Growing Heucheras from Seed – Seedling Update!

Growing Heucheras from Seed – Seedling Update!

With all the nasty but necessary weather we’ve been having lately it’s been hard to get out in the garden to work. What’s a gardener to do? Talk about the seedlings growing inside! Today I’m going to give you an update on growing heucheras from seed. The largest of the bunch is still tiny but I’m definitely happy with their progress. Some plants can be very challenging to start from seed, but I can tell you without a doubt that heucheras (or Coral Bells) can’t be categorized in this way. They are easy to raise from seed. They may not grow to be exactly like the parent plant but that’s what makes gardening interesting, the variation.

growing heucheras from seedIn this first picture I have six seedlings in a reused yogurt cup. (Ok you can barely see number six but he is growing!) As I’ve mentioned before I like to reuse materials for planting purposes and this yogurt cup has done an adequate job for these heucheras. In the second picture I have three more heuchera seedlings.

Steps for Growing Heucheras from Seed

How easy is it to grow heuchera from seed really?  Let’s review the steps.

(If you are collecting seeds from your garden here is one way to separate heuchera seeds.)

  1. Fill the container with soil. A good seed starting mix is probably ideal but I just used regular potting soil.
  2. Dampen the soil before putting seeds inside.
  3. Sprinkle the tiny (very tiny) seeds into the soil. Note: Because heuchera seeds are so small I did not cover the seeds with soil.
  4. Wet the soil and wait. I kept the soil moist but not soggy and the seedlings grew happily. Try covering the seeds with clear plastic wrap until germination begins then remove the covering.

Once the seedlings grow a couple good leaves they can be transplanted carefully into their own pots. The first leaves that come up, called cotyledons, don’t look like heuchera leaves.  They are rounded and could look like many other seedling leaves.  I’ll be transplanting these seedlings later this week.

I have no clue what these heuchera seedlings will eventually look like. Only a few varieties of heucheras grow true to seed like ‘Palace Purple’. I collected the seed from our corner shade garden heucheras where we have several varieties and I didn’t separate the seeds by their variety. I would love to see a unique variations in the foliage appear as a result of this mixture. If not that’s OK too, I just acquired 9 more heuchera plants for free!  I like that price.

Dave

Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Good Morning Dave ! .. they look very happy in their container. I am a fan of Heuchera so I say “More Heuchera !!” all the time .. your babies will be very pretty I am sure : )

  2. Dave, Did you post on collecting the seeds? I would like to try that with Autumn Bride this fall…She’s a beauty and I think would love your garden…I can share seeds with you. gail

  3. I grew some Heuchera from seed last year. They were named variety but none of them looked the same as each other so it seems the only way to get a duplicate plant is to divide it. I lost quite a few I had in pots over the winter as it was so wet I think the roots just rotted

  4. Joy,

    I’m a big fan too as you can see! Great foliage and cool flowers, what more can you ask for?

    Gail,

    I think I mentioned collecting seeds but I don’t remember if I mentioned heuchera. I would love to try the Autumn Bride. It might not breed true but it’s still worth doing!

    Patientgardener,

    The only one I know for sure that breeds true is the ‘Palace Purple’. There are probably others but most of them end up being different. Most of what we buy in nurseries are propagated through divisions or basal leaf cuttings. You have to get a piece of the root crown in order to grow more leaves. I love experimenting and seeing the result so growing them from seed is all in fun!

  5. It is exciting when the seeds begin to sprout! I love collecting my seeds and sowing them the next year for more “Free” plants, I like that price too.

  6. I can’t imagine collecting heuchera seeds Dave.Good job! Free plants are always a bonus. I wonder if the heucheras will self seed in the garden? Do you know? I’ve not seen any in my garden but not sure why not.

  7. They look great. I don’t know why but I can’t get these plants to do well in my garden.

  8. I could very easily become a heuchera horder. I love them! And they go so nicely with hosta.

  9. Darla,

    Free is a price I think everyone can agree on!

    Tina,

    It seems like they should self seed as long as the flower stalks were not cut off too early. I left mine hanging around for a while then collected the seed. If you rub the dried flower heads between your hands the tiny little black seed will fall out all over. each head has quite a few seeds in them.

    Phillip,

    They do great here. Part sun/shade is ideal I think.

    TC,

    Go for it! I’m collecting as many as I can. They stay colorful even in the winter, that’s very important here in TN!

  10. I am amazed. I’m also impressed. Okay, that does it! I’m going to harvest a LOT more seeds next fall. 🙂 Good going! Hope you post on these little fellows later.

  11. I too reuse the butter cups and jam cups and they serve as wonderful seed-starters. Good luck with your heucheras. Happy Gardening!

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