How To Grow American Alumroot (Heuchera americana) In Your Garden

Heuchera americana, commonly known as American Alumroot, is a hardy perennial woodland plant. It is appreciated for its mounding habit, and its unique scalloped leaves that come in a variety of colors, depending on the cultivar.

It typically grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m) with a similar spread.

Heuchera americana 'Marvelous Marble' plant
Heuchera americana 'Marvelous Marble' photograph by F. D. Richards; CC.

Gardeners value Heuchera plants for their year-round interest, tolerance of a range of light conditions, and usefulness in rock gardens, borders, and containers.

It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9, RHS hardiness H6.

How to Grow Heuchera americana in the Garden

Heuchera americana grows well in partial shade to fully shaded conditions. The plant prefers a well-drained, loamy soil with neutral to slightly acidic pH.

American Alumroot leaves
American Alumroot image by Behnke Nurseries, Inc; CC.

Plant from root balls in early spring or fall. Use a hole that is about twice the width and the same depth as the root ball. Once planted, give it a good watering.

Once established, American Alumroot is fairly drought-tolerant. That said, it will still appreciate regular watering in prolonged dry spells. Feed with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring, as this will promote more vigorous growth.

Minimal pruning is needed. Simply remove spent flower stalks and old leaves in late winter or early spring. This will help to maintain a tidy appearance.

Common pests include aphids and leaf miners. Spacing plants to allow airflow and regular watering shouls help to keep the plant healthy.

Heuchera americana can offer an attractive and durable choice for your garden. It is a robust, low maintenance plant, that brings color and texture to shaded areas, thus enriching the garden with its beautiful foliage and subtle flowers.

Green Spice Coral Bells
Green Spice Coral Bells image by Patrick Standish; CC.

Quick Heuchera americana Growing and Care Guide

Scientific Name: Heuchera americana.

Common Name(s): American alumroot, Coral bells.

Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): USDA Zones: 4-9. RHS zone H6, hardy throughout the UK.

Best Used For / Garden Location: Ground cover, border fronts, rock gardens, woodland gardens.

Plant Details

Life Cycle / Plant Type: Perennial.

Plant Height: 1-2 ft (0.3-0.6 m).

Plant Spread: 1-1.5 ft (0.3-0.45 m).

Blooms: Late spring to early summer.

Flower Details: Tiny, bell-shaped, greenish-white flowers on tall slender stalks.

Leaf Foliage: Heart-shaped, lobed leaves varying in color from green to bronze.

Fruit: Small, dry capsules.

Growing Conditions and Location

Best Light Conditions: Full shade to part sun.

Suitable Soil Types: Well-drained, organically rich, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

Sowing / planting: Sow seeds in a cold frame in spring or fall.

Germination time: 14-21 days at 65-75°F (18-24°C).

Propagation: Division in spring or fall, or from basal cuttings in early summer.

Plant Care: Deadhead to prevent self-seeding; divide clumps every 3-4 years.

Growing in pots and containers: Suitable for containers; ensure good drainage.

Growing as a House plant: Not typically grown as a houseplant.

Further Information

Miscellaneous: Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies; resistant to rabbits and deer.

Pests and diseases: Susceptible to rust, powdery mildew, leaf spots, and root rot.

Common Cultivars / Varieties: 'Dale's Strain' features silver-marbled foliage, while 'Green Spice' has silver-green leaves with dark veining.

Family: Saxifragaceae, the Saxifrage family.

Native: Native to North America.

References and Further Reading: RHS Growing Guide; North Carolina State University Extension; Iowa State Extension.

Common Questions

Does Heuchera americana make a good garden or landscaping plant?

American Alumroot can make a great choice for gardens and landscapes. With its vibrant, foliage in a variety of colors and delicate flowers, it adds visual interest to borders, rock gardens, or woodland gardens.

Is American Alumroot a fragrant plant?

American Alumroot isn't noted for its fragrance. Its appeal comes from its colorful, ornamental leaves and bell-shaped flowers that attract pollinators.

What is the perfect location to grow Heuchera americana?

Heuchera americana prefers part to full shade and well-drained, rich, moist soil. It's a very adaptable plant and is quite hardy.

Is Heuchera americana invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Heuchera americana is a native plant species to the USA, and is not considered to be invasive.

How do I remove Heuchera americana from my garden?

To remove Heuchera americana plants, cut it back and carefully dig out the entire root system. This should prevent regrowth.


American Alumroot is a perennial plant that grows well in well-drained soil and part shade. It's a great ground cover plant with colorful foliage that offers year-round interest.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide on how to grow Heuchera americana. You may also enjoy the following Saxifrage family growing guides: How to grow Fringecups, Astilbe, and Saxifraga plants in the garden.

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