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When and how to divide Heuchera (Coral Bells)
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Heuchera makes for wonderful edging plants and is particularly beautiful if you are able to grow them in large clumps. The different colours you will get will serve to highlight any nearby flowers and the size and stature of the plant works well if you are trying to stack different geometries.
Once you plant these you will want to deadhead or cut back the flower stalks after they have produced their flowers so that they have more energy to reproduce. And on the note of energy, you also want to divide them every four or five years to keep them from drying out in the centre. If you don’t divide them the middle gets drywall everything grows outward and they’ll take on a ragged appearance particularly in the winter.
When to divide heuchera
Divide Heuchera in spring around March to May or in autumn around September to November when the soil is dry enough to work. If autumn is particularly wet, delay until spring.
Divide and Conquer
Division is one of the easier ways to propagate these plants. In fact, it’s recommended that you divide your plant every three or four years to keep it healthy and to make sure it fits into its available space.
The process is very easy, similar to any other propagation by division.
- You start by digging up the plant including all of the roots, which you do by providing a decent perimeter about 15 centimetres around the entire base of the plant. This will help reduce the chance of severing any of those routes as you dig it up.
- Brush off all of the roots and remove any of the soil that might be clumped in and around. You’re going to want a clear line of sight to the work you are conducting.
- That said, divide the plant into different sections making sure that each new section has four or five shoots and a substantial amount of healthy roots at the bottom. Depending on the strength, age, and size of your plant you might be able to divide by hand or you might need a shovel to help you make those initial cuts.
Once you are done, you need to replant each of these divisions. You can replant them directly into your garden in similar conditions as the original plant, just make sure that you give them enough space in between each new division that they don’t get too crowded and inhibit airflow.
These plants benefit from some slow-release fertilizer every spring to help them once they have been planted. They should receive the same amount of water on a weekly basis to keep the soil moist without drowning it.
The soil should be loamy, neutral to slightly acidic with great airflow and more importantly, great drainage. If the plant doesn’t drain well, the crown will start to rot. On that note, you can help the plants by growing them in a sunny area that gives them a lot of access to direct sun with airflow as well.