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disappointed with heuchera colours

(15 Posts)
Lorelei76 Fri 19-Aug-16 16:52:20

hi all
I ordered a couple of these for the balcony as per the thread about plants that will cope out there

I'm disappointed with the colours. I won't name the website because it's probably me but I chose what should have been an orange and a dark burgundy.

the orange one doesn't look how I thought but the leaves around the edges of the plant are much more reflective of the photo, so I guess at some point it all becomes that colour? Is this a time of year thing?

after I placed the order, some arrived in Homebase - they also all look very similar in colour but I didn't look at the labels because mine were en route anyway.

anyhoo, I had a quick google and it certainly seems normal but it's a shame they are so similar! But there's talk on online forums of purple ones going brown etc. Oh well. It has perked up the balcony, it's just it seems a waste as I could have had another colour.

JT05 Fri 19-Aug-16 18:09:44

What a shame, would it be possible to squeeze one with a contrasting colour between them? I have never been impressed with plants sent through the mail.

Lorelei76 Fri 19-Aug-16 18:18:19

well, they are next to green plants so they do look nice, it's just I'm surprised there isn't a bigger difference in colour.

that said, I just remembered - sorry! - I did see one label in Homebase that was meant to be the cherry cola one and it didn't look like it at all.

the ones in Homebase looked very sorry for themselves as well - these have arrived in great condition, very well packed and supported and with plant rod support things which will be very useful. I suppose the photos will show them at whatever the height of their main colour is.

Also I think the Homebase ones were pricier. I did end up buying 2l btw because I just wanted to brighten up the balcony immediately.

Lorelei76 Fri 19-Aug-16 18:22:02

sorry, I should have titled this "biggest first world problem ever" grin

Ferguson Fri 19-Aug-16 21:41:15

I think, at this time of year, with light levels starting to drop, that Heuchera (and probably lots of other plants) are in decline. I planted three new ones my wife gave me last September, and they have performed OK, but each is different and all have produced flowers:

a yellow one is starting to get brown edges to the leaves;

a mottled one called Tapestry is still maintaining much of its colour;

and Binoche, a purple/black one is huge, with masses of flowers, the central spike being about 4ft tall. It may be ripe for dividing at some stage, but I won't hurry that, and will just enjoy it for now!

A couple that previously were planted in an unsuitable place, when I divided them (getting 6 or 8 plants from each) and moved them into better soil, are thriving. One, called Ebony and Ivory also has masses of flowers.

So I think if the plants are 'happy' they will do all right!

Ferguson Fri 19-Aug-16 21:42:35


shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 09:23:40

Sorry, I'm not clear what the problem is. Is it:

1. You've chosen really vivid shades of heuchera - like and the plants aren't the colours they ought to be?


2. You've chosen heuchera a bit randomly and the plants aren't as bright as other varieties?

If 1. then give them a bit more time (as Ferguson so wisely says, it could be the time of year or the change in light level - they tend to go more vivid in autumn), but if they are clearly wrong, maybe write to the nursery. It's possible you've been supplied with the wrong plants. This happens sometimes.

If 2. then I'm afraid it's sort of a little bit your fault, and you may just need to replace them with more vivid shades. There is huge variation in heuchera colour, so do have a careful look! However, don't rush into this - it is quite possible that they just need a bit of time!

GeorgeTheThird Mon 22-Aug-16 09:30:59

I only bought heuchera this year and know very little about them. But I can say that the old leaves on mine are a different colour from the new leaves (which are lighter, mine are dark red ones). If that's any help at all.

Lorelei76 Mon 22-Aug-16 19:32:26

I don't think it's their fault for a minute. I honestly didn't know heuchera could change colour, it was suggested here as a colourful evergreen so I stupidly thought it stayed one colour all year round. I can see from looking online that I'm not the only person who thought that so that makes me feel better.

If you take the most extreme colour of leaf from each plant they are completely different so I guess at some stage they will be the colours I was expecting.

shovetheholly Tue 23-Aug-16 07:42:36

Where I am, they go very vivid in autumn then fade quite a lot in winter - they lose leaves and look quite tatty for a while, then spring back into life the next season. They just get battered by the cold and wet I think.

I suspect they can vary quite a lot within a named variety as well. I have two that were sold as 'palace purple'. One is actually purple, the other is more brown. They are next to each other and subject to near-identical conditions. Either one has been sold to me as the 'wrong' variety, or there is really quite a lot of variation!! (Looking at google images, I suspect the latter). Would be interested to hear from those who grow these a lot which it might be...

I hope they come right for you in the next few weeks! fingers crossed.

prettywhiteguitar Tue 23-Aug-16 07:45:38

Can you post a photo ?

Lorelei76 Tue 23-Aug-16 09:16:10

Holly "Where I am, they go very vivid in autumn then fade quite a lot in winter - they lose leaves and look quite tatty for a while, then spring back into life the next season. They just get battered by the cold and wet I think"

I must be thick because that's not how I thought an evergreen plant would be?!

Yes, my reading also showed that the colours are varying a lot within what's apparently the same colour.

shovetheholly Tue 23-Aug-16 11:11:47

I think of is as a kind of spectrum between evergreen and deciduous, rather than as two points if that makes sense.

A lot of plants, including heuchera, are really semi-evergreen. Some geraniums, for instance. They don't retreat completely underground over the winter, but they stop growing and look a bit tatty for a while before springing back to life in the spring. Eurphorbia purpurea is another that often looks a teeny bit sorry for itself over winter.

Even with plants that are more robustly evergreen, there is sometimes a change of colour in the winter season (privet does this).

Lorelei76 Fri 26-Aug-16 20:34:24

Well after a week of sun, they are now two very different colours from each other, which is great. Also seem to have done well on price as local Homebase has these for £10, I got mine for £6.

CuttedUpPear Sat 27-Aug-16 13:58:35

Heucheras seem to be one of those plants that get endlessly rebred and rebranded with enticing new named varieties going on the market every few months.
I really think that lots of them haven't been around long enough to be trialled for reliability.

Go for the RHS recommended varieties of in doubt.

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