Anyone have any luck with heuchera? If so, how do you do it?
Seed is easy, although the named hybrids won't produce identical offspring. I throw the seed in a baggie with little damp vermiculite and put it in the refrigerator for 6 weeks. Then I sow on the top of the soil, as it wants light to germinate. Germination is pretty quick, usually within two weeks.
In case you're wondering how they reproduce those named types, it's done via tissue culture.
I have taken small divisions from Palace Purple and just stuck them in the ground near the parent, watering when needed, the old leaves will die off, then new little leaves will grow. Just did 2 this spring, new growth takes 4/6 weeks. Heuchera have a bad habit of needing to be "REPLANTED" every 3/4 years. They grow into a nice clump but at the same time growing OUT of the ground. That is when they need to be replanted. Have lost several before became aware of this growth habit.
Amen Lois - they should come with a warning label!
Soeur - What time of year do you do that? Would you collect seeds and store them dry until the next spring or do you go ahead and just sow them late in the summer/fall?
Do they winter over ok outside the first year when they're small?
The seeds are usually ripe sometime in summer, depending on where you live. They're tiny little round jobs -- just tap them into an envelope and set it somewhere to keep dry until you want to put them into cold stratification in the refrigerator (that's the term for what you're doing with the seeds in damp vermiculite in the ziplock bag; basically you're giving them a fake winter). If you have a greenhouse, you can plan on sowing anytime after, say, mid-February if you live above the deep South. If, like most of us, you don't have a greenhouse but just a bright windowsill or grolights, plan on sowing the seed in mid to late March, assuming a last avg. frost date of, say, May 1. This means you'd put the seeds into cold stratification about Jan 25. With this schedule you'd likely be transplanting seedlings into small pots about mid May. They will grow fast, and usually need to be bumped up into gallon containers or planted out by late summer. Wintering over shouldn't be an isssue as they're already big guys by the time cold weather hits.
BTW, the best way to store the seed once you know it's dry is sealed in something in the refrigerator, especially if you plan on keeping it for more than a few months. I've grown 5-year old heuchera seed that was in cold dry storage in a fridge, with high germination percentages.
Oh, one more thing -- don't cover the seed when you sow it, just sprinkle it on the medium's surface and gently water it in.
Thanks for all the info Soeur - Absolutely one of my favorite plants.