Coral bells (Heuchera spp.) are herbaceous perennial plants that are hardy to USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. They are easy to grow and are great for planting in gardens, as border plants, and as ground covers.
Coral bells feature large heart-shaped leaves and are generally considered evergreen. But over the years, lots of varieties and hybrids have emerged with different variations of foliage colors, such as purple, bronze, and even gold.
Apart from their robust foliage, another outstanding feature of coral bell plants is their long spike of bell-shaped flowers, which is also where they get their nickname from. They bloom in late spring and early summer, producing gorgeous flowers in different colors ranging from white to deep red.
Coral bells are native to northern America and can reach 8 to 18 inches in height and 12 to 24 inches in width. They are considered non-toxic, making them safe around pets and children.
|Botanical name||Heuchera spp.|
|Common name||Coral Bells, Alum root.|
|Size||8 to 18 inches high; 12 to 24 inches wide.|
|Lighting||Full to partial shade.|
|Soil||Moist but also well-draining humus-rich soil.|
|Temperature||59 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit ( 15 – 18 degrees Celsius).|
|Fertilizer||Light release fertilizer.|
Coral Bells Flower Care
Coral bells are great ornamental plants requiring little maintenance. Coral bells will always produce beautiful, large, rounded leaves when provided with the needed growing conditions.
Coral bells will perform better when grown under full or partial shade. Ensure your plant is getting enough bright, filtered, indirect light wherever it is located.
Exposing your coral bell plant continuously to direct sunlight is dangerous as it can cause scorching of its leaves and also lead to discoloration.
Coral bells grown indoors will appreciate an area that is bright but at the same time not exposed to direct sunlight. A good location for the plant would be close to a south-facing window, as this area is protected from direct sunlight.
Coral bells perform better in well-drained soil that’s capable of retaining moisture, slightly acidic with a pH level of around 6 and 7, and also rich in humus.
When planting in pots, use a potting mix made from a combination of soil, perlite, coco peat, and organic compost. This will help provide the plant with sufficient nutrients for the first few months.
When planting directly in the soil, make certain that your growing area has an adequate irrigation system. Avoid soggy and waterlogged soils, as these are dangerous for the plant.
Constantly maintain moist soil when growing coral bells. Watering of the coral bells plant can be carried out whenever you notice the soil is getting dryer at the top.
During the summer, you should be watering the plant a few times a week until you understand the plant enough to create a watering schedule.
As for the colder months, lay off watering the plants as they will be entering dormancy.
Coral bells do not necessarily need to be fed for the first few months if they were grown in good soil that’s rich in organic compost.
During spring, feed the plant with a slow-release fertilizer applied directly to the soil. You can also use organic compost in place of fertilizer.
For coral bells grown in pots or containers, apply a well-balanced fertilizer diluted to half its strength. You can apply this fertilizer once or twice a month during watering.
Temperature And Humidity
The temperature and humidity your coral bell plant will need will largely depend on the variety you have.
But on average, always ensure the temperature is kept at a range of 59-65 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15-18 degrees Celsius). Most coral bells will thrive well under these conditions.
Coral bells are not affected much by humidity, as a majority of them prefer an airy environment.
As a low-maintenance plant, coral bells do not require regular pruning. However, if you wish to control the size of the plant, you can prune it to your taste.
Deadheading can also be carried out in order to encourage the plant to channel its energy into putting out more leaves.
For a cleaner-looking plant, cut off all dead, old, and infected leaves and stems.
The fastest and easiest method of propagating coral bells is through leaf cutting.
Start by making a leaf cutting from any mature coral bell plant. This should be done in the fall or late summer. The leaf cutting should include an inch of stem.
Fill your pot with a moist potting mix that’s perlite-based. Using a stick, make a hole in the middle of the pot and insert the leaf-cutting into it. Cover up the hole, ensuring the leaf-cutting is held firm in the soil.
Ensure the potting mix remains moist at all times, and in a couple of weeks, you should begin to see new growth.
Common Health Problems/Pests And Diseases
Common pests that might cause you problems include foliar nematodes and weevils. These pests are visible to the naked eye, so you can easily pluck and destroy them with your hands. Also, you can set insect traps around the plant to help reduce its population.
Common diseases affecting coral bells include powdery mildew, rust, and bacterial leaf spot.
No. Coral bells are not toxic to either pets or humans.
Yes. Coral bells are cold-hardy plants and can withstand temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius.
Yes. Coral plants can grow under the full shade provided they get enough indirect light and their soil is kept moist.
Yes. Some varieties of coral bells can tolerate full sun, provided they are constantly watered to keep their roots cool.
Coral bells are hardy perennial plants.