Without a doubt the most brilliantly colored, exciting Heucherella ever grown, 'Sweet Tea' is the foliage plant you must add to the shade garden this season! There is simply nothing else like these scalloped 4-inch leaves with cinnamon-russet centers and orange- and rose-infused edges. They complement all surrounding garden colors, and present an utterly unique, breathtaking show of their own three or even four seasons a year!
Colorful Heucherella are nothing new, but the play of oranges and browns on these leaves introduces an entirely new palette to the family. And the colors just become darker and more vibrant in summer heat and humidity! With Heuchera villosa in its parentage, 'Sweet Tea' stands up effortlessly even to the punishing summers of the south and southwest, keeping its densely layered, mounded form and improving its already brilliant hues. There's simply nothing else to compare it to!
Expect this shade-loving perennial to reach about 20 inches high and 28 inches wide. In late spring, creamy white blooms fly above the foliage on slender 7-inch stems like so many flags atop a ship. Attractive to butterflies, they can be left on the plant or snipped as filler for indoor arrangements. And as they pass, the amber, orange, and apricot tones of spring turn to richer cinnamon, burnt umber, and darkest salmon-peach with the hot weather of summer. Magnificent!
'Sweet Tea' fares best in partial shade, though it will tolerate full shade as well. It prefers soil that has been amended with organics, but once established in the garden is quite tolerant of less rich conditions. In mild and warm climates it remains evergreen through winter; farther north, it will die back to the ground, only to regrow rapidly in spring. Vigorous and well-branched, it needs no coddling or encouragement to quickly form a dense, bold, over-the-top presence that demands attention and inspires admiration. Set it fearlessly among your Helleborus (particularly in mild climates, where the winter show of cinnamon-orange and deep green is especially effective) Pulmonaria, and Actaea, as well as among its cousins Heuchera and Tiarella. It makes a fine exclamation point in the Hosta garden, and a startling textural contrast among Hardy Ferns.
Impervious to most pests and diseases, this adaptable perennial is a good choice for groundcover and mass planting as well as accent use in the border and in containers. It makes a stunning edging along a garden path, or a foreground planting for the shrub border. Very highly recommended for gardens almost anywhere in the country. Zones 4-9.