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Coralbells are the coleus of the perennial world. These wonderful 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. They are wonderful in shade and add pops of color to any garden setting. And they are extremely low maintenance as well!
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Part Sun, Shade, Sun
1 to 3 feet
6-30 inches wide
garden plans for Coralbells
With such a broad palette of colors to choose from, there is almost no end to the combinations you can make with coralbells. That, plus their adaptability to being both in-ground and container plants, makes this a truly versatile plant. It seems like every year there are new varieties of coralbells on the market. With improved colors, bigger leaves, brighter flowers, and new patterns, there is always something new to try with coralbells.
Originally, most research on coralbells focused on creating new and unique foliage colors and patterns. That avenue has been flushed out, and botanical work is now focused on other attributes, like larger and more floriferous blooms. In the near future, there may be a rainbow of coralbells that also boast masses of blooms as well!
Coralbells Care Must-Knows
Coralbells are extremely easy to grow plants, as long as they don't stay too wet. Many species of coralbells are native to rocky cliffs and places that have very sharp drainage, so they don't like sitting in too much water. Depending on the variety, some coralbells can perform well in 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 these blooms going even longer, make sure to deadhead spent blooms. This may encourage the plants to produce a second wave of blooms. Some varieties will also sporadically bloom throughout the growing season. Blossoms of coralbells also make great, long-lasting cut flowers!
It seems as though every year there is a new must-have coralbell on the market—it's hard to keep up with all of the new advancements in this family of plants. With such a wide variety of species native to the U.S., there is constantly work being done to further improve cultivars. Whether it's improving heat and humidity tolerance or winter hardiness, advancements keep getting better and better. So if you have tried coralbells before and haven't had the best of luck, don't fret! Look for other varieties that may be more suited to your area, and try again. Some older varieties lack the vigor that new ones have.
More Varieties of Coralbells
'Amber Waves' Coralbells
Heuchera 'Amber Waves' has 8-inch mounds of exciting wavy-edge 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
Heuchera 'Dolce Blackcurrant' offers rich purple leaves with splashes of silver. It grows 16 inches tall and 20 inches wide. Zones 4-9
'Dolce Creme Brulee' Coralbells
Heuchera 'Dolce Creme Brulee' offers lovely bronzy foliage from spring to fall. It grows 16 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 4-9