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Tiarella - Growing Guide
Unlike Heuchera and x Heucherella, with which Tiarella have so frequently been cross bred by breeders in America and the UK, Tiarella are shade loving plants. They are also (unlike Heuchera) rhizomatous herbaceous or semi evergreen perennials. In the wild in North America these plants grow in shady woodland or beside streams.
However the similarities with Heuchera are why these plants have made such successful crosses between the two genuses. Tiarella have ovate to heart shaped leaves usually with three or five lobes and they also have conspicuous veining in the leaves. The leaves are pale or mid-green and turn reddish brown in autumn and winter. Like Heuchera they have terminal panicles or racemes of pinkish or white flowers over the whole of the summer and on into early autumn.
T. cordifolia is a vigorous spreading perennial. It spreads (like a strawberry) by extending stolons or long stalks which take root in the ground nearby enabling the plant to spread and multiply quickly. T. wherryi is a more compact and slow growing clump forming perennial which does not produce stolons. You can see the leaf colours of both these species and their flowers in the pictures below.
Tiarella need cool, moist, humus-rich soil in full shade for best results. This does not mean waterlogged soil which can cause the clumps to rot off but they will tolerate a range of soil types. They are therefore ideal groundcover plants for a shady border or a border beside a stream in shade. Slugs do go for the leaves but, in pots, vine weevil is a greater threat.
These plants are remarkably easy to lift and divide to create more plants. T. cordifolia stolons can be removed at any time for growing on and transplanting without interfering with the main clump at all.