Heucheras (Coral Bells) for Humid South

emmaeanAugust 22, 2006

Hi Y'All-

There are so many beautiful Heucheras now out there, and they just keep coming. The are coming so fast that books are too passe' to find out which ones are working where. My two books by Dr. Armitage do not address most of the coolest new colors. The latest and greatest are really expensive too. So my question - which ones are working in the hot humid south? Where should our smart New South dollars be spent on each color family (lime greens, oranges, multi-colored, silvers, reds, golds)? I'm sorry, I just don't trust catalog descriptions. To them every offering lives in Zones 2 to 11 and thrives at any and every level of humidity! I do know from Northern posts that Amber Waves is a pretty consistent dud. But so far the Garden Web southern forums seem to be pretty mum regarding Heucheras. What's the Real Deal, Southern Heuchera lovers?

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I have rather limited experience with Heucheras, but here it is for what it's worth: I have tried "Americana", "Palace Purple", "Can Can" and "Firefly" in bright shade. Of these only "Americana" and "Palace Purple" have survived for several years. The other two died in their first year. Susan.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:53PM
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Have had long term success with omly the Heuchera americana cultivars, such as 'Dale's Strain'. 'Green Spice', 'Mint Frost', some others that persist, but do not seem to thrive, are 'Pewter Veil', 'Plum Pudding', 'Ruby Veil'. 'Palace Purple' lasted for many years before expiring and I have replaced those with new stock. In my garden, the hybrids of Pacific NW species, sanguinea, cylindrica and macrantha, which includes many of the colorful leaf cultivars, have not survived for more than a couple of years. Often only one season. Same lack of success with the Heucherella cultivars I've tried.
Wish I could be more optomistic, but know of other gardeners in my area that have had the same experiences. We just admire the pictures and plant something else!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 2:45PM
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Thanks so much, Browneyedsusan and Razorback. That's what I was afraid of, and why I asked. I am holding out hope that others will respond with other Heucheras that are "working", or maybe with drainage or shade hints that make some of the other colors work. I wish the hybridizers would reveal their new offerings' lineage, but I guess that would entail revealing trade secrets.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 3:47PM
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I have some "plum pudding" variety. I planted them 3 years ago. Some have done great, others have died, a few each year. They're together in a front bed that gets hot morning/mid-day sun. I was thinking the sun was just too much for them...or the mid-summer drought. I'm trying to decide if I should divide what is left and replant or just give up. My landscape planner recommended them, but I don't think she realized how very hot the sun is on the front of my house (southern exposure).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 8:40PM
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wannab(8b & 4a)

I was under the impression that Coral Bells were a shade loving plant. Even here in Michigans U P they do not like to be in the sun. But do wonderfully in light shade. I tried some in our Alabama winter home, (shade) and had no luck at all with them.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 8:35AM
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Here are the results for various heucheras from the UGA trial garden for 2004. While you're at the site, you can also see the results for 2005. Hope it helps with your question.

Here is a link that might be useful: UGA Trial Garden Results

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 7:26PM
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