General gardening topics

When and how to divide Heuchera (Coral Bells)

Last updated on April 22nd, 2022

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Heuchera makes wonderful edging plants and is particularly beautiful if you are able to grow them in large clumps, even mixing varieties to create an amazing display. The different colours you will get will serve to highlight any nearby flowers and the size and stature of the plant work well if you are trying to stack different geometries.

Once you plant these you 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 prevent them from drying out in the centre. If you don’t divide them the middle gets dry, and because everything grows outwards 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 in the autumn you are experiencing particularly wet weather, delay this process 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 4 to 5 years to keep them healthy and to make sure they still fit into their available space.

The process is very easy, similar to any other propagation by division.

  1. You start by digging up the plant. including all of the roots. You do this by providing a decent perimeter of about 15cm around the entire base of the plant. This will help reduce the chance of severing any of those roots as you dig them up.
  2. Brush off all of the roots and remove any of the soil that might be clumped in and around. You are going to need a clear line of sight to the work you are conducting.
  3. That being 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.
when to divide heuchera


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 so that they don’t get too crowded because this will inhibit airflow.

These plants will benefit from some slow-release fertiliser 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, in a spot where they can receive a great amount of 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.

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