Northern Shade Gardening

New Heuchera with Attractive Flowers

Thursday, October 25, 2012 Category: Perennials

Here are two new Heuchera (coral bells) that I’ve added to my garden this fall. Both ‘Peppermint Spice’ and ‘Havana’ have larger and more attractive flowers than some of my other foliage Heuchera.

Heuchera ‘Havana’ and Heuchera ‘Peppermint Spice’ are both suited to the shade. Most Heuchera don’t mind low light conditions, but some of the newer crosses have been selected more for sun tolerance. Since I have lots of shade, and don’t get excessive heat in my northern garden, I look for ones that do well in a shady location.

Heuchera 'Havana' (coral bells) in pot

Heuchera ‘Havana’ (coral bells) in pot

Here’s a closeup of Heuchera ‘Havana’ still in its pot before planting. For an extra flash of colour, the stems are a deep purplish red. The flowers will be a dark pink, almost red, color, but my three  new ones won’t  have any blooms until next year. Some coral bells have very small flowers on overly long stems, but ‘Havana’ have many bells arranged along a number of proportionate stems to make a more impressive display.  These dense and attractive flowers on ‘Havana’ will rebloom as well, so it has more than just good looking leaves going for it.

Heuchera 'Havana' (coral bells) leaf closeup

Heuchera ‘Havana’ (coral bells) leaf closeup

Heuchera ‘Havana’ has very light, yellowish green foliage, with a hint of silver. At times it has more yellow in the leaves. The leaf veins are an apple green colour. That lighter colour is especially noticeable in the shadows under the trees. There are small flashes of red and purple underneath some ‘Havana’ leaves now. The leaf colour of Heucheras can vary as the temperature drops, and even as moisture levels change. In early spring and late fall mine develop more red and purple tones.

Heuchera 'Havana' (coral bells) in garden

Heuchera ‘Havana’ (coral bells) in garden

Here is ‘Havana’ planted in the shade, beneath the boughs of my spruce. It’s recommended for very shady sites, or only a few hours of morning light, so I think it has the perfect location. You can see the darker shadows here, and how the leaves reflect the light that makes it under the tree, so the plants show up well. Next summer I’ll see how many flowers they produce in this section of the garden.

Heuchera 'Peppermint Spice' (coral bells) leaves and ladybug

Heuchera ‘Peppermint Spice’ (coral bells) leaves and ladybug

This photo was taken before our recent deeper frosts. By the time I planted the Heuchera ‘Peppermint Spice’ and reached for my camera, a ladybug had already settled in on the leaves. These insects were my constant companions while gardening this fall.

‘Peppermint Spice’ has green leaves with a faint silver overlay, and a darker brownish purple contrasting colour spreads in patterns along the leaf veins. The leaves are similar to  my ‘Mint Frost’ or ‘Green Spice’, but the flowers are supposed to be nicer than either of those. The bright pink blooms of this cross are larger and more noticeable, which they get from their Heuchera sanguinea heritage. I’ll see how many flowers they get in a shady location next year.

Heuchera 'Peppermint Spice' (coral bells) flowers

Heuchera ‘Peppermint Spice’ (coral bells) flowers

The Heuchera ‘Peppermint Spice’ will get an hour or so of early morning light, and then indirect and dappled light for the rest of the day. Since ”Peppermint Spice’ is best in part shade to shade, they should do well here. The foliage behind the flowers is from a tall Actaea simplex. The conspicuous flowers of ‘Peppermint Spice’ should show up well against the green background.

This garden section is backed by Actaea simplex ‘Atropurpurea’ (bugbane). I planted the ‘Peppermint Spice’ in front between groups of Tiarella  ‘Sugar and Spice’ (foamflower) and Heucherella ‘Tapestry’ (foamy bells), both of which have evergreen leaves, too. There are also pretty little Campanula (bellflowers) planted here, some C. poscharskyana (Serbian bellflower), and C. cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower). Next to the Actaea are some Osmunda regalis (royal ferns). These ferns are supposed to grow very tall, 1.2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 ft), but in my climate they are more like minor nobility at about 30 cm (1 ft) tall.

I’m looking forward to seeing how ‘Havana’ and ‘Peppermint Spice’ settle into the garden. I’ll show pictures next year of how the new Heuchera look flowering in the shade. My other Heuchera have been winter hardy in my zone 3 garden, so I expect these to do well. Heuchera leaves look fabulous in the fall and continue to look great well past the frost. Even after a snow fall, if they aren’t buried, they are adding wonderful colour to the shade garden.

30 Responses to “New Heuchera with Attractive Flowers” »

  1. majorahn :
    October 26, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Hallo liebe “Northern Shade Gardening”
    Erst einmal ein ganz herzliches Dankeschön für deine Kommentare auf meinem Blog. Ich würde dir gerne auf Englisch antworten, aber ich habe kaum noch Übung darin und der automatische Übersetzer formuliert oftmals sehr ulkig. Aber vielleicht verstehst du ein bisschen die Deutsche Sprache.
    Ich habe einige deiner Beiträge gelesen und gleich gemerkt, dass du eine große Pflanzenkennerin bist. Heuchera Hybriden gefallen mir auch sehr gut. Ich schmücke zur Zeit gerne meine Terrasse damit. Mal sehen, wie lange sie der immer kälter werdenden Jahreszeit trotzen.

    Wusstest du, dass man in Deutschland die hübsche Pflanze auch “Amerikanisches Silberglöckchen” nennt?

    Herzliche Grüße majorahn

  2. Marit :
    October 26, 2012 at 2:10 am

    It’s always exciting to plant so late in the year. I hope your new heuchera survive winter. They are so great and they have so lovely foliage. Good luck with your plants!

  3. Monne :
    October 26, 2012 at 3:23 am

    So many lovely Heuchera you have:) I have this year planted a few plant myself but I don’t remember their names right now. This night we had frost so now the winter have started:( Well, soon the spring is here again and we can see the result of the autumns garden work:) Have a nice day/Monne

  4. Waltraud :
    October 26, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Dear Northern Shade Gardening,

    i liked very much. Unfortunately, they have all been received by me.

    I send you greetings übern pond….

    Waltraud

  5. Northern Shade :
    October 26, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Majorahn, I didn’t know that Heuchera were called American Silver Bells in Germany. They have become one of my favourite plants, and I enjoy trying new cultivars to compare them and see how they perform.

    Marit, I planted these a little earlier in the fall, but I think they should do fine. The spruce branches give some extra protection from the cold. My Hosta under the spruce are the last to lose their foliage.

    Monne, Heuchera are great in the garden, since the leaves look fine for so long. Many of my garden spots are looking bare now, but the beds with Heuchera still look colourful.

    Waltraud, the Heuchera have all done well for me here, but I stick to ones that appreciate shade. They are developing more cultivars now that perform better in warmer and sunnier areas.

  6. Birgitta :
    October 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    In US you have TerraNova and they have wonderful Heuchera plants.
    Birgitta

  7. Northern Shade :
    October 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Birgitta, I have some of the Heuchera from Terra Nova, and appreciate the breeding they have been doing to get both good flowering and beautiful foliage.

  8. Ulrika/Hällan :
    October 27, 2012 at 1:37 am

    I really like Heuchera and Heucherella! The Osmunda regalis we have is very small,like yours. I’ve moved i to a better place now. I also believe they need many years to grow big.
    Have a nice weekend!
    Ulrika

  9. M/S Design Mariana :
    October 27, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Dom flesta Heuchera är vackra!
    Jag har många olika i trädgården, tycker om blommorna med.
    Ha en trevlig helg
    Mariana

  10. Northern Shade :
    October 27, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Ulrika, I kept hoping that the Osmunda regalis would grow taller, but it’s been 6 or 7 years, and they are always the same height. It might be because they don’t emerge until June, and perhaps they just don’t get enough time to grow larger in our short summer season, or maybe the extra cold winter stunts them. They like lots of water, and perhaps it’s just too dry here. I had some flooding in my garden this summer, and I thought they might appreciate that, but they didn’t grow any taller. They are still a nice looking fern.

    Mariana, I agree, the decorative leaves are like flowers for the garden. After our heavy frosts, they are one of the plants that are keeping my garden from looking empty.

  11. Anette :
    October 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Herzlichen Dank für den netten Kommentar auf meinem Blog.
    Obwohl es bei dir viel kälter wird und der Winter viel länger ist als bei uns, sind deine Pflanzenarten fast identisch mit den Pflanzen in meinem Garten. Auch ich habe viele verschiedene Heucheraarten. Ich mag die verschiedenen Blattfarben sehr gern. Alle stehen im Schatten und vermehren sich gut.
    Deine Posts sind sehr interessant und ich werde dich sicher öfter besuchen.
    Gruß Anette

  12. Northern Shade :
    October 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Anette, the Heuchera survive very well. A few of them heave out of the ground over winter, and I resettle them back in the spring. Some of my favourites are the ones with a bit of silver on their leaves, or the ones with strong contrast along the leaf veins.

  13. debsgarden :
    October 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    I look forward to seeing all of your heuchera and their companion plants as they mature. I am sure the flowers will be delightful, but the foliage will surely be the star!

  14. Northern Shade :
    October 28, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Debsgarden, the Actaea, Campanula, Tiarella and Heucherella were there before, but the newest Heuchera fit right in with them. I also planted some Muscari and Tulipa bulbs here earlier in the fall.

  15. allan becker :
    October 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

    The test of all newly introduced and newly improved Heuchera varieties is their longevity in the garden. I expect that in three years from now we will know if these attractive perennials will be keepers or just a passing fancy.

  16. Northern Shade :
    October 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Allan, I’m hoping these are keepers. It’s fun to try new plants to see how they do in the garden, and I’ve been fortunate with the Heuchera I’ve planted, since they’ve all done well here. I’ll report back how they perform, as an Alberta winter is a good stress test.

    What are some of your favourite Heuchera, and which ones have performed well in your garden?

  17. Marie :
    October 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Very nice :)

  18. Northern Shade :
    October 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Marie, thanks, they are looking a little different today with a white frosting.

  19. Kim :
    October 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks for the information about this plant. I’d forgotten about this one and haven’t tried it in a container. And I noticed that Terra Nova carries a mini Heuchera Series. Will need to test these out in a trough next year. Hope snow cover keeps your new plantings tucked up for the winter.

  20. Northern Shade :
    October 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Kim, the mini Heuchera sound intriguing. I think they’d be great in a trough, because the long lasting foliage keeps them interesting for so long.

  21. easygardener :
    October 29, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I like the contrast between the leaves and the reddish stems of ‘Havana’. I can see how the foliage of Heuchera would really show to advantage in the shade.

  22. Northern Shade :
    October 29, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Easygardener, I’m very attracted to plants with red stems, like these Heuchera, Athyrium filix-femina ‘Lady in Red’, and Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’. Darker plants seem to fade into the background and get lost in the shadows under the trees, but the light colour of ‘Havana’ really increases its visibility.

  23. Nadezda :
    October 30, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Hi, I’m Nadezda! I liked your blog. I garden in North too, zone 5a, up to -28 C. I’ve read your plant list: the most of these are growing in my garden too. I have Heuchera too, but it doesn’t like the place I planted it. I will move my Heuchera!

  24. Northern Shade :
    October 30, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Nadezda, what kind of Heuchera do you have? Some of them like the shade, and some can handle more sun. I should update the plant list, or make a second one, since the list is from 2007.

  25. Kathleen :
    October 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

    oohh, I love the flowers on ‘Peppermint Spice’ ~ very showy. I hope these do well for you. I added a couple new varieties this year too (‘Sweet Tea’ & ‘Dark Chocolate’) ~ we’ll see how they overwinter. I tend to plant them in shade without noticing whether they can take some sun or not. I need to check now that I’ve read your post!

  26. Northern Shade :
    October 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Kathleen, the stems of ‘Peppermint Spice’ are shorter, too, so they suit the size of the plant better. I really love the leaves of ‘Green Spice’, but I often cut the flowers off, because the very tall flowers stems with tiny flowers don’t look right.

  27. Helena :
    October 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Yes i have all my auriculas in pots.And indoors in the winter.But that is not necessary.
    I sowed a mixed bag of heuchera one time.I expected many different foliage .. they were all green in the leaves ..hmpf
    /Helena

  28. Northern Shade :
    October 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Helena, it would be disappointing, if you were expecting lots of colourful foliage, to end up with only green leaves. At least you could use them as a groundcover in a shady spot.

  29. Anna :
    November 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Hope that these grow well for you. They both look attractive and I think that I might investigate ‘Havana’ further. I have bought one heuchera this year -’Circus’ but as this was only in September I’m still getting to know its ways :)

  30. Northern Shade :
    November 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Anna,’Havana’ is part of the new city series, which they are breeding for both flowers and foliage. Some of the other ones in the series are very attractive, too.

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