Heuchera Pests

Written by john peter
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Heuchera Pests
Starving deer may be driven to eat even Heuchera. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Heucheras, also known as coral bells, have few significant pests. When they are planted in appropriate soils and receive the right amount of water, they are very resistant to typical garden problems such as insects and diseases. Equally important is to plant Heuchera in a lightly shaded part of your garden.


Heucheras suffer from few diseases, most of which are secondary to problems caused by improper planting conditions. The University of Illinois lists four leaf diseases: pseudomonas, xanthomonas, anthracnose and botrytis. The diseases result from poor air circulation, soil moisture content or combinations of both. Temperature also plays a role in creating conditions that allow leaf diseases that occur naturally in the landscape to attack a Heuchera plant.


Heucheras that are stressed from weather conditions or poor planting site choices can be attacked by twospotted spidermites (Tetranychus urticae). It is possible for Heuchera to be attacked by the black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) as a result of massive population pressure in the garden on other plants. Neither of these insects is a primary predator of Heucheras, which are for the most part considered pest-free by garden professionals. Flea beetles (Altica heucherae) and aphids (Nasonovia heucherae) will also feed on Heucheras without causing noticeable harm.

It is worth keeping in mind that too much nitrogen will create conditions that encourage aphids to multiply and diseases to become more prevalent as the plants negatively react to overfeeding.


Heucheras are sold as deer-proof plants by many nurseries. They are not among the most favoured choices of deer; however, given enough deer and limited food, Heucheras can be decimated along with everything else in the garden. Voles, sometimes confused with mice, are notorious for going after newly planted Heuchera roots and crowns. In these cases, the unfortunate mole is blamed but is rarely, if ever, the guilty party. Squirrels, chipmunks, cats and even dogs in the passion of the moment or in the pursuit of other quarry may accidentally dig up small Heuchera plants.


All things considered, the most destructive pests of Heucheras are humans. Their lawnmowers wavering off the grass, weed whackers weaving off the edge, chemical lawn-care treatments wafting over the small plants and uninformed foot traffic stepping on the showy leaves are among the most likely causes of Heucheras' destruction. An even more likely cause of immediate death is planting them in full sun or in soils that are either too dry or too wet.

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