I have some seed grown heucheras that are about 2 years old and would like to move and possibly divide several of them. How do you divide them, and is this a good or bad time to do it?
I can't speak specifically for heucheras, and I'll let the experts weigh in on the final decision as gardening is fairly new to me, but I've found that I have better luck moving perennials now as opposed to later in the season when they have more outgrowth. I don't know how this 'rule' will apply to your zone.
Move them as soon as possible so they can settle in while it's still cool. If your heucheras are only two years old, they may be too small to divide. Very small divisions of heuchera, in my experience, don't do well. Heuchera are generally divided after 4-5 years when the center gets woody. Then the whole plant is lifted and strong, healthy outer sections replanted.
They are definitely only 2 years old, since I grew them from seed. Some of them are a nice size, but they aren't getting woody in the center. I won't divide them, then, based on your advice. The ones I want to move are smaller, so I will go ahead this weekend and see how it goes. It has been raining for 5 days straight, so the soil is very wet, but hopefully by the weekend, it will be less soggy.
I've never grown heucheras from seed, but have grown plenty from nursery pots. I prune them almost every year by cutting off the woody stems and replanting those as desired by just shoving them into prepared earth up to the new growth on the end of the stalk. The original plants put out lots of new growth from the base and continue to flourish. I'd time this pruning to coincide with a Spring clean-up of the dead leaves--and the first flush of active growth.
Thanks sammie. I think this weekend should be a good time, since some of my perennials are showing new growth. We still have some cold weather left, but spring is around the corner. I will evaluate the larger plants and experiment on one that isn't a favorite, LOL.
"I prune them almost every year by cutting off the woody stems and replanting those as desired by just shoving them into prepared earth up to the new growth on the end of the stalk."
Sammie, could you go into more detail? IÂm not sure what you are cutting off.
Becky, could not help responding to your post! I have some of your seed-grown heuchera you traded with me last year. IÂm looking forward to seeing it grow! We had a tough winter, most of mine are pretty crispy right now. I imagine some more of the exotic ones will not come back. I hope the seed grown ones will be tougher.
Linnea, I hope they survived for you. Most of mine came through the winter more or less intact, but a few look a little crispy. I wintersowed a bunch more, LOL, I think they are such cute plants.
I love them. They are crispier than normal, so I expect I will lose more. I need to try sowing them!
Sorry for the delay...I guess each heuchera cultivar might look a bit different (some being woodier than others) but, to generalize, in early Spring, I'd expect see a basal clump with thickened, elongated stems bearing last season's leaves and having a tuft of new leaves at the top. If you are cleaning up the plant and cutting off or pulling away a lot of spent leaves, you'll notice that this can expose the bare and woody stem. H. "Palace Purple" was always one of the woodiest that I grew and would make woody stems about 3+ inches long each season. The stems are about as big around as a dime or a bit thicker. I'd cut them off right almost against the base of the plant--just further out than where the first leaf would have been attached--maybe a half an inch away from the crown?. You don't dig up the plant or anything and you try to leave the crown undamaged. Occasionally, you will spot some new or old growth that appears to come directly from ground level--you don't prune this growth--it what you want to encourage. Right after pruning, the plant is going to be pretty non-existant in the garden scheme, but it will grow back.