The medium in which the plant grows has a great influence on its development and appearance. Mistakes in this matter can lead to unintended consequences.
A well-drained and nutritious soil is best for Coral Bells. Also heucheras like a slightly acidic or neutral substrate.
If the soil in your garden does not meet these recommendations, you need to improve it. To do this, add 1-2 buckets of soil improver to the planting hole before planting and mix well with the native soil.
Soil conditioner or compost works best as a soil improver. You can also get a good result using peat.
The main thing is that these products should be free from diseases and pests. It is best to use ingredients from well-known and reliable manufacturers.
To learn the ins and outs of growing these plants, be sure to read the Heuchera Care Guide.
Most soils are clay which is not the best substrate for Coral Bells. If you have a substrate like this, you definitely need to amend it. You can do this by adding organic matter.
Before planting, dig a hole three times larger than the roots and mix that soil with 2 or more buckets of soil conditioner (or compost, peat, etc.). Such a soil mixture will hold the optimum amount of water and will be well-drained.
It will also make it easier for the roots to spread and the organic matter will serve as a great fertilizer.
Put half a bucket of stones in the bottom of the hole. This is to make sure that excess water penetrates deeper than the root system.
Place the bush in the hole without deepening the stem into the ground. Backfill all the spacers and water the plant. The heuchera will feel comfortable in these conditions for years to come.
Read more: Will Heuchera Grow In Clay Soil?
Sandy soils are less common, but it still meets. Such soil is good because it does not stagnate in water. But it is also a disadvantage because in hot weather it dries out quickly and the plant suffers from dehydration.
Also, sandy soil is poor in nutrients. Although heuchera does not need much fertilizer it is better for the soil to be at least a little nutritious.
To achieve this you have to do the same as with clay soil. That is, add organic matter. This will allow the soil to stay wet a little longer and make it more nutritious.
Just add 1-2 buckets of compost to the planting hole. It is not necessary to do drainage in sandy soil.
Coral Bells like slightly acidic or neutral soil, i.e., soil pH 5.5-7.0. In such soil, the plant is able to extract everything it needs and grow normally.
Most soils are neutral so you do not have to worry about this. If your heuchera grows poorly and has yellowing leaves, this can mean that the soil is not suitable.
To fix the situation buy a soil pH test kit. You can get one online or at a garden center. Determine the acidity of your soil.
In too acidic a soil (pH<5.5) the plant is not able to take up phosphorus and the leaves will look yellowish or pale as a result. If this is the case, you need to add some garden lime to make it less acidic. You can buy this product in garden stores.
If your substrate is too alkaline (pH>7.0) the plant will not be able to assimilate the nitrogen. As a result, the leaves will turn yellow but the veins will stay green. To make the soil less alkaline, add sulfate (acidifier), which is also commercially available.
Read more: Are Heuchera Acid Loving Plants?
You can use multipurpose potting soil for potting. Make sure that it has the right pH. Also, give preference to a well-known manufacturer with a good reputation.
Or you can go the other way and make your own potting soil. Take one part of ordinary garden soil and mix it with one part of the compost. Also, add some perlite. That’s it, the substrate is ready.
Always use pots with drainage holes (at least 4). You can put flat stones on the holes to prevent the soil from washing out. Don’t worry, the holes will still draw out the excess water.
Mulch the surface of the potting soil with compost or pine bark to prevent it from drying out quickly.