Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Save Your Heuchera Seed to get Free Heuchera

Since it is the time of year that all those beautiful Heuchera are setting seed I thought I would share with you how to save those seeds so you can grow your own for free.  I personally love Heuchera-they are very adaptable, carefree, generally pest and disease resistant and come in some amazing colors.  One thing I do not like about them is the price-some can range from 6.00 to upwards of 15.00.  So to combat the price a few years ago I started growing them from seed using my own seed and also by exchanging seeds with others.  I now have upwards of 40 plants (probably closer to 50) and more than half I grew from seed.  The best part of growing them from seed is you don't know what you are going to get-sometimes a new "hybrid" will pop into the mix.  A few varieties will come true from seed, these include "Dale's Strain" and "Palace Purple" while others will hybridize and maybe give you something unique.  Here are pictures of a few of the Heuchera I have grown from seed:
Here are the steps to save those seeds and make your own:

1.  Gather up a bowl or container to put the seeds and seed heads in.

2.  Find a Heuchera that has browning flower stems and seed heads.  They will look like this:
3.  Now grab the stem with your hand below the last set of seed heads like this:
4.  Now "cup" your hand around the stem and run your hand firmly up the stem to pull of the seed heads and even some stems like this:
5.  Put the seed heads in a bowl:
You can see here the very tiny black seeds that have fallen out of the seed heads already:
6.  Transfer to a paper plate for drying.  I usually leave them to dry for a few weeks and also don't forget to label the plate with the name:
7.  After you let them dry for a few weeks you can separate the seed from the chafe (seed heads etc).  I use an old kitchen sieve-it does pretty good.
Crush the seed heads up to get out any seeds that may be in there:
Here they are:
8.  Now get a seed baggie ready-I prefer to use plastic zip baggies that I pick up in the craft aisle at Walmart but some prefer to use paper envelopes or even make their own.  Use whatever you like just be sure to label with the name, date, and I like to put G which means they are from my garden.
9.  Put the seeds in the seed baggie and store in a cool and dry place until you are ready to sow.  It is not necessary to store them in the refrigerator.

Here are a couple more of my seed sown Heuchera to give you some inspiration:

My preference for starting them from seed is by using the method referred to as Wintersowing.  I have had awesome results using this method to germinate most of my perennials and even some annuals.  I highly recommend you give it a try.

I hope you go out and save those seeds making new Heuchera is easier than you think!  Until next time-Happy Planting!



  1. Thanks for the great post. I'm going to go and check to see if mine have started setting seeds yet. I have so many seeds to start this winter. I probably have about 30 or so milk jugs saved already, but probably have close to 100 different seeds. I went a little crazy buying seeds last year and never got around to winter sowing them this past winter. Hope most of the seeds will still be good. We'll see. I'm looking forward to wintersowing this winter!

  2. They are really easy to wintersow-you will be amazed at the germination rate in Spring. I always sow heavily and regret it every time-I can never get all of the seedlings separated and end up planting them out in clumps. I love wintersowing too! I have milk jugs stored up and ready to go:-)) I am sure your seeds will be fine by the time you sow them-I have sowed seed that was 5 years old and had pretty good germination. Good Luck!

    1. 5 yo seed and good germination? Awesome. I feel better and excited about doing it this year! Thank you!