Heartleaf foamflower – planting, care and tips

Heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) - By Wasrts - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78362619

The heartleaf foamflower is an abundantly flowering small shrub that quickly forms carpet-like populations. Here are information about the pretty ground cover and how to care for.

Profile of heartleaf foamflower:

Scientific name: Tiarella cordifolia

Plant family: saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae)

Other names: heartleaved foamflower, Allegheny foamflower, false miterwort, coolwort

Sowing time: after flowering

Planting time: spring

Flowering period: April to May

Location: partially shaded to shady

Soil quality: sandy to loamy, moderately nutritious, humus rich

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: bouquets, ground cover, embankments, grave planting, group planting, underplanting, area greening, natural garden, park area, rhododendron garden, forest garden

Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3 (-37 °C / -35 °F)

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of heartleaf foamflower

Plant order, origin and occurrence of heartleaf foamflower

The heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), sometimes also called heartleaved foamflower, is a mostly evergreen perennial with beautiful funnel-shaped inflorescences. Together with four other species, including the American foamflower (Tiarella wherryi), it forms the genus of foamflowers (Tiarella) within the saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae). Originally, heartleaf foamflower grows in moist, nutrient-rich mountain forests and on the edge of the banks in eastern North America. The range there extends from Nova Scotia in the north to Alabama and Georgia in the south and Minnesota in the west.

Characteristics of heartleaf foamflower


The heartleaf foamflower is a creeping and usually evergreen perennial that spreads over above-ground runners. It can grow up to 20 centimeters (8 in) high and forms lush and dense carpets.


The dainty, oval heart-shaped, slightly hairy leaves are 6 to 8 centimeters (2.4 to 3.2 in) long and have three to five flat lobes. They turn bronze-red in autumn and have scarlet to red-brown points, lines or stripes. Sometimes the foliage is also a solid green. Since heartleaf foamflower is evergreen and takes on a pretty autumn color, the plant is valued as a decorative ornamental leaf.


Small, simple, creamy white to pale pink flowers appear from April to May on upright clusters on stems up to 30 centimeters (12 in) long above the foliage. The flowers attract many bees and butterflies and are a welcome source of food early in the year.


Small capsule fruits with black seeds are formed as fruits.

Heartleaf foamflower – cultivation and care


The location for Tiarella cordifolia should be partially shady to shady.


The decorative plant likes to be in a moderately moist, slightly acidic and well-drained soil that should not be compacted or deeply rooted. A pH of 6 to 7 is ideal.

Planting heartleaf foamflower

In spring, plant the heartleaf foamflower at a distance of about 30 centimeters (12 in) in the bed or any other desired place in the garden. You can plant up to eight plants per square meter. (10 sq ft.) Then it quickly forms a dense carpet of plants.

Care / Watering / Fertilization

Water the perennial especially during longer dry periods. It is enough to fertilize the plant in spring and autumn by raking leaf compost into the soil. Otherwise the perennial does not need any further care. You can remove withered and withered things after flowering.


You can divide the foam bloom in early spring and replant it in a different location.


You can either divide the foam flower in spring or sow it after flowering. The best way to propagate is to cut off rooted runners in late summer.

Diseases and pests

The foam bloom is relatively resistant to diseases. The leaves are rarely attacked by snails. Unfortunately, the black weevil appears relatively often on the leaves, which is best combated by removing the infested leaves. Alternatively, it can be doused once with nematodes if there is an infestation in early summer and midsummer.


The foam bloom is very hardy down to -37 °C / -35 °F. There are no speical measure necessary for winter.

Use in the garden

Heartleaf foamflower is suitable as a ground cover, for grave planting, for the edge of a path and for light wooded edges. Due to the same or similar location requirements, the heartleaf foamflower goes well with rhododendrons, ferns and other more shade-tolerant plants. It is also an excellent cut flower for the vase and can be tied into pretty little bouquets.


There are numerous varieties and hybrids of Tiarella cordifolia that were primarily cultivated in the 1980s and 1990s. Often the varieties are similar and only differ in the shape of the leaves and the intensity of the red-brown spots on the leaves.

  • “Glossy” has large, glossy, solid green leaves and white flowers
  • “Dark Eyes” is between 15 and 30 centimeters (6 and 12 in) high and just as wide, the flowers are more pink, the foliage is green
  • ‘Brandywine’ is characterized by fragrant white flowers and beautiful autumn colors on the leaves
  • “Eco Rambling Silhouette” stands out due to its beautiful leaf drawing. It is a tough variety that quickly forms dark carpets

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