Heucherella: The Unseen Beauty of Foliage and Flowers

Heucherella: The Unseen Beauty of Foliage and Flowers

When it comes to groundcover, most gardeners tend to stick with the usual suspects: low-growing perennials, such as creeping phlox, ajuga, or sedum. However, there's one plant that deserves more attention for its spectacular color, unique texture, and effortless growth: the Heucherella.

Heucherella is a relatively new kid on the block, having been around for only a few decades. However, it's quickly becoming a beloved addition to any garden. It's not hard to see why: the plant is a hybrid of two of the most popular genera in the horticultural world: Heuchera and Tiarella.

The history of Heucherella goes back to the late 19th century when plantsmen first noticed that Heuchera and Tiarella occasionally crossbred in the wild, producing plants with intermediate features. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that the first intentional crossbreeding experiments were conducted.

The credit for creating the first Heucherella hybrid goes to Thierry Delabroye, a French nurseryman and one of the most influential horticulturists of the past few decades. Delabroye was the first to cross Heuchera villosa 'Palace Purple' with Tiarella cordifolia 'Mint Leaves,' resulting in the birth of the first Heucherella hybrid, which he named 'Stoplight.'

Since then, many other Heucherella hybrids have been created, each with its unique combination of foliage color, shape, and texture. Some popular Heucherella cultivars include 'Copper King,' and 'Redstone Falls'. 

One of the best things about Heucherella is that it's incredibly versatile. It thrives in both sun and shade, making it ideal for any garden, regardless of its orientation. It's also low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and disease-resistant. And, of course, it's a perfect groundcover, providing a lush carpet of foliage and blooms that spreads easily and looks gorgeous year-round.

If you're considering adding Heucherella to your garden, you're in luck: the plant is widely available in nurseries and online stores. When planting, choose a well-draining soil and space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Water regularly until established, then water only during dry spells. You can also fertilize with a balanced fertilizer in the spring.

Overall, Heucherella is an excellent addition to any garden. Its unique blend of foliage and flowers adds a touch of interest to any landscape, and its ease of care makes it a perfect choice for busy gardeners. Whether you're looking to cover a large area or add some color and texture to a small spot, Heucherella won't disappoint.

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