Coralbells

Colorful Combinations

With such a broad palette of colors to choose from, there's almost no end to the combinations you can create with coralbells. That, and their easy adaptability to either ground or container planting, makes this a truly versatile plant. It seems as though every year there are new varieties of coralbells on the market. With improved colors, larger leaves, brighter flowers, and new patterns, there's always something new to try with coralbells.

Coralbells Care

Coralbells are extremely easy to grow, as long as they aren't kept too wet. Many species are native to rocky cliffs and places that have very good drainage, so they don't like sitting in water. Depending on the variety, some coralbells can perform well in either sun or shade, while others may burn in too much sun. Check the requirements of specific varieties before planting in full sun. Coralbells also grow well in clay soils.

Varieties that offer showy blooms, as well as fancy foliage, are much appreciated by hummingbirds. In order to keep the blooms going even longer, make sure to deadhead the spent ones. This may encourage the plants to produce a second wave of flowers. Some varieties will also bloom sporadically throughout the growing season. Blossoms of coralbells even make long-lasting cut flowers.

Coralbells Overview

Description Coralbells are the coleus of the perennial world. These plants used to come in a few drab colors, with small and insignificant blooms. Now they come in a whole rainbow of colors, with some varieties grown specifically for their masses of flowers. And they are extremely low maintenance as well!
Genus Name Heuchera
Common Name Coralbells
Plant Type Perennial
Light Part Sun, Shade, Sun
Height 1 to 3 feet
Width 6 to 30 inches
Flower Color Green, Pink, Red, White
Foliage Color Chartreuse/Gold, Gray/Silver, Purple/Burgundy
Season Features Colorful Fall Foliage, Fall Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom, Winter Interest
Special Features Attracts Birds, Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division
Problem Solvers Groundcover, Slope/Erosion Control

Innovations

It seems as though every year there's a new must-have coralbell on the market—it's hard to keep up with all of the developments in this family of plants. Whether it's improving their heat and humidity tolerance or winter hardiness, advancements continue. So if you've tried coralbells before and haven't had the best of luck, it's definitely worth giving them another try. Some older varieties simply lacked the vigor of the newer ones.

More Varieties of Coralbells

'Caramel' Coralbells

'Caramel' Coralbells
Bob Stefko Photography Inc

An oldie but a goodie, 'Caramel' has withstood the test of time. Foliage emerges a soft peach color and fades to rich amber. Too much sun can burn these leaves, so make sure they have at least part shade. Zones 4-8

'Amber Waves' Coralbells

'Amber Waves' Coralbells
Peter Krumhardt

Heuchera 'Amber Waves' has 8-inch mounds of wavy-edged leaves that are salmon pink when young, but mature to rusty gold with lavender overtones. In spring it produces loose spires of small pink flowers. Zones 4-9

'Dolce Blackcurrant' Coralbells

'Dolce Blackcurrant' Coralbells
Justin Hancock

Heuchera 'Dolce Blackcurrant' offers rich purple leaves with splashes of silver, and grows 16 inches tall and 20 inches wide. Zones 4-9

'Dolce Creme Brulee' Coralbells

'Dolce Creme Brulee' Coralbells
Justin Hancock

Heuchera 'Dolce Creme Brulee' offers bronzy foliage from spring to fall, and grows 16 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 4-9

'Dolce Key Lime Pie' Coralbells

'Dolce Key Lime Pie' Coralbells
Justin Hancock

Heuchera 'Dolce Key Lime Pie' features lime-green foliage from spring to fall, with clusters of pink flowers in spring. It grows 16 inches tall and 14 inches wide. Zones 4-9

'Green Spice' Coralbells

'Green Spice' Coralbells
Peter Krumhardt

Heuchera 'Green Spice' has 9-inch mounds of scalloped, red-veined silvery leaves edged with gray-green. Dainty spires of white flowers rise above the foliage. Zones 4-9

'Palace Purple' Coralbells

'Palace Purple' Coralbells
Mark Kane

Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple' has 12-inch mounds of ivy-shaped, deep purple leaves with dark red undersides. These may fade out to greenish bronze in full summer sun. Panicles of tiny flowers bloom aloft in spring. Zones 4-9

'Pewter Veil' Coralbells

'Pewter Veil' Coralbells
Hetherington & Associates

Heuchera 'Pewter Veil' has scalloped, rounded leaves of metallic silver with purple-gray veins and pink undersides. They form 12-inch mounds, above which tiny white flowers bloom in spring. Zones 4-9

Coralbells Companion Plants

Lungwort

Purple Lungwort
David McDonald

In early spring, the brilliant blue, pink, or white flowers of lungwort bloom despite the coldest chill. The rough basal leaves, spotted or plain, always please and continue to be handsome through the season and into winter. Planted close as a weed-discouraging groundcover or in borders as edgings or bright accent plants, lungworts are workhorses and retain their good looks. Provide high-humus soil that retains moisture. Although lungwort tolerates dry conditions, be alert for mildew.

Astilbe

Purple Astilbe
Karlis Grants

Astilbe brings a graceful feathery note to moist, shady landscapes. In cooler climates in the northern third or so of the country, it can tolerate full sun, provided it has a constant supply of moisture. In drier areas, however, the leaves will scorch in full sun. Feathery plumes of white, pink, lavender, or red flowers rise above the finely divided foliage from early to late summer, depending on the variety. It will spread slowly over time when well-situated. Most commercially available types are complex hybrids.

Hostas

Hosta
Julie Maris Semarco

Hostas were hardly grown in the past, but they've become one of the most common garden plants. Hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners, since as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall, it's among the easiest plants to grow. Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens, to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shaped leaves almost 2 feet long. Leaves can be puckered, wavy-edged, variegated white or green, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged—the variations are virtually endless. Hostas seem to appear each year in newer sizes and with newer foliage features. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plantain lily, blooms in summer with white or purplish lavender funnel-shaped or flared flowers. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slugs and deer.

Japanese Painted Ferns

Japanese Painted Ferns
Lynn Karlin Photography

One of the most elegant ferns available for your garden, Japanese painted ferns are washed with gorgeous silver and burgundy markings. Lady fern is equally elegant, though not quite as showy. Either will add interest and texture to your shady spots. Closely related to one another, Japanese painted fern and lady fern are sometimes crossed with each other to create attractive hybrids. Unlike most ferns, these toughies will tolerate dry soil. They'll also tolerate some sun if they have ample water.

Garden Plans For Coralbells

Soften a Fence with This Border Garden Plan

Lush Border Garden Plan Illustration
Mavis Augustine Torke

Transform your backyard fence from a boring, blank space into a pleasing backdrop for a gorgeous flower border. The exciting plants in this design plan will provide long-lasting color, fragrance, and texture that will leave you asking, "What fence?"

Download this plan!

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