Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heuchera Villosa

I have always loved "Coral Bells" or technically Heuchera, but they certainly have not loved me.  They would either slowly disappear, pop out of the ground each year, breaking apart when I would try to replace them in the ground.  Anyway, I stopped growing them for a number of years until I bought Heuchera Villosa Purpurea for a design under my Chanticleer Pear tree.  This certainly did not look like the Coral Bells I was used to growing.  The leaves were large, bronze colored and certainly not delicate.  They sent up very delicate (almost baby's breath-like) flowers that first year that lasted summer through fall.  Two of the four that I purchased thrived under the cover of the pear tree, and the other two which received a little more sun, I kept having to replace.  They were very expensive and only offered at a specialty nursery.

Then, two years ago, I was at Home Depot and I spotted a Heuchera that looked very similar to mine, but it said Heuchera Villosa Mocha.  I decided I would add these under the tree instead of replacing my original ones.  These new varieties will take more sun, they are much hardier than my original ones and the flowers are a variety of colors.  The leaves range from bronze, carmel, raspberry, black, brown, and multi-colored.  I am slowly adding them to my landscape because I keep thinking they may not come back.  But so far every one of the newer varieties has survived.  The best part is the price $5.99 to $7.99 per gallon pot at Home Depot not the $17.99 I was paying for my original plants.