Heuchera Americana - Perennial

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Heuchera Americana also known as known as Alum Root is one the prettiest plants for the landscape. The alumroot is a perennial, herbaceous plant, traced to the Saxifragaceae family. Heuchera Americana has been found to thrive well in the sheltered stony cliffs along the Atlantic, across to the Carolinas and even extends to the Midwest. The exposed leaves speckled with silver and red-purple lining all year round make it a great appealing ground cover for any type of landscape. Heuchera Americana is a shallow growing plant, with the leaves reaching not reaching more than 12 inches tall. Blooms are generally seen in early June/July and the average height of the plant varies from one to three feet.

Features

Alumroot is an excellent ground cover plant for almost any type of landscape. Heuchera Americana thrives best in well-drained soil. It does not grow well in soil which is water logged or in clay. The plant has proven durable and grows quite well in Zone 4. One great benefit of growing this plant in temperate climates is that it is quite hardy and not prone to damage during cool weather. The plant has leaves all year but flowers are generally seen in late summers. Because the seeds contain both gender organs, the plant is readily pollinated by insects and bees.

Growth

For ideal growth, one needs to have the plant exposed to sunlight, but partial shade will also fine. The soil should be sandy, moist and have good drainage. Even though the Alumroot grows well in soil at neutral pH, it tolerates slightly acidic and basic soils also. Heuchera Americana thrives well when the air is dry and not very humid. Even though the plant does not require a lot of maintenance, one does need to ensure that the soil does not become dry, especially in spring. The plants should be spaced about a one feet apart to avoid congestion and competition for nutrients.

When the Heuchera Americana plant is fully-grown, its leaves do vary slightly in shape and even color. Some leaves may be a light green, whereas others may be dark reddish with silver linings.

Taking care

Once the Alumroot has grown, it really does not need a lot of care. During autumn, one can cut of all the dead flowers/leaves. The plant does not require much trimming as it tends to re-shape its own growth. To allow this perennial to thrive, one does need to supplement the soil with a regular fertilizer at least once or twice during the summer.

Propagation

To start growing the plant from scratch, sow early in spring in a warm environment and fully cover the seeds. If the surrounding is warm, seeds do germinate quite rapidly. Once the seedlings are bulky, they can be planted in their stable locations in late spring. Experts recommend that the best time to plant is early April- May. Once the plant starts to grow, division is best done in late summer.

Miscellaneous

When the alumroot is crushed and dried, the powder is quite caustic and has found some uses as an astringent by individuals who are into alternative health care. There has been a lot written about this plant and its medical benefits. However, all reports about its health benefits are anecdotal and one should not use this plant to generate their own pharmaceutical products.

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Tammy Sons
www.tnnursery.net

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