10 Best Varieties of Heuchera

'Can Can' heuchera with gray and purple coloring
Gratysanna / Getty Images

Named for 17th-century German botanist and physician Johann Heinrich von Heucher, the Heuchera species, part of the Saxifragaceae family, has enjoyed a surge of interest as gardeners increasingly rely on ornamental foliage for their landscapes. Also known as coral bells and alum root, this native plant began as a member of the herbal garden but has now taken center stage in the flowerbed. The flowers are small, yet they exert a significant effect on the wildlife in your garden—both butterflies and hummingbirds will visit the nectar-rich blooms in late spring and summer. But the real draw of heuchera plants is the foliage, which can range from pale yellow and orange to red and an exotic silvery blue-gray.

Most heuchera varieties sold today are hybrid crosses of native species, usually including Heuchera americana as one of the genetic parents. Many of these hybrids are unusually flexible in their sun preferences, often tolerating both full sun and full shade. Those with H. americana as a parent are especially good for shady conditions.

Here are 10 great heuchera varieties that could form the beginning of a new collection in your garden.

Gardening Tip

Heucheras are short-lived perennials, but you can keep them going indefinitely by digging them up, dividing the root clumps into sections, and replanting every three to five years.

  • 01 of 10

    'Melting Fire' (Heuchera 'Melting Fire')

    'Melting Fire' heuchera with gray and red coloring
    Photos Lamontagne / Getty Images

    'Melting Fire' features deeply ruffled foliage that varies from crimson to purple, depending on the season and light exposure. Dainty white flowers characteristic of the genus appear in late spring on 18-inch stems and may last for two months. Dark-leaved cultivars such as 'Melting Fire' are prone to leaf scorch in full sun areas. Afternoon shade will protect the leaf margins from browning, and regular moisture during dry periods helps all heuchera plants to thrive.

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 9–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 02 of 10

    'Lime Marmalade' (Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade')

    'Lime Marmalade' heuchera with green leaves
    Peter Fleming / Getty Images

    Every shady garden spot needs a shot of chartreuse to inject energy into the landscape, and 'Lime Marmalade' fulfills that role. This gorgeous heuchera variety doesn't darken or fade over the season but will retain the bright green color that make its flowers an afterthought. The plant also works well in summer containers, providing a foil for pink or purple plants and flowers.

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–8
    • Height: 9–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 03 of 10

    'Electra' (Heuchera 'Electra')

    'Electra' heuchera with yellow-green foliage
    fukh / Getty Images

    The presence of contrasting veins on many heuchera varieties expands the species color palette and is partially responsible for the introduction of many new cultivars in recent years. The lime green foliage and red veins of 'Electra' offer up fun possibilities in garden design. Pair it with a red wax begonia or New Guinea impatiens to accentuate the veining. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 8–12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 04 of 10

    'Venus' (Heuchera 'Venus')

    'Venus' heuchera in hues of gray and green

    Leonora Enking / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 

    Heuchera 'Venus' is right at home in a white flower garden or moon garden. The silvery foliage resembles stained glass, and its darker veining pops even more when you plant this cultivar with darker companion plants, such as bugbane (Cimicifuga) or purple shamrock (Oxalis). Keep heuchera varieties like 'Venus' from experiencing frost heaving in the winter with a 3-inch layer of mulch. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 8–10 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to full shade
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    'Caramel' (Heuchera 'Caramel')

    'Caramel' heuchera in a variety of warm shades
    OllgaP / Getty Images

    'Caramel' coral bells bring a ray of sunshine to the garden with leaves of rust, orange, and gold appearing all at once on dense mounding plants that reach 18 inches across. This variety performs well in hot and humid areas, serving as a ground cover, border specimen, or woodland garden accent. Water at least once a week to prevent brown leaf margins. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 8–12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to full shade
  • 06 of 10

    'Can Can' (Heuchera 'Can Can')

    'Can Can' heuchera with gray and purple coloring
    Gratysanna / Getty Images

    Opulent ruffled leaves and mystic purplish-silver coloring that seems to shift in the light make 'Can Can' a lively addition to the partially sunny garden. Like many heuchera varieties, its leaves are bright purple on the reverse side, which makes them attractive from all angles in the garden or as foliar accents in a vase. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 10–25 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 07 of 10

    'Amber Waves' (Heuchera 'Amber Waves')

    'Amber Waves' heuchera with gold foliage

    Christopher Fairweather / Getty Images

    Heuchera 'Amber Waves' has the lustiest orange hue of all coral bells. When it emerges, the plant resembles a mass of the most perfect fall foliage you've ever seen. This cultivar performs well through moderate drought, but a partially shady site is best to prevent the magnificent foliage from bleaching. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 9–12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 08 of 10

    'Midnight Rose' (Heuchera 'Midnight Rose')

    'Midnight Rose' heuchera with speckled burgundy leaves
    Gratysanna / Getty Images

    'Midnight Rose' is a special specimen for the heuchera collector. Not many plants can boast such an unusual coloration of deep wine punctuated with a smattering of magenta speckles. This cultivar deserves a premium spot in a container garden on your front porch or deck, where you can observe its unusual coloration at eye level. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 10–24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    'Delta Dawn' (Heuchera 'Delta Dawn')

    'Delta Dawn' heuchera with green-rimmed rust leaves

    Valleybrook Gardens / Flickr / CC0

    The green picotee edging on Heuchera 'Delta Dawn' is a fascinating departure from the contrasting veining found on many heuchera varieties. This cultivar displays its best coloration when you provide it with a half day of sun—preferably the mild rays of the early morning sun. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 8–12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to full shade
  • 10 of 10

    'Zipper' (Heuchera 'Zipper')

    'Zipper' heuchera with reddish foliage

    Valleybrook Gardens / Flickr / CC0

    Bored with the same old green plants? You won't find a hint of green on 'Zipper,' a psychedelic wonder that screams orange, red, and purple from every cell, even on its stems. It's best to pair this heuchera type with a calming gray or silver plant to avoid visual confusion. 

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 6–8 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade