How to Grow and Care For Heuchera americana ‘American alumroot’

How to Grow and Care For Heuchera americana ‘American alumroot’

How to Grow and Care For Heuchera americana 'American alumroot'

Vintotal, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Heuchera americana (American alumroot) is a tiny, rosette-shaped plant that thrives in rich, damp forested settings. The species is resistant to deer and other herbivores because of the high tannin content of its leaves. Additionally, it can tolerate some drought and grows well in the shade. The 37 species in the genus are all referred to by their common names, alumroot and coral bells.

Heuchera plants belong to the Saxifragales (saxifrage) family. Heuchera Americana hybrids are some of the genus’ most well-known plants. Heuchera Americana is a little plant, often growing to a height and width of 2 feet. A cluster of heart-shaped, lobed, green leaves that range in size from 3 to 5 inches is present near the plant’s base. This evergreen perennial American alumroot has roots that are fibrous and a mounded rosette of colourful foliage. The lobed semi-palmate colours of green, purple, or brown leaves arise in a tight spiral from a small central crown or caudex.

This plant blooms for many weeks in the late spring or the beginning of summer on lengthy slender stems 18 to 24 inches above the foliage. Individual florets are approximately 1/8″ long and have a greenish, creamy, or pinkish tint. They have bell-shaped stamens that are extended. After flowering, small capsules containing tiny lustrous seeds form. The flower and fruit arrangements aren’t always stunning, but they do give a light airy texture.

Care For Heuchera americana


Heuchera americana thrive in partial sunlight, but avoid the scorching afternoon heat as the foliage will frequently fade, wilt, or scorch. Alternately, provide shade during the hottest parts of the day or locate your plant so that it will always receive full or filtered shade. Southern gardeners should select a place that receives early sun and afternoon shade, whereas Northern gardeners may choose to plant in an area with more direct sun. Borders, boundaries, sidewalks, and patio pots make excellent placements.


Once established, the american alumroot requires very little water because it is drought-resistant in general. In the autumn and winter, your american alumroot most likely won’t require watering. However, it is crucial to give your plants more frequent waterings during summer dry spells. A week’s worth of about 2.5 cm of water ought to be adequate. Water the plant’s base in the morning to prevent the foliage from becoming scorched by the sun. You should examine the soil frequently and change the watering schedule as necessary because plants in pots will need a little bit more water.


American heucheras need soil that drains properly. If you’ve had issues with these plants in the past, it’s likely because you attempted to grow them in soil that was either too damp or clay-rich. Plant in raised beds, on a berm, or in containers to remedy that problem. Even modest mounding of the soil where you put them can assist. A high-quality organic planting compost will offer sufficient moisture and adequate drainage.


During the growing season, fertilise your plants with a water-soluble fertiliser once every two to three weeks. After September 1st, stop feeding your plants so they can harden off for the winter dormancy. When springtime growth begins, you can start fertilising again.

Propagating Heuchera americana

Most frequently, root clumps from Heuchera americana are divided to create new plants. The division can be done in the autumn or the spring, however many gardeners like the autumn. It is simple to carefully dig up and replace the little offsets that Heuchera plants frequently generate around the main plant. The divisions’ root crowns should be put such that the dirt barely covers them. Due to the relatively short lifespan of heuchera plants, this division should be performed every three to four years to keep them from going extinct. Grow mature plants by division:

In the spring or autumn, use a shovel to remove the entire root clump. The root clump should be divided into sections, each with a number of growing shoots. The fibrous middle section can be thrown away. Replant the divisions on freshly prepared planting areas, lightly covering the root crowns with peat moss or compost.

Heuchera Americana Seed Growing Instructions

Heuchera Americana can be grown from seed, however if you harvest the seeds from hybrid plants, the outcome might be unpredictable. Commercial seeds will yield more consistent outcomes. It is advisable to start with pure species plants rather than nursery hybrids if you want to reproduce plants by collecting seeds. The simplest places to buy pure species are specialised nurseries or online merchants.

In late autumn or early spring, scatter the seed on the soil’s surface. Be careful not to cover the seed because it needs light to sprout. Additionally, you can start seeds indoors a few months prior to transplanting. It takes two to eight weeks for seeds to sprout. After the seedlings have been established, harden them off for ten days before transferring them outside once all danger of frost has passed. After the risk of frost has passed, you can plant that have been grown in containers at any time. Aside from some relief from the intense heat and rich, well-draining soil, they shouldn’t need much more than to be well-watered during their first year.

Typical Pests & Plant Illnesses

Coral bells are typically a low-maintenance plant, however they are susceptible to a number of fungi, such as powdery mildew, rust, and bacterial leaf spot. Weevils and foliar nematodes are two examples of potential insect issues. In the late summer or early autumn, the larvae of the black vine weevil can burrow into coral bells’ crowns and roots, causing the plants to wilt and droop. You should be able to see the plant’s larvae so you may manually remove and eradicate them. If the infestation persists, spray your plants with neem oil or a mild insecticide.

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