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Heucherella (hue-ker-ELL-uh)

Common Name:  Foamy bells

Light:  - Part sun to moderate shade

Soil:  Average to rich, well-drained

Moisture:  Average to slightly dry

Blooms:  Late spring and early summer

Zones:  3 - 7


Heucherella 'Dayglow Pink' PP#12164

Heucherella 'Stoplight' PP#16835

Heucherella Description and Cultural Information

Heucherellas are forced hybrids between Heuchera (coral bells) and Tiarella (foam flower) giving us foamy bells. Until recently most plants had leaves resembling Tiaralla species and flowers resembling coral bells, but new hybrids on today's market are reaching the outer bounds of both parents. There will soon be a point where we won't be able to tell the foliage of Heuchera, Tiarella, or Heucherella apart, if we're not there already.

Heucherella tiarelloides, foamy bells. 12 - 24" blooms. Small pink flowers hover above triangular, evergreen foliage in the spring and summer. Some hybrids may rebloom in the fall. 'Bridget Bloom' is one of the early hybrids with pink flowers. 'Viking Ship' has silvery, 6" high, maple-like leaves with coral-pink flowers to 18". It has a very long bloom season and is sun tolerant. 'Kimono' has silver, purple, and green leaves with tawny flowers to 18". 'Cinnamon Bear' has cinnamon brown foliage and creamy flowers. 'Dayglow Pink' PP#12164 has nice bright pink flowers and grows more like a coral bell needing some sun to perform best. 'Sunspot' is slow growing and somewhat week variety with pale yellow foliage with reddish markings in the center. 'Stoplight' PP#16835 is a much improved plant with yellow foliage and even more red in the center than 'Sunspot'. 'Alabama Sunrise' PPAF is a newer yellow leaf variety with more cut foliage than 'Stoplight', starting out bright yellow with red veins turning green with red veins in the summer. The yellow leaf varieties tend to grow best when treated like a Tiarella, giving them good, well-aerated, relatively dry woodland soil and some shade, planting the crowns just below soil level.

How to Grow:  Plant foamy bells in average to rich, quick draining soil in part sun to moderate shade. The purple leaf varieties tend to grow a little more like Heuchera while most others have culture more like Tiarellas, however they all like good drainage and never like to be wet. Most varieties need some shade from the hot afternoon sun, but only the yellow leaf varieties tend to do well in full shade. Plant the crown just a little below the soil (the opposite of Heuchera which should be planted just above the soil) which helps to protect them during heat, drought, and over the winter.

Landscape uses:  Foamy bells fit into the landscape much like coral bells. Use them as a border plant, a small accent, or use them in the transition areas between the full shade garden and the full sun garden. Foamy bells, somewhat like coral bells, are ideal for the eastern exposure of buildings and homes since they will receive a fair amount of sun but be shaded out for part of the day. 'Stoplight' makes a great addition to the shade garden.

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