Heuchera / Coral Bells

heucheraGrown primarily for its green or purple foliage, this fabulous perennial is enjoying increased popularity by sustainable and shade gardeners everywhere, and there are now many excellent hybrids and cultivars on the market to choose from. (The species is rarely grown.) ‘Palace Purple’ is a favorite in my neighborhood, and heucherellas are gaining in popularity, too. (They’re a cross between heucheras and tiarellas.)

All heucheras are native to North America, mainly the Rocky Mountains.

Photo care of The Primrose Path.


  • Best is light shade, or morning sun with afternoon shade. Where summers are cool, they tolerate all-day sun (so I read).
  • Can tolerate full shade.
  • Its late spring-early summer blooms are fairly inconspicuous. Some gardeners think they detract from the foliage and remove them altogether.
  • Hardy to Zones 4-8.


  • Divide only if they’re getting congested or woody or are standing too high off the soil, in spring.
  • Cut back to the ground in early spring (March), not in autumn.
  • Benefit from winter mulch. If they do heave despite mulching, press them back into the soil in spring.
  • It’s recommended that compost be added to the planting hole.