The Q&A Archives: Care of Heuchera

Question: We planted two Heuchera's two weeks ago. After planting one went limp, but cam back in a few days. Now the other one has gone limp with the lower leaves dying. They were planted where they get mostly evening sun and the bed is moist. We have removed them t well drained soil in containers thinking they were too wet. We need planting and care instructions. Help!

Answer: Coral Bells grow best in sandy, well draining soil in full sun to part afternoon shade. I suspect that they suffered some transplant shock (one had a delayed reaction). Digging and replanting might set them back a few more weeks, but if the soil drains better, the plants will recover faster. It's important to plant them at the same soil level as they were growing in the nursery pots. Plant too deeply and the crowns will rot; not deep enough and the roots will push the plants out of the soil. Since they're back in containers now, try placing the containers in the garden where you will eventually plant them to make sure the sun exposure is right. If, after 2-3 weeks, they look happy and healthy, the site is right. Dig a planting hole a little deeper and wider than the root mass, place a mound of soil in the bottom of the hole, and drape the roots over in a natural fashion. Then backfill with soil and gently tamp down. Water your Heuchera deeply after planting then allow the top inch or so of soil to dry out before watering deeply again. It can take several weeks for the roots to become established so don't be too worried if the leaves droop and the plant looks miserable. As long as soil drainage is good, they will perk up in a few weeks.

Best wishes with your garden!

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