Sometimes it can be quite difficult to adhere to all the necessary requirements for growing plants. As a result, the plants can suffer a lot. We are going to talk about one of these problems today.
You can overwater Coral Bells if you water too much or use the wrong soil. To fix this take cuttings from the bush and re-root them. Also, use well-drained soil.
Next, I will go into more detail about all the nuances of overwatering and what to do about it. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the article How to successfully cultivate Heuchera.
Why did this happen?
In most cases, overwatering happens because of scheduled watering. Very often you see recommendations like Coral Bells should be watered once a week. But this is not true if for example it has rained during the week and the ground is wet, you don’t need to water at all.
The second reason is too much water. If you water the heuchera more than 2 gallons of water every time, the ground will get too wet and the roots will start to rot.
In clay soil, overwatering is common because such soil can hold a lot of water. If it rains for several weeks, it can be enough for the roots to suffer. Drainage should be used to avoid this.
Very often plants are planted close to the house. As a result, rainwater from the roof can wet the soil near the roots too much. This will be fatal for the heuchera.
If you are growing your plants in pots, the first cause of overwatering may be a lack of drainage holes. Also, if you transplant it into a much larger container than the previous one, the roots can get surrounded by too much moist soil and start to rot.
Signs of overwatering
The first noticeable sign of overwatering is the leaves turning brown. Overwatering causes the roots not to work properly and the leaves not to get enough water.
First, the edge of the leaf turns brown, then it spreads to the whole leaf. Usually, the lower leaves are the first to start changing color. After a while, it spreads to the upper leaves.
The second symptom is leaf petioles drooping. In this case, the roots have stopped working at all and there is very little internal pressure. The leaf petioles bend toward the ground under the weight of the leaves.
And the third symptom is the collapse of the stem base. In this case, the root rot has already turned into stem rot. The stem has been damaged in the lower part and has fallen to the ground with all the leaves. You can also smell the unpleasant smell of rot.
How to fix it?
If the soil around Coral Bells has been wet for a long time and there is a brown edge on the leaves, you need to dig the plant out. Clean the roots of the dirt and wash them with water.
Check the plant for rot on the stem and roots. If rot is present, clean it off with a sharp knife or cut off any rotten parts.
Next, dilute 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a cup of water and wash the wounds with this solution. Take crushed activated charcoal or wood ash and powder all wounds.
Put the heuchera in a new pot of proper size and make sure it has drainage holes. Use sterile potting soil. Put the plant in full shade and do not repot it until it has fully regenerated.
If the roots are completely rotted and the rot has spread to the stem, there is nothing to do but take cuttings. Cut off the parts of the stem that are not rotten and immerse them in clean seedling soil.
Place them in full shade and wait until they have formed a complete root system. Then they can be planted permanently.
How to avoid overwatering
To avoid overwatering in the future, you need to use well-drained soil. Transplant Coral Bells into a mixture of garden soil and organic matter (compost, soil conditioner, etc.). The amount of organic matter should be about 1 bucket per bush.
Water only when the soil is 2 inches dry. The moisture of the soil is easiest to check with a finger test. When watering, use about 1 gallon of water for each plant.
If you have a high water table on your property, use drainage. Pour half a bucket of rocks into the planting hole, sprinkle some soil over them, and then plant the heuchera.
Don’t plant where there is excess water. I mean close to the house where there can be rainwater from the roof or near a pond, etc.
Always use pots with bottom drainage and no saucers.
Read more: How Much Should I Water Coral Bells?