Foamflower

Foamflower (a common name for Tiarella) can easily make a perfect decoration for any garden.

This was originally a wild flower native to woodland natural settings.

It is a hardy perennial plant, and it requires a rich moist soil and easily spreads, forming a wonderful ground carpet.

The plant usually reaches up to ten or even twelve inches, and its leaves are around six inches long.

The leaves are formed in shape of hearts; they are green in color but change to red coloration in the fall.

Foamflower begins to bloom in the end of spring or the beginning of summer; its flowers are placed on spikes.

They are white in colour and have feathery texture.

Planting

The plant grows from seeds. You should wait for the time when they are grown in plants, after that the seeds can be sown in spring or in autumn, according to the arrangements in your garden and your personal working habits and preferences.

Sow the seeds on the surface. If you prefer to plant Foamflowers in flats, it can be done in spring or in autumn as well. Sink the flat in a place protected from direct sunlight.

Optionally you can put a glass cover.

For better growth of the plants it is crucially important to keep the soil moist.

Naturally, in winter months the flat should be kept indoors. If you grow the plant in spring, put the flat into a black bag for imbibing the seeds, and then keep it in a fridge for about twenty days.

After that a flat can be placed in a shady area in your garden. Do not forget to keep the soil moist and to cover the flat with glass. It can be removed when seedlings start appearing. And finally, in the fall transplant these seedlings to the place you have chosen.

Light Conditions and Soil

Remember that Foam flower prefers growing in partially shaded places, where it can get morning sunlight and at the same time be protected from the hottest rays of noonday sun.

There are at least a few such places in your garden, so if they are not completely occupied by other plants with the same requirements, make sure to plant Foamflowers in one of them.

The soil should be rich, with great drainage conditions, moist, cool and acidic.

The Foamflowers plants should be planted at least twenty or thirty centimeters from each other.

Taking Care of Foamflower

It does not require too much effort to care for these plants, but at the same time you should not ignore their needs as well. They are native to woodlands, which is why a moist cool soil is essential for them.

Make sure to add wood chip mulch in order to keep soil in moist and cool condition. Do not forget to water the plants regularly. In case you prefer to have more plants the following year, you can always propagate them by division in spring time.

Tips

You can also opt for the hybrids of Foamflowers. Their flowers range from cream to pink to deep red. And the flowers are not the only attraction of them: leaves are rather impressive as well.

Usually they are green with red: the whole leaf is green, but the veins or centers can be red. It is a very beautiful and original combination.

Summary

Foamflower in its natural setting is in a woodland wild flower. Growing in rich humus soil, it creeps along to provide a gorgeous ground cover. The leaves will grow to 6 inches, while the flower stem will reach 10 to 12 inches.

In spring the blooms of white frothy plums cover the landscape till midsummer. Six weeks of bloom time. Then this shade ground cover reveals the new growth of green, velvety leaves. In the fall the leaves turn red, yellow, bronze and purple, providing a spectacular fall display. The leaves will stay through the winter.

You'll want to create a woodland setting of leaf mold, compost and peat moss in your shade garden. This combination will have a slight acid PH that is required. They do best in a moist well drained environment. Mulching with about 2 inches of shredded leaves will keep the roots cool and moist.

Propagate in spring by division. An alternative is separating the off sets and planting them in the same soil mix.

There are hybrids available with pink, cream and deep rose flowers. The leaves are rather stunning also. Green with red to maroon veins and green with red centers.

So go through your catalogs and find the right combination. When you do your gardening in the shade use plenty of rich humus compost and keep the soil moist and mulched. You'll be on your way to a beautiful ground cover under trees and shrubs as well as taller annuals and perennials.