General gardening topics

How to propagate heuchera by division, cutting and seed

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Heuchera presents with delicate shades of flowers and foliage, flowers that are well known for their bell-shaped growth that stands along slender stems giving it the nickname, Bells. Even though it does have a delicate appearance it’s actually quite strong and if you already have successful heuchera growing in your yard why not continue the bounty by simply propagating more?

Don’t be scared off at the prospect of propagating these plants. Given how flexible they are you have multiple methods available to you and you can propagate using leaf cuttings, dividing the plant, or using seed, depending on what you are most comfortable with.

Propagating heuchera by division

If you have stunning heuchera growing in your yard what are the most rewarding things about this plant is its strength and ability to be propagated in multiple methods. One such method is division. If you have successfully grown plants you can simply divide them and make two plants where previously there was one.

Don’t be scared at the prospect of dividing your plant. It is much easier than it seems and once you get the hang of it you can divide this plant and other plants that propagate via division and continue to help your garden flourish.

Division is actually the easiest way to propagate this particular plant and it’s something you should be doing every three or four years to make sure the plant stays healthy and vibrant and not overgrown.

To divide your plant follow the steps:

  1. Dig up an entire clump around the plant but when you do so space it about 15cm away from the base to form the perimeter. You want to give this level of space around the plants so that you don’t accidentally sever the roots when you dig down. 
  2. Using your shovel or using your hands, divide your roots section into smaller plants but make sure that each subsequent plant has at least four or five shoots and lots of roots.
  3. Once you have your divided sections you want to plant them in proper soil and make sure that when you do so you keep the top of the root ball just slightly above the surface level.
  4. Water your new sections properly so that the soil is saturated around the roots to help them recover. You want to keep the soil moist until such time as you notice new growth appear on your divided sections. The new growth indicates that it has successfully taken root and at that point, you can allow the surface of your soil to dry in between your regular waterings.

Propagating heucheras from seed

Growing Heuchera - Growing Heucheras can be very rewarding and with hundreds, of shades and colours that make amazing displays. learn how to plant and grow these perennials.

Once you are ready to plant your new heucheras, starting with seed, you want to begin sprinkling these new seeds on the surface of your soil at the beginning of Spring or the end of fall. You should avoid covering them. It’s tempting but make sure you just sprinkle the seeds in a thin layer and move on. They need a lot of light to germinate.

Conversely, you can take the seeds and germinate them indoors for a few months if you are worried about the wind blowing them off or you just want to make sure your new plants are successful. With this process, you germinate for a few months indoors and then transplant them directly outside. 

Taking seeds is not the easiest of techniques but it is absolutely possible.

When propagating with seeds, if you are preparing them inside you should plant them at least six or eight weeks prior to the final expected frost date wherever you live.

  1. Start by preparing a well-draining mixture that is equal parts perlite and seed starting mix. The more well-draining it is, the better.
  2. Water your mixture until everything is moist but not overly saturated.
  3. Get a plastic seed tray and fill it with the moist mixture and then sprinkle the seeds over the surface. Just the same as were you to plant the seeds outside, you don’t want to cover them with the potting mixture but instead let them settle on to the soil.
  4. Cover this plastic tray with a plastic dome and put it under a fluorescent grow light. These lights are known for having a blue tube and a pink tube which mixed together to provide warm and cool colours.
  5. Keep an eye on your plants and water it when the mixture needs a bit of spritzing.
  6. Within 10 days you should start to see the germination begin. 

If you are going with this method make sure you wait until any danger of frost is over before you transplant them outside.

No matter the method it should take between 2 weeks and 8 weeks to properly germinate

If you are growing them in containers, you can use either of the seed-based germination methods. Once they are planted, keep them well watered for the first year and move them outside in their containers after the threat of frost is over.

Propagating heucheras from cuttings

in this guide, we look at how to take Heuchera cuttings also known as coral bells. Its an easy process and is usually fairly successful if done correctly.

If you want to propagate from a cutting, the methods you would use are very similar to taking any other cutting so if you have propagated in your garden before, you are off to a great start.

This is something you want to do in Autumn and no other time of the year because this is the time when your plant has already produced flowers, when you have likely trimmed away or deadheaded those areas, and when it is storing up as much strength as possible for the winter time.

As soon as you notice new plants forming at the base of the leaf, something you’ll notice within about 10 days, you want to remove those small plants from your main plant and transplant them into individual pots that you already have filled with a proper mixture.

Regardless of which method you choose, you have lots of options for successfully propagating your heucheras, and enjoy many more plants in your garden in future.

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