2018 Perennial of the Year™ – PRIMO™ ‘Black Pearl’
Jet black foliage, excellent vigor and exceptional garden performance make this award-winning coral bells as unique as its namesake. Meet the one and only Primo™ ‘Black Pearl’ Heuchera (coral bells).
2018 Perennial of the Year™: PRIMO™ ‘Black Pearl’ Heuchera
Unbelievably dark, jet black, shiny leaves with ruffled edges make this new variety of coral bells really stand out from all the rest. Primo ‘Black Pearl’ forms a dense mound and keeps its dark color all season, even when planted in full sun. Since it is a cultivar of our native Heuchera villosa, Primo ‘Black Pearl’ is naturally robust, tolerating heat and humidity with ease. Grow it in containers and landscapes in sun or shade.
- Jet black, glossy, ruffled foliage
- Keeps its dark color all season
- Pink flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds in midsummer
- Densely mounding shape
- Heat and humidity tolerant
- Pairs well with other plants in large containers
- Robust grower in landscapes
- Measures 8-10” tall x 26-30” wide with 18-20” flower scapes
- Perennial in zones 4-9
Coral bells like Primo ‘Black Pearl’ can be grown in containers and landscapes, but this cultivar grows notably larger than standard sized Dolce® varieties so give it plenty of room to show off. Coral bells tend to grow best and have the best coloration when grown in part sun, meaning 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. In very warm climates, full shade may be necessary. In cooler zones, it will grow in full sun if given adequate moisture.
Good drainage is essential to overwintering coral bells successfully. If necessary, amend your soil with compost or humus when planting to improve the drainage. In fall, plants will benefit from mulching or leaf cover. Mulching helps to keep the soil temperature more consistent over the winter which prevents heaving from freeze/thaw cycles that are common in the north.
Heuchera villosa cultivars like Primo ‘Black Pearl’ are naturally tolerant of hot, humid climates since the species is native to the Southeast U.S. They appreciate average amounts of moisture—err on the side of too dry rather than too moist to prevent rotting.
Primo ‘Black Pearl’ will be evergreen to semi-evergreen in your garden depending on your climate. Never cut the foliage back in fall. Rather, trim away any of last year’s tattered foliage in early spring. New leaves will emerge from the center of the clump in spring and cover last year’s set of leaves.
Would you like to have the opportunity to vote for the next plant of the year? Join 175,000 other gardeners who have signed up for our monthly Winner’s Circle newsletter. We will never share your email address with outside parties, and you’ll be given the chance to weigh in on future plants of the year and other fun programs. Keep up to date on the National Plant of the Year program at www.nationalplantoftheyear.com.
Patent Info: Primo™ 'Black Pearl' Heuchera USPPAF CanPBRAF