From the attractive perennial with the bell-shaped flowers, numerous new hybrid varieties with new leaf and flower colors have emerged from new breeds in recent years. The robust plants can be used in a variety of ways in your own garden and also enchant terraces and balconies in colorful oases in pots. The different varieties of purple bells make it possible to plant different locations in the garden with the ground-covering, perennial plants.

location and soil conditions

Almost every variety of Heuchera makes its own demands on the location. If planted in full sun, for example, purple bells with orange and yellow foliage will develop discoloration on the leaves. To avoid this, you should choose a partially shaded location for these varieties. However, plants with red foliage should get as much sun as possible, otherwise the leaves will turn green. Leaves that have changed color do not recover, only the new leaves show their original color again when they are planted in the right place. However, avoid locations in the shade, because if there is a lack of light, the perennial hardly produces any flowers and growth also suffers as a result.

The soil should be permeable and nutrient-rich for all purple bell varieties. Even if the delicate-looking plants do not tolerate waterlogging, the substrate should always be moderately moist. If necessary, mix small amounts of clay under the soil. In addition, pebbles in the substrate ensure that excess moisture can still drain away quickly.

fertilizing and watering

When it comes to “fertilizing”, the Heuchera is considered to be extremely frugal. In spring and late summer it is sufficient if you mulch the soil and at the same time work in larger amounts of compost directly. There is no additional supply of nutrients in the remaining time, as otherwise over-fertilization can quickly occur. If you don’t have compost on hand, you can use slow-release fertilizer in the spring instead. The only exception here are potted plants, which should be fertilized regularly with a liquid fertilizer.

Water the purple bells regularly, but with a small amount of water. The top layer of substrate should be noticeably dry before you pour more water. The perennials are sensitive to waterlogging, but do not tolerate prolonged drought. If you water in the early morning or late afternoon in summer, you reduce the amount of evaporation. In this way, more moisture reaches the roots of the ornamental plants. Even on frost-free days in winter you can provide the semi-evergreen plants with lukewarm, lime-free water.


Like almost all perennials, the Heuchera can also be propagated by root division. This step is done in spring or fall, preferably around the time you are adding fresh nutrients to the substrate. Select older, well-developed saxifrage plants for this. Spades or axes have proven to be very useful tools. Divide the perennial into equal parts and plant them immediately in the desired location.

Seeds from specialist shops can also be sown from around February. Use a shallow planter with lean potting soil. Cover the seeds of the purple bells only slightly with the substrate and moisten it extensively with a water sprayer.

Place the planter in a light, airy spot and keep the soil constantly moist. It can take up to 3 weeks for the first shoot tips to appear. From a size of about 15 centimeters, you should move the young purple bells outdoors.

Basal cuttings have also proven themselves for propagating the varied ornamental perennials. These are grown directly from shoots of the mother perennial in the spring. Cut cuttings about 15 centimeters long from the base shoot and put them in potting soil. To speed up the formation of the roots, you can use transparent foil to increase the humidity. Root formation takes about 4 to 6 weeks.

Note: Prevent leaf damage by slowly acclimating the young plants to prolonged exposure to the sun.


The clump-forming plants are suitable for edging borders and raised beds. But purple bells also come into their own in pots or as underplanting for tall trees. However, the saxifrage plants only develop their full splendor when they are planted in groups. Combine the ornamental perennials with other plants, such as lady’s mantle and gypsophila. Before you start planting, you should choose the right location for the purple bells. Here’s what you need to successfully cultivate perennial Heuchera in your own garden:

  • Compost
  • pebbles
  • tool

The planting hole should be 1/3 larger than the roots of the perennial. Mix the pebbles and compost with the excavated soil. The plant is covered with the substrate up to the root collar, which is then poured on firmly. If you plant several purple bells at the same time, you should keep a minimum distance of about 30 centimeters between the plants. Due to the bushy shoots, the Heuchera form a ground-covering, cushion-like carpet. If you want to speed up this process, you can plant up to 5 perennials per square meter. Be patient, because the flowering splendor of the semi-evergreen plant is only formed in the second year.

Cultivation in tubs

The frugal plant can also be easily kept in planters on the balcony or terrace. Lay a drainage layer of lava grit at the bottom of the bucket and fill it with humus-rich garden soil. You should also pay attention to the right location for purple bells in planters, avoid places that are too dark. Water and fertilize regularly, because unlike outdoors, the roots of the plant are limited to the nutrients in the bucket. On particularly hot summer days, you should check the substrate regularly and, if necessary, water the perennial twice a day.

To cut

Depending on the variety, purple bells can reach a height of between 40 and 75 centimeters. The perennial from the saxifrage family is extremely easy to cultivate, which is also reflected in the topic of “cutting”. Remove dead leaves in spring and wilted inflorescences immediately after flowering in August. In February, before the plant sprout, you can cut back about 10 centimeters. This promotes a bushy shoot by stimulating the plant to form new shoots. A pair of sharp pruning shears is all you need to trim the ornamental plant. Thoroughly clean the tool before and after work to avoid spreading fungal pathogens to other plants.

Idea: The flower panicles of the purple bells can also be used as a decorative vase decoration.


Cultivated outdoors, the perennials can withstand temperatures down to -20°C in winter. If you live in hardy regions or keep purple bells in tubs, you should still protect the plants in the cold season. In the garden you can cover the ground around the Heuchera with a thick layer of compost. By slowly decomposing this material, you not only protect the plant roots. At the same time, they provide the plant with important nutrients for the coming spring. The container of potted plants, on the other hand, is wrapped with a special fleece or burlap. Avoid storing them in a frost-proof room, as this measure can cause growth damage and diseases in the perennials.


The plant with the delicate flowers is now available in numerous and varied growth forms thanks to various breeds. The flower and leaf color of the popular ornamental perennials vary in particular. The number of hybrid varieties is large and the selection and range of the same is constantly growing thanks to experienced gardeners. Whether in full sun or semi-shade, there is a suitable Heuchera species for every spot in your garden:

  • Blackberry Jam – This plant features dark purple leaves and a light pink pattern. This perennial grows short and extremely compact. A light place in the semi-shade is necessary to preserve the leaf color and pattern.
  • Rio – The red foliage of this variety sets colorful accents in your own garden. However, the color of the leaves varies depending on the season, ranging from brownish to yellow. Requires a full sun location. Blooms into autumn.
  • Marmalade – This perennial also presents itself with extremely colorful leaves. The foliage of the Heuchera variety shines in shades of purple and green. The growth height is about 30 centimeters, ideal for semi-shady planting sites.
Tip: The naming of the new varieties varies. Let yourself be inspired by what the specialist markets have to offer and combine different colored Heuchera species with one another.

diseases and pests

With the right care and the ideal location, you strengthen the resilience of the perennial. Nevertheless, it can happen from time to time that the robust plants are attacked by fungal pathogens and harmful insects. In order to curb the spread and to protect the affected plant from consequential damage, you should immediately initiate effective control measures.

  • Weevil Larvae – The offspring of some species of weevils prefer the soft tissues of plants. They can massively infest the stems and roots of the purple bells within a very short time. Progressive feeding first leads to atrophy of the entire perennial, which slowly dies as a result. Nematodes are among the natural predators of weevil larvae. If you cannot decimate the larvae population with these nematodes either, you have to dispose of the entire plant with the household waste.
  • spider mites– The insects, which belong to the arachnids, feed on the nutrient-rich cell sap of the host plant. With the help of their mouthparts, they suck and pierce openings in the plant tissue. As a result, silver-colored sprinkles appear on the upper side of the leaves over time. Rolled up and dried-up shoot tips are also a visible indication of the pests, as are the fine webs of the animals. You can make these visible with a water sprayer. Ladybugs, lacewing larvae and parasitic wasps are efficient partners when it comes to getting rid of the unwelcome tenants of your Heuchera. However, spider mites are also extremely sensitive to increased humidity. Spray the entire perennial with water and then wrap it in transparent foil. Repeat the process several times
  • Root rot – If a strong odor emanates from the substrate and the plant is visibly struggling, this is an indication of root rot. The disease is caused by a fungal pathogen that attacks the roots that have been weakened by waterlogging. There is no effective antidote to root rot. If the infestation is not very advanced, the perennial can often regenerate itself by moving it to dry substrate. Avoid waterlogging by using the right water supply and drainage made of pebbles or lava grit.

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