Winterizing Heuchera Plants – Learn About Heuchera Winter Care

Winterizing Heuchera Plants – Learn About Heuchera Winter Care

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Heucheraare hardy plants that survive punishing winters as far north as USDA planthardiness zone 4, but they need a little help from you when temperatures dropbelow the freezing mark. Although heuchera cold hardiness differs somewhatbetween varieties, proper care of heuchera in winter ensures that thesecolorful perennials are hale and hearty when spring rolls around. Let’s learnabout winterizing heuchera.

Tips on Heuchera Winter Care

Although most heuchera plants are evergreen in mildclimates, the top is likely to die down where winters are chilly. This isnormal, and with a little TLC, you can be assured that the roots are protectedand your heuchera will rebound in spring. Here’s how:

Ensure heuchera are planted in well-drained soil, as theplants are likely to freeze in wet conditions. If you haven’t planted heucherayet and your soil tends to be soggy, work in a generous amount of organicmaterial, such as compost or chopped leaves, first. If you’ve alreadyplanted, dig a little organic material into the top of the soil around theplant.

Cut the plant back to about 3 inches (7.6 cm.) in earlywinter if you live in a cold climate. If your area enjoys mild winters, youdon’t need to cut the plant back. However, this is a good time to trim damagedgrowth and dead leaves.

Water heuchera in late fall, shortly before the arrival ofwinter (but remember, don’t water to the point of sogginess, especially if yoursoil doesn’t drain well). Well-hydrated plants are healthier and more likely tosurvive freezing temperatures. Also, a little moisture will help the soilretain heat.

Add at least 2 or 3 inches (5-7.6 cm.) of mulch such ascompost, fine bark or dry leaves after the first frost. When it comes towinterizing heuchera, providing this protective covering is one of the mostimportant things you can do, and will help prevent damage from repeatedfreezing and thaws that can push plants out of the ground.

Check your heuchera occasionally in early spring, as this iswhen soil heaving from freeze/thaw cycles is most likely to occur. If the rootsare exposed, replant as soon as possible. Be sure to add a little fresh mulchif the weather is still cold.

Heuchera doesn’t like a lot of fertilizer and a fresh layerof compost in spring should provide all necessary nutrients. However, you canadd a very light dose of fertilizer if you think it’s necessary.

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How to Overwinter Perennials Growing in Containers

Bethany Hayes

Bethany is a suburban homesteader who grows over 30 types of vegetables in her garden every year to provide the vegetables needed to feed her family of six for the entire year. She practices organic gardening without the use of any pesticide and chemical.

You spent all growing season loving and caring for your perennial container garden. That takes a lot of work and dedication. Chances are you want to learn how to overwinter perennials growing in containers – after all, you don’t want all that hard work go to waste.

Some gardeners treat perennials like annuals, tossing them out after the end of the growing season, but that’s truly a loss. Not only is it a waste of money, but perennials tend to come back fuller and heartier each year, producing stronger blossoms and fruits the second and third year.

If tossing perennials feels like blasphemy, you have a few choices. You can overwinter in containers or transplant into your garden beds for the winter.

Winter Care For Coral Bells

Grow coral bells in soil that is well draining, improving the soil with 2 to 4 inches of organic matter, such as compost or chopped leaves, at planting time. Coral bells fare the winter much better when the soil is well draining. Water also helps the soil retain heat. This addition helps prevent the soil from heaving during the winter. Wait until spring when new growth starts, and cut back any damaged, dead or unsightly stems.

  • Add 3 inches of mulch over the root area of the coral bells in late autumn.
  • Remove the mulch in the spring when the soil warms and the growing season begins.

Because coral bells have exceedingly shallow roots, they are susceptible to winter damage if you do not mulch the roots sufficiently.

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Vasue VA

Ditto gardengal's observations. Good idea to repot the 2 still in grower's pots now, since their roots & often foliage continue to expand. They're evergreen (ever-hued?) here in central Virginia. Frost & deep freeze don't bother them, even out in the open garden with only a light layer of shed oak leaves around them, so wouldn't be concerned. They usually don't go dormant here overwinter, though last year's extreme & extended cold caused some tattered leaves toward the tail end of the season. both for potted & planted heuchs & tiarellas, and our Winters are typically wet. The foliage often lays down during freezes & rises again afterwards. Those in planters on our covered front porch did need to be watered during mild spells, with warm water when the soil was frosty but open, as well as before cold was forecast so they didn't chill when dry.

Happy to hear yours are doing so well! You're in for another treat when they take on different hues for the coming season & then change back again in Spring. Enjoy!.