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Heuchera (americana)

John M. Englert
USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Saxifragaceae
Family Common Name: Saxifrage Family
Scientific Name: Heuchera americana
Common Name: Rock geranium
Species Code: HEUAME
Ecotype: Shenandoah National Park
General Distribution: Connecticut north to Ontario and Michigan, south to Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma. Found in rich woods and on rocky slopes.
Propagation Goal: seeds
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container plug seedling. Height:3-4". Root System: Firm, full plug that fills the container.
Propagule Collection: Collected at Shenandoah National Park vertical slope on rocks, mileposts 100-105 and 5-7 by J Englert on 7/7/92, 7/27/92 and 8/20-21/92.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: None needed-ripe seedheads are cut from plants and seed is shaken from dried seedheads into a paper bag.
Seeds/Kg: Uncounted; seed is extremely small.
Germination: Untested.
Purity: Undetermined.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: None given.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse with alternating day/night temperatures; daytime temperatures varied from 70-85§F during the winter months depending on natural solar; night temperatures averaged around 65-68§F. Plugs were not given supplemental lighting or heat.

Seed Propagation Method: Hand sown into plug trays.

Container Type and Volume: Seeds are sown in 392 plug trays. Seedlings are transplanted to 72 plug trays or Ropak multipots. Transplanted to quarts if held for more than 6 months; however, this plant maintains well in multipot containers for up to eight months if spaced in the container and periodically cut back.

Growing Media: Seed is sown onto germination mix. Seedlings are transplanted into Sunshine #1 or #5 potting mix, amended with 18-6-8,180-day Nutricote SR at 0.15 lb./cu. ft., or 20 oz. per 3.8 cu. ft. bale of potting media.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: Fall or spring.

% Emergence and Date: Not recorded but seedlings were transplanted 30 days after sowing.

Sowing/Planting Technique: Seed is very small and is surface sown over moist germination mix and kept evenly moist under mist until germinated.

Establishment Phase: Transplanted to Ropak multipots approximately 30 days after sowing; some were bumped up to quarts.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Transplanted plugs are lightly fertilized approximately bi-weekly, or as needed, with a soluble fertilizer (Technigro 16-17-17 at about 100 ppm). Mature foliage is a mottled gray green and may look nutrient deficient when it is not. H. americana does not seem to be bothered much by whiteflies, aphids, mites, thrips or powdery mildew. Periodic cutbacks allow new growth to emerge from crown and prevent fungal die-back in the center of the plug tray that may otherwise occur during wet, rainy periods.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: Approximately 2 weeks prior to outplanting, temperatures are reduced in the green house or plants are moved outdoors to a sheltered location, weather permitting, and fertilization is stopped.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: Plugs are ready for outplanting at approximately 14-16 weeks after sowing; transplants to quarts are ready at approximately 6 months from sowing.

Harvest Date: Plants have not been harvested from the field. See "seed processing" for seed harvesting information.
References: Brown, M. L. and R. G. Brown. 1984. Herbaceous Plants of Maryland. Port City Press, Inc.

Gleason, H. A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd edition. New York Botanical Garden.


Davis, Kathy M.; Kujawski, Jennifer. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Heuchera americana seeds USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/09/18). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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