Heucheras and Tiarellas


Heucheras and tiarellas are small, evergreen, perennial plants that are simply a delight in any garden. Grown mainly for their neat little bundle of decorative leaves heucheras and tiarellas are great for borders, rockeries or mass planted under trees and shrubs. They’re also well suited to pots and can even be grown as an indoor plant.

Heucheras and tiarellas are sometimes called coral bells and are native to North America where there are more than 65 species that feature an incredible array of leaf colours, patterns and shapes.  The main difference between the two is that tiarellas have more heartshaped leaves which are predominantly green with coloured markings, while heucheras have leaves that are ruffled and more colourful. The flowers also differ slightly as tiarellas are more star shaped and are usually on taller stems.  Hybrids between the two are common and are known a heucherellas.

Regardless of the type they are all easy to grow and are hardy, adaptable plants. You’ll find they will grow in hot, humid situations as well as cool climates and are so beautiful you’ll be hooked in no time!

How To Grow Heucheras and Tiarellas
Heucheras and tiarellas are frost hardy and can grow in a range of positions from full sun to part or full shade. Check the label of the plant you’ve purchased as it will vary from plant to plant. However you can’t go wrong with planting any of them in either dappled shade under trees and shrubs or in a spot which gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Any that are planted in all day sun will need to be kept moist during hot, dry periods. In shadier positions they will handle a little bit of drying out once established.

They will grow in most soil types but perform best in rich, free-draining soils so add plenty of organic matter before planting eg compost and bulky aged manures. The added organic matter will also help with moisture retention and keep them happier for longer. In clay soils add gypsum to help improve drainage.

Plant your plant and water in with OCP eco-seaweed to help it establish faster. Apply an organic mulch around the soil to suppress weeds and maintain moisture.

If growing indoors then pot them up into a slightly larger sized pot using a premium quality potting mix. Water in with eco-seaweed and position in a bright spot.

Maintenance and Fertilising Heucheras and Tiarellas
Every 2-3 weeks mix OCP eco-seaweed and OCP eco-aminogro together and apply either over the foliage or direct to the soil. Deadhead spent flowers (this will encourage extra flowering) and pull off any dead or tatty leaves. Each spring top up the compost and mulch around the base of the plant and add some pelleted organic fertiliser. Pretty simple really.

Plants can be divided every 2-3 years in autumn or late winter if they become congested. This will be more noticeable with an indoor potted plant than those growing in a garden bed.

Pests and Diseases of Heucheras and Tiarellas
Heucheras are tough little guys that aren’t bothered by many pests and diseases. However watch out for the following:

  • Mealybugs - if these pests appear then treat with a couple of thorough sprays of OCP eco-oil or OCP eco-neem.
  • Powdery mildew – if this disease appears try increasing the air circulation around the plant and avoid wetting leaves when watering. Regular applications of OCP eco-seaweed and OCP eco-aminogro will also build strong healthy plants with more disease resistance. If the infection continues then spray with an organic fungicide.