How to Easily Divide and Propagate Heuchera Plants

If you’re a gardener, you know the value of heuchera. These versatile and attractive perennials can enhance any planting scheme. Luckily, if you already have a mature heuchera in your garden, propagating it is a breeze through division. Not only does division allow you to create new plants, but it also helps reduce overcrowding and keeps your beds and borders healthy and vibrant.

Step-by-Step Guide to Dividing Heuchera

1) Lift the Mature Plant

Over time, heuchera plants can become woody and bedraggled, producing fewer leaves and flowers. To maintain their health and beauty, it’s best to divide them every 3 to 4 years. Start by identifying a plant that needs division or one you wish to propagate. Ease a spade or fork around the edges of the plant and lift it from the soil. Heuchera has shallow roots, so this step should be relatively easy.

red leaves from a heuchera plant covered in raindrops growing from the ground outside

2) Take Divisions

After lifting the plant, locate and pull off several small and vigorous sections from the outer edges. These sections usually separate naturally. Ensure that each division has several roots and at least 2 to 3 healthy shoots.

“Have you ever started to divide a plant and instead of ending up with a nice small plant, with roots and shoots, you’ve been left with a root-less piece of stem?” asks Horticultural Consultant Peter Lickorish. “Don’t panic and also don’t discard it! Basal cuttings, short clusters of young leaves attached to a stem, can be taken from heucheras. Simply dip their tip in rooting powder and place them in compost, in a small pot, to half their depth. The same can be attempted with any accidentally root-free divisions.”

3) Discard the Old Center

If the center of the mature plant has become old and woody, it’s best to discard it. Remove this section and add it to your composting system.

4) Pot Up New Divisions

Take each new section you’ve created and place it into a pot filled with a free-draining potting compost. Ensure the potting mix includes around 25% horticultural grit. Heucheras cannot tolerate waterlogged soil, so be cautious not to leave them in soggy compost, as it may cause rotting.

potted young heuchera plants with green and purple foliage

5) Place in a Suitable Location

Choose a shady and sheltered spot to place your pots. Water them well, especially during hot and dry weather, throughout the summer.

6) Plant Out

In either autumn or the following spring, it’s time to plant out your divisions. Most heucheras prefer a spot with partial or dappled shade and well-drained soil. Peter advises, “When it comes to potting young divisions, never choose a pot that is too much bigger than their root system. You may think you’re being generous, but this often leaves plants sitting in a mass of damp compost and can cause them to rot.”

By following these simple steps, you can easily propagate heuchera plants to expand your garden and keep your existing plants healthy and flourishing. Happy gardening!