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Coral Bells

This hard working plant was a mainstay in our grandparents' gardens.

coral bells flowers

Photo: sciondriver (flickr)

It throws up multiple stalks of airy pink, white or red flowers in late spring and repeats through the growing season if deadheaded.

Perhaps you have a sunny or partially shaded area where you could plant our native “Heuchera,” commonly called “Coral Bells.”  This hard working plant was a mainstay in our grandparents’ gardens.

It throws up multiple stalks of airy pink, white or red flowers in late spring and repeats through the growing season if deadheaded.  The plants form a crown and the leaves are pretty and rounded.

Some varieties, such as “Palace Purple” and “Pewter Moon” have colored foliage which adds interest and contrast all season long.

Dividing Coral Bells

If you already have a plant it can easily be divided.  You just dig it up with plenty of soil around the roots and cut it into sections.  Pieces with good roots can be replanted immediately.

Set the crown deeper than it grew before and pat it in firmly with the soil right up to its lowest leaves, and water well.  Divisions with few roots can be planted in 3″ pots, well watered and covered with a plastic bag.

Planting

In the shade they will grow strong roots in about a month.

Remember the principle of repetition, and alternate the new plants between compatible neighbors or line them up along the edge of a bed.

Heucheras give height, when in bloom, and mounded clumps of foliage that can be used to create rhythm in your garden.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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