Heucheras forum: Dividing Heuchera

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 26, 2012 11:27 AM CST
A couple of weeks ago, I tripped over something in my garden, and accidentally divided part of a huge Heuchera that I have. It totally needed it, but probably not this time of year. I took all of the segments that broke off, dipped them in rooting hormone, and stuck them in pots. Within a few days, they started growing new leaves, and have been doing great.

The only other time I've divided a Heuchera was when I accidentally pulled one up when I was removing some ground cover, and it was in chunks. I stuck the pieces in the ground and forgot about them. About 3 weeks later, they were blooming!

My question is, should I cut off the old leaves and just leave the new leaves? I have already made a spot for them in another bed, but will wait a while longer to plant them in the ground, so that they have time to grow some roots. I'm sure they are going to survive, but I'm not sure what to do with the old foliage!

Thanks for any suggestions!
Natalie
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Aug 26, 2012 12:42 PM CST

Moderator

Just cut the old off. I think you may want to mulch the heuchera in zone 5. I'm zone 7-8 so don't have a problem with ground heaving in winter but i'll bet you will. Bob and Carolyn 22 can say more about that.
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 26, 2012 1:48 PM CST
Thanks for the info. I am an obsessive mulcher, but I didn't know that would help with ground heaving in winter. I can't say that I've ever noticed it before, even back when I didn't mulch.

I forgot to add the photo earlier, so here it is. The new leaves are in the middle, and are getting pretty big already! I wasn't expecting them to grow so fast.

Thumb of 2012-08-26/Natalie/d0a312
Natalie
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Aug 26, 2012 3:39 PM CST

Moderator

Those are looking great.
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 26, 2012 4:20 PM CST
Thanks! They look even better now that I've cut the older leaves off of them! I really had no idea that these plants were so easy to divide!
Natalie
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Aug 26, 2012 6:05 PM CST

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I agree with cutting the old leaves. Because they will not have fully developed roots just check for heaving more often , mulching will help somewhat. Just push them down if heaving does occur.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 26, 2012 6:09 PM CST
Bob, thanks for agreeing, since I've already cut off the old leaves! There were more new leaves than I thought (shocking!), and I will check for heaving. I really haven't seen any here at my house, but this is the strangest year ever. I'm expecting a strange winter too!
Natalie
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Aug 26, 2012 6:12 PM CST
I agree with both Bob and Julia - again, the heaving can be an issue. If that happens with the thawing and freezing winter weather, they can be pushed back into the ground.

Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 26, 2012 9:20 PM CST
Is heaving a big issue with Heuchera in general, or with all plants? I've never seen it here before. The ground here stays pretty frozen during the winter, so maybe that is why? These plants should be in the ground a good amount of time before it freezes, so maybe that will help? I really have no idea what to expect! I've planted several other Heuchera in the fall, and have never lost one. Either way, I'll keep an eye on them, and push them back in the ground if needed. This will give me something to do during the winter! I can watch my plants trying to crawl out of the ground and head south for the season! Whistling
Natalie
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Aug 27, 2012 2:45 AM CST
Natalie

Heaving is a big issue here - we do have a lot of the ground freezing and thawing during the winter in this area. Perhaps your area doesn't have it as much.

Can't say as I would blame the plants for wanting to crawl south for the winter - that is something I would rather do as well! nodding
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
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Christine27360
Aug 27, 2012 7:57 AM CST
Mine heave here in MN too! I mulch lots over winter and then in the spring I usually can just push them down if they have heaved up. Then I clear the mulch away a little around the base of the plant and sometimes even add a little miracle grow potting soil... it just depends. Thumbs up
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 27, 2012 8:14 AM CST
I'm still not sure if heaving is just an issue with Heuchera, or with everything. Can someone enlighten me? Confused
Natalie
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Aug 27, 2012 8:26 AM CST

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It can be an issue with any shallow rooted plant. Which most Heuchera are. In this area the ground freezes and thaws a lot and that is what causes the problem. The ground rises and falls and plants get pushed up out of the ground.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 27, 2012 9:23 AM CST
Thanks Bob! I have quite a few Heuchera, but I usually just plant them and leave them, so I don't know anything about their root system. I've had to move a couple of them before, but dug out a large amount of dirt with the plant, so I didn't see roots. All I know is that none of mine have ever had a problem with heaving before, so I'll just hope for the best this year!
Natalie

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