Plants in containers look more exquisite than in the ground. Besides, you can always quickly move them to a more suitable place.
You can plant heuchera in a pot without any problems. Use a pot a few inches larger than root system. The potting soil should be well-drained and nutritious.
Below you will learn more about how to plant and care for potted Coral Bells. Also, be sure to read the complete heuchera maintenance guide.
The first thing you need to take care of before planting is the pots. Use pots 2-3 inches larger than the root ball. Pots that are too big can cause root rot and pots that are too small have no room for the roots to grow.
Containers should have at least 4 drainage holes. You can also use self-watering containers. In this case, you will have to water much less often.
Plant Coral Bells in the spring or early fall. This will make it much easier for the plant to survive the shock. If planted in summer in the heat, the leaves may droop.
Position the shrub so that the stem is not too submerged in the ground. Fill all free space with soil. There should be a gap of at least 1-2 inches between the edge of the container and the soil level in the pot to keep water from leaking over the top.
After planting, water the heuchera generously and place it in full shade for a few weeks. During this time the plant will put down roots and can be moved to its desired location.
The soil is better to use well-drained and with sufficient nutrients. In poor clay soil, heuchera will develop more slowly and may lose its roots.
You can use an already prepared potting multi-purpose substrate. Or take ordinary garden soil and mix it halfway with a soil conditioner or compost.
Always use products from a quality manufacturer. Avoid using non-decomposed compost or plant debris.
Also, make sure the soil has a pH of 5.5-7.0. This can be done with a special kit. In highly acidic or highly alkaline soil, Coral Bells may not absorb minerals well and the leaves will turn yellow. Use sulfate to make the soil more acidic and garden lime to make it more alkaline.
The best sunny exposure for potted heuchera is the semi-shade. This means that the plants should get several hours of direct sun a day. In this case, their color will be more intense.
The darker colored varieties tolerate the sun well and can grow in a spot with six hours of direct sun. Lighter varieties (green, yellow) are much more sensitive to direct sun. They can only tolerate mild morning sun for about 2 hours.
There are successful examples of these plants growing in full sun all day. But it all depends on the climate and the number of sunny days.
You are better off experimenting and gradually increasing the amount of sun. So you find the maximum threshold that your plants can tolerate.
An indicator of the excess sun will be the appearance of brown spots (burns) on the leaves. If this happens, move the plant to a place with less light.
The heuchera needs more water in the pot than if it were growing in the ground. This is because the pot gets hot from the sun and the soil dries out much faster.
Water a potted Coral Bells as soon as the soil is about 1 inch dry. Use so much water that it soaks up all the soil and the excess comes out through the drainage holes.
Also, mulch pine bark over the potting soil. This will prevent the substrate from drying out quickly. Place the pot on a surface that is not very hot and cools down quickly.
Avoid watering too often as this can lead to root rot. As a result, you will have to pre-root the plant.
Coral Bells have a moderate appetite and can grow in relatively poor mediums. But if you want to get a lush bush faster then you need to fertilize it a little. Also, there is less soil in the pot than in the garden, so fewer minerals.
The first good fertilizer is compost. You should use it when planting. Then every two years you will need to apply it, just transplant the plant into a fresh mixture of soil and compost. When transplanting, use a slightly larger pot.
The second type of nutrient is a slow-release mineral fertilizer. A multi-purpose one with approximately equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is a good choice.
One fertilizer per year in early spring is usually enough for the plant to thrive all season. Always follow the directions on the label and do not exceed the recommended amount of fertilizer. Also, avoid fertilizing in the fall and winter.
Heuchera can spend the winter in a pot without any problems. In fact, it is a very hardy plant and can tolerate very low temperatures.
To make the plant more comfortable in winter, move it to a cozier location. This could be behind the house or something similar. You have to make sure that the plant does not get too much sunlight and there is not a lot of wind.
You don’t need to cover it up and you don’t need to take it indoors. Don’t put it in a place where water will drip onto it, such as a roof.
If the winter is not too cold and dry, you should water the plant. Do this when the soil is about 3 to 4 inches dry.
Read more: How Do You Overwinter Potted Coral Bells?