Heuchera 'Dark Secret'

Black is always on trend! Black flowers are much admired for their mystical tones, from Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ to Iris chrysographes. But, what’s this…? Plot twist. It’s a black-leaf Heuchera! Now, this is am here for.

Heuchera have really had a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years, with a sweet shop of colours now available for your delectation. Never before has a plant been master of so many disguises; from cottage garden border plant to foliage filler to basket centrepiece. Think outside the box with your Heuchera, and they will give you great value!


How to grow Heuchera ‘Dark Secret’:

Flowering time: July to August
Location: Borders, patio pots, hanging baskets
Soil: Any well-drained soil
Light: Sun/Partial Shade
Hardy: Survives down to -15C!
Care: Remove flower spike after blooming
Size: 25cm (10″) high x 30cm (12″) in spread


Heuchera 'Dark Secret'


How was Heuchera ‘Dark Secret’ created?

In case you didn’t know, Northern France is a hot bed of new plants, with Jean-Pierre Hennebelle, Thierry Delabroye, Philippe Leclercq, plus Gerard Darques, all breeding and creating. It was Gerard and his wife Josiane that spotted the first plant of Heuchera ‘Dark Secret’. In the spring of 2007, Gerard noticed a small, unknown plant whilst cleaning up his plot. Out of curiosity, he replanted it nearby, in an isolated space (to avoid cross-pollination of plants)

Before long, it became obvious that this was an exceptional cultivar. The blackish, curly, shiny foliage and flowers in pink and white. This was a brand new plant, although completely unplanned! Upon advice from his horticultural friends, Gerard worked to bring the plant to market.


Heuchera 'Dark Secret'

What’s different about this plant?

‘Dark Secret’ is a fine specimen. The crinkled foliage is dark purple-bronze in colour, with a silvery sheen. The leaf margins are serrated and heavily ruffled. Flower stems support a frothy mix of white/rose florets, on purple stems, giving one knockout contrast!

Gerard called it “Dark Secret” in reference to both its mysterious origin and the sound of our family name (Darques).

It wasn’t long until ‘Dark Secret’ picked up many awards! ‘Dark Secret’ was nominated “Best Introduction in the USA” and got two awards (“KAVB Nederland 2008” and “Award ISU – Evaluation New Perennials 2012”).


Heuchera 'Dark Secret'

Where can you plant Heuchera ‘Dark Secret’?

Heuchera are incredibly versatile. Give them a well-drained soil and they’ll be as happy as Larry! Rockeries, perennial borders, under trees and shrubs, in patio pots, baskets, the list goes on.. Why not experiment a bit, by mixing up the jet-black tones with some reds, oranges or hot pinks!

Fun fact- the original plant of Heuchera ‘Dark Secret’ is still growing on the original spot where Gerard isolated the plant on his nursery. One day it’ll be a historical landmark!


Where can you buy Heuchera ‘Dark Secret’ plants?

Plants will soon be available in garden centres across Europe, or Sooner Plant Farm and Heucheraholics in the USA.

Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe (with Concept Plants doing the same job in North America).

See every Plant of the Month here.

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