Sometimes you just want some easy bright colour to jazz up a doorstep or a patio, right near a window where you can see it from indoors, or where the postman can admire your handiwork! Famous for their reliable foliage, heucheras fit the bill in so many ways – they sit tight hardily over winter, are evergreen and come in an eye-popping array of zesty shades.
They’re everywhere in garden centres, tempting you with their ‘summery’ colours – they can also inject a slice of colour into lacklustre autumn borders too. This might be the best idea if you’ve ever had vine weevil in heuchera-filled containers, and can’t face the prospect of losing more plants to them! It can be disheartening to discover heuchera roots gnawed away and no plant left to speak of.
Heucheras have fine roots so weevil grubs feast on them easily, and prefer containerised plants – keep checking your plants for signs such as sudden wilting and weak growth. Rooting around gently in the plants’ soil may uncover the obvious C-shaped grubs, too. There’s still just time, if your pot’s compost is still warm enough at around 5C, to water on a drench of Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer, available from all good garden centres, which will prevent grub damage and therefore halt the next generation of adults too.
Heucheras, tiarellas and heucherellas (hybrids of the two genus) are all similar members of the saxifrage family, with low-growing foliage and zingy, foamy flowers each summer.