Coral Bells

Coral Bells (genus Heuchera) are a great foliage plant. The leaves are often large and heart-shaped or rounded, and many are variegated or ruffled. Starting in late spring, graceful, bell-shaped flower clusters open, carried on spikes that grow about two feet tall. Because these North American natives are evergreen (USDA zones 4 – 9), they bring year-round interest to the garden. We have ours growing in a large container with Lion’s Tail, Bacopa, Society Garlic, and Globe Amaranth.coral-bell-leaves

Coral bells can be easily grown in the garden. These plants grow naturally in wooded areas; therefore, they do better in shade or filtered sun. Their low-growing, mounding habit makes them a suitable addition to the edges of woodland or natural gardens. They’re also great companions for many types of perennial plants. You can also grow coral bells in containers. Give these plants moist, but well-draining soil—preferably enriched with compost or other type of organic matter.

Once established, these plants require little maintenance other than occasional watering, though container grown plants may require more water. You can deadhead spent blooms if desired. Although these plants generally do not rebloom, this will improve its overall appearance. In addition, you should cut back any old, woody growth in spring. Coral bells can be propagated in spring by seed or through cuttings. Seeds, however, require at least a six-week cold period prior to planting. Division can also be done in spring or fall.

First planted: 2016

Nursery: Yamagami of Cupertino

perennial
size 10-18 tall by 18 inches wide
space 12-18 inches apart
habit mounded
water weekly during dry spells
more often until roots establish
companion plants: false spirea, phlox, plantain lily

 

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