Heucheras forum: Would like your thoughts

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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
May 19, 2016 7:49 PM CST
I have been picking up Heucheras that say Kira Jersey from Lowes and HD for a few years. They seem to survive for me. At first everyone I purchased said Kira Jersey. I started to notice that may be the name but they looked different.

Today I decided to google Kira Heuchera and found they look different because they are not all Kira Jersey. There is a Heuchera Kira Series by Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm.

What I found interesting and thought this article was interesting.
It comes from a magazine called

"Grower Talk"
How to Have Success with Heuchera Chanochi Zaks

In the article it said..................
Fertilization: Heucheras require high fertilization levels. Fertilize the crop weekly with 130 to 150 ppm of nitrogen. Avoid high ammonium levels. Don’t fertilize after mid-September.

http://www.ballpublishing.com/growertalks/ViewArticle.aspx?a...
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
May 20, 2016 6:59 PM CST

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Thanks for the article. Most things I have read say low fertilizer 5 - 10 - 5 once a year. Will have to try higher on a few to see what happens. Around here I have never seen the Kira plants. Have seen pictures and they have a few nice ones. Keep us updated on how they do for you.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
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ssgardener
May 20, 2016 8:55 PM CST
Isn't that website for wholesalers and retailers ? I can see how you'd need high fertilization when growing it in a container and getting it ready for the market, but not once you've planted it in the landscape. I've never fertilized any of my Heuchera. Shrug!
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
May 21, 2016 1:46 AM CST
If it is for the Wholesalers and retailers to get them ready for the market it would explain why my leaves are not as big as they are when I purchase them from the retailer.

Southern Comfort leaves were very large when I purchased. It lived for 3 yrs in my garden and never was as large as when I purchased.

I would understand if I my Heuchera garden was not rich soil. But it is a bed that is totally woodland leafmold, and compost. The soil is super rich perfect drainage. I know I have crappy weather for growing them and they are coming back from scratch every year if they survive. I am just thinking maybe if they received extra help at least when they do survive the winter I can get a better plant for the growing season.

I am trying everything and reading everything because I love the plant and have not had the success that I think I can/should get.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
May 21, 2016 5:22 AM CST
I don't think I'd want to emulate commercial growers who use high rates of fertilizers to get heuchera leaves to be as big as possible for resale. In fact, I wouldn't consider having bigger leaves a sign of better, optimal or healthier growth, only that it's been artifically pushed to grow as big as possible in a restricted container, perhaps even at the expensive of healthier roots.

I am trying everything and reading everything because I love the plant and have not had the success that I think I can/should get.


Have you checked out the data from the Mt Cuba heuchera trials in Delaware? It's near both of us! Thumbs up

http://www.mtcubacenter.org/plant-trials/category/heuchera-e...

http://www.mtcubacenter.org/images/PDFs-and-SWFs/Heuchera_Re...

This research center found that the winter survival rate of heuchera depended signifcantly on the cultivar. Certain cultivars, while pretty, just weren't very vigorous.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
May 21, 2016 8:33 AM CST
Yes I have read that site. I have found the ones that survive for a few years are the vilosa and the ones that Primrose Path develop last a few years. But none get bigger or return to the size when purchased.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
May 21, 2016 8:44 AM CST
That's interesting... I've found that Caramel and Citronelle in particular get so big they outgrow their spot. And I have a Green Spice that may need to be moved because it's just too darn big.

My winters are a bit warmer than yours. Could that be the difference? I have poor clay soil that's amended or raised in lasagna style, and I don't fertilize any of my perennials.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
May 21, 2016 10:01 AM CST

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I believe growers push there plants with fertilizer because big plants sell but this is not what there size would be in a regular garden . This could also be part of the problem with survival rates especially if they were planted later in the season. No time to harden off for winter. Another interesting read are some of the heuchera books. I don't have the titles but google search should pull them up. One goes through the different species and where they grow so that would give you an understanding of the mixes we have today.
Sempervivum for Sale
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
May 21, 2016 4:04 PM CST
@ssgardener I do not think it is the cold that kill them but the wet feet.

I have the perfect sun, soil and drainage area. The area is a woodland floor soil comprised of leaf mold and compost over a foot of gravel

Our wet winters kill.....a lot of rain with sudden temp drops down to freezing. They end up in a block of ice. On top of that ice we will get a few inches of snow which will thaw that does not help because then we go back to the rain, freeze, etc.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
May 21, 2016 8:42 PM CST
Frost heaving has been the biggest issue for me. A lot of my heuchera need to be dug up and replanted in the spring.

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