to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide while in flower. Like all heuchera, it prefers good drainage and even moisture in its first year. Use in containers or front to middle of the border. A hot color for 2024!
Oregon produces some of the world's sweetest berries, and our 'Sugar Berry' may just be the world's sweetest heuchera. Berry-violet with dark veins. Very showy and unique. Hardy in zones 4-9 and can bloom with pink flowers from June till October! In full sun it can grow to six inches tall and 10 inches wide and tall while in flower. Like all heuchs, it prefers good drainage and even moisture in year one. That’s why they do grow so well in containers. Avoid clay soils at all costs. Use in containers or front of the border. Give it a spin!
A visual marvel. With an extremely ruffled peach to amber leaf color, all on a tight mound. It works well in a container, as an edger, or a textural color spot. Prefers full sun and good drainage. Hardy in zones 4-9 and blooms with pink flowers from June till October! In full sun it can grow to six inches tall and 15 inches wide and tall while in flower. It prefers good drainage and even moisture the first year. That’s why they grow so well in containers. Avoid clay soils. Use in containers or front of the border. Give it a taste!
Dan Heims is an award-winning author who lectures throughout the world. He was recently honored by The American Horticultural Society with the Luther Burbank Breeding Award, as well as the Perennial Plant Association’s Award of Merit. He was also honored in receiving the Royal Horticultural Society’s Reginald Cory Cup for advancements in breeding.