Why is My Heuchera Dying

Your Heuchera Plant Dying? (Here’s Why & How to Fix It!)

Heuchera dies due to root rot if you overwater the plant. Heuchera dies due to a Vine weevil infection as the pests devour the roots of the plant. 

Coral Bells plant (Botanically called Heuchera) is also commonly called Alum root plant. Coral Bells plant is grown for its beautiful leaves.

Heuchera comes in different colors, ranging from deep purple, burgundy to red. Coral bells plant is the perfect shade plant you’ve been looking for!

It comes in different colors, produces blossoms that last for a long time. The plant is easy to care for. However, it does run into some problems.

Coral bells leaves turning brown

Coral bells plant turns brown mainly due to a fungal rust disease caused by Puccinia hucherae. The leaves of Heuchera also turn brown if the plant gets too much sun. Anthracnose also causes brown spots on the leaves of Heuchera. Overfertilizing also turns the leaves brown.

Heuchera brown spots on leaves

Those tiny brown spots you see on the leaves of your Heuchera are caused by a fungus called Puccinia hucherae. This fungus is specific to Heuchera and can cause great damage.

Initially you’ll see small, sunken areas on the leaves. Lower sides of the leaves have sunken spots that are rust-colored.

Eventually you’ll see rust-colored bumps/spots on the upper sides of the leaves and the stem. Holes form on these bumpy areas.

How do you treat Heuchera rust?

  • Remove all the infected leaves as soon as you notice them.
  • Cut off all the leaves and leave the plant bare for a while. The plant will produce new leaves that are devoid of the rust.
  • If this doesn’t solve the problem spray the infected parts of the plant with fungicides like Bayer Fungus Fighter Plus.

Prevention of Heuchera rust

  • Increase the air circulation around your Coral bells plant. Do not crowd them up.
  • Prune off the old, dying leaves regularly as these are the first targets of the rust fungus.

Too much sun

Light-colored Heuchera plant’s leaves turn brown if the plant gets too much sun. This is called Sunburn and it happened to one of my plants and I had to move it to a shadier place.

Heuchera is a shade-loving plant so if the problem is too much sun, move the plant to a shadier place. If moving the plant is not an option, shade it artificially.

Tip: Move the plant in the fall season, keep it well watered meanwhile.

Do heucheras like sun or shade?

Heuchera plants love to be in shady places. They are shade-loving plants after all. Leaves of Coral bells turn yellow if you give the plant more light than needed.

Why does my Heuchera have brown spots?

If you see brown spots on your Heuchera plant that does not look like rust it is probably Anthracnose disease. Anthracnose is a bacterial disease.

These Anthracnose spots develop when the humidity is higher than optimum. Such spots enlarge and cover the entire leaves eventually.

Spray your Heuchera with Chlorothalonil before the onset of the humid weather.

Too much fertilizer

Heuchera leaves turn brown if you give the plant a lot of fertilizer. Coral bells plant suffers from salt stress if overfed.

In my honest opinion Coral bells plant doesn’t need fertilizer to thrive. Just give the plant some compost and it’ll blossom for ages.

Get the soil tested if you’re unsure about the reason. Care well for the plant and it will bounce back.

Does Heuchera dieback in winter?

Yes, dieback in winter is natural in Heuchera. You need not panic. You don’t need to amend the situation in anyway.

Heuchera will bounce back once the winter is over. Care for your plant as usual and let it revive.

Heuchera yellow leaves

Heuchera leaves turn yellow because of underwatering. Heuchera leaves also turn yellow if the plant is affected by root rot.

Underwatering Coral Bells

Coral Bells plant leaves turn yellow and dry if the plant gets less water than needed. This situation is particularly seen in the summer season.

The yellow leaves of Heuchera turn pale and dry eventually. Such leaves fall off the plant. Check the soil with fingers to see if it’s dry up to two inches.

If the soil is indeed dry then underwatering is the reason. Add a layer of organic mulch to preserve soil moisture.

How often should I water my heucheras?

Water your Heuchera once a week. When you do, water the plant deeply. Check the soil for moisture and water if it’s dry below an inch.

Water your Heuchera early in the morning. Do not wet the leaves while watering to prevent various leaf diseases.

Root rot in Heuchera

Root rot is a fungal disease that is seen in overwatered Heuchera plants. Waterlogged conditions are the reason behind root rot.

Poorly draining soil causes waterlogged conditions. Clay soil is the least draining soil. Plant your Heuchera in a place where no puddles are formed due to rains.

Leaves turn yellow in color in the Coral bells plant that is affected by root rot. Leaves turn yellow but droopy not dry unlike an underwatered plant.

Treat root rot in Heuchera

Check the soil with fingers to confirm overwatering. Transplant the plant into a pot if the plant is in soil. Try to amend the soil by adding compost to it.

If the roots are brown and mushy then the roots got rotten. Clean the rotten roots with Hydrogen peroxide and plant it in fresh soil.

Tip: Sterilize the garden tools after working on an infected plant.

Heuchera Vine Weevil

Vine weevils are the most common pest of the Coral bells plant. Vine weevils munch on the roots and leaves of Heuchera during the different phases of their lifecycle.

Larval forms of Vine weevils feed on the roots of Heuchera. These larvae pupate and feed on the leaves of the plant.

Controlling Vine weevil in Heuchera

Here are various cultural, chemical and biological methods to control Vine weevils in your Coral bells plant.

  • Stick PVC tape around the circumference of your Heuchera. Apply insect barrier glue along this tape.
  • Steinernema kraussei and Heterorhabditis megidis are two species of parasitic nematodes that are microscopic and get rid of a small infestation of Vine weevils completely.
  • You can put a piece of cardboard near Heuchera. These pests hide in the cardboard waiting for a disposal.

Tip: When introducing nematodes near the plant make sure the area is moist so they can move easily.

Do slugs eat Heuchera?

Slugs do eat Heuchera leaves. They perforate the leaves of Coral bells plant by munching on it. Their presence can be confirmed by the slime trail they leave behind.

Slugs usually attack the plant in damp weather. Pick the slugs with hands at night. Throw the collected slugs in a bucket of soapy water.

You can make slug traps using beer or cornmeal. Dig a small pit and place a bowl with steep edges inside the pit. Fill 3/4th of this bowl with beer.

Leave this bowl there overnight. Slugs get attracted and fall into the bowl. Collect them in the morning and feed them to birds.