Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heucheras: New plants for 2012

New plants coming out are always a hot topic. This is one of the reasons I was excited to be invited to attend the 2011 Independent Garden Center (IGC) trade show in Chicago as a social media representative and tweet about the new products I found interesting at the trade show. I'm going to make a couple of posts on plants and products that I am excited to see coming out.

Heucheras have been pretty unstable in what is shown sold in catalogs and what is reality. The leaves shift in color with almost every passing day. I have a special interest in adding plants that will stay true to their advertised color, size and shape.

Terra Nova Nurseries released a few new varieties that they shared at IGC. They brought 19 new plants for display. The goal for these plants was to showcase improvements over older varieties in performance, crown size, and flowering. Owning a few of the older species, there are many desired changes that I'd like to see in consistency of leaf color and perhaps longevity.

Heuchera 'Pear Crisp' part of the new "Crisp" series.
Photo permission of Terra Nova Nurseries www.terranovanurseries.com.
The groups on display at this trade show were the Heuchera "Crisp" series, a couple of plants from the Heucherella "Falls" series, and the Sedum "Party Hardy" series. Another inclusion was the 'Sun King' Aralia. There are always entertaining names coming for Terra Nova Nurseries. Many names usually instigate a sudden desire for food or drink.

Heuchera 'Delta Dawn'. Photo permission of Terra Nova Nurseries www.terranovanurseries.com.
This new round of plants seemed to really concentrate on bang-for-your-buck type details. Leaf color, shape and texture are shown. Of the new plants, I found the leaf color and patterns to be most interesting in the Heuchera 'Delta Dawn' and 'Electra'. Both plants show the color transition of bright new growth to darker older growth, but all the while maintaining color interest. Heucherella 'Solar Eclipse' has a maroon center with lime green scalloped margins. These leaves really seemed to stand out and had great texture.

Heuchera 'Electra'. Photo permission of Terra Nova Nurseries www.terranovanurseries.com.

I've grown a few Heuchera over the years, nothing compared to a breeder, but have been a bit surprised, sometimes disappointed, at the variability in leaf color over the season. I am amazed that they can be marketed under one particular color or another. With each successive year, this color variation seems to be decreasing and plants are coming closer to maintaining the marketed color that they are sold under. In zone 5b, Huecheras, Heucherellas, Tiarellas not only return but also do so reliably even in our gray, (lately) harsh, snowless winters.
#igc11

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