6 Reasons Coral Bells Belong In Your Garden

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Coral bells, also known as Heuchera or alumroot, are a group of perennials known for their stunning foliage and delicate, bell-shaped flowers. Heuchera plants are diverse and colorful perennials native to North America. They are well-known for their attractive foliage with a unique waxy texture that can be used to make natural dyes. With their wide range of colors and textures, ease of maintenance, and ability to attract pollinators to the garden, coral bells are an incredibly versatile plant for any gardener. 

Whether you’re adding a pop of color to an outdoor patio, or creating depth and delight in a cottage garden, coral bells allow you to easily customize your landscape. Learn more as we dive deeper and discuss six in-depth reasons why this powerhouse of a plant belongs in your garden.

Green Coral Bell Leaves

#1. They feature striking & versatile foliage

This small plant packs a colorful punch! Coral bells colors feature a wide range of hues, including pink, green, and everything in between. Some varieties of coral bells have heavily veined leaves, while others have ruffled edges or a wavy texture.

They are semi-evergreen in colder climates and evergreen in others. Discover your zones to learn which variety best fits you HERE. With so many different colors and textures to choose from, coral bells can be used to create various exciting and unique garden designs!

#2. They are container-friendly

Aside from an array of colors, what also makes coral bells so versatile is their ability to thrive in containers. Compact in habit, coral bells have a shallow root system that doesn’t require a lot of space, making them perfect for growing in containers. This means your coral bells can thrive on apartment balconies, porches, small gardens, and more!

In fact, growing coral bells in containers can actually be beneficial because it allows for better control of soil quality and moisture levels. Additionally, container-grown coral bells can be easily moved around to find the perfect spot to thrive, whether in full sun or partial shade.

#3. Coral bells are pollinator magnets

Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love coral bells just as much as we do! Coral bells are beautiful additions to the garden and play an essential role in supporting local wildlife, particularly pollinators. Pollinators especially love taller varieties, with their large bells producing tons of sweet nectar, becoming a beacon of activity in your landscape. 

The smaller varieties are still a popular pollinator spot, with their sturdy foliage creating a perfect buffet pedestal for insects and birds alike. In addition, because they can flower more than once per year, you can expect pollinators paying a visit to your garden time and time again.

Close up of a coral bell flower stalk

Pictured above: ‘Paris’ Coral Bells

#4. They are perfect for shaded areas

Along with their ability to grow well in containers, many varieties of coral bells also thrive in low light levels, making them a perfect addition to the shady areas of your garden. Some varieties thrive in partial shade or filtered light, making them an ideal plant for areas of your garden that don’t receive a lot of direct sunlight.

Their shallow root system allows them to grow well under trees and shrubs where other plants may struggle. With their beautiful foliage and stunning blooms, coral bells can add texture and interest to any shade garden.  No shade to other plants, but that’s just awesome!

#5. They are oh-so-easy to care for

By now, it’s no secret: coral bells are extremely low-maintenance! Aside from regular watering during its peak season and minimal pruning in early spring, it is that easy to take care of due to it’s shade-loving nature.

Just make sure to examine leaves for diseases every so often visually. If you find a potential bacterial spot, cut it off and closely examine the affected area the following week. It really is that easy to have 3+ seasons of stunning foliage in your home garden every year.

Hosta & Coral Bells

Pictured above: Coral Bells and Hosta

#6. They make amazing companion plants

Because of their versatility, coral bells make excellent additions to already thriving shade gardens! One of our favorite combinations is planting coral bells right next to hostas. These shade-loving perennials have large, textured leaves that can contrast the smaller, more delicate foliage of coral bells.

Additionally, the foliage of coral bells can add texture to a garden, with some cultivars having ruffled or patterned leaves. With their ability to complement and enhance other plants, it’s easy to see why coral bells make excellent companion plants!

Tips for growing coral bells

For successful growth in a garden or landscape, it is best to plant coral bells during spring or fall when the soil is moist and cool. Coral bells prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and slightly acidic, so be sure to test your soil before planting to ensure healthy growth. When planting, select a location that receives partial shade, as direct sunlight can be harmful. These plants don’t like too much water! It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. You can also fertilize in the spring and fall to encourage growth, however, this step is optional.

For container planting, ensure the pot has drainage holes and use a high-quality potting mix. Select a container that is at least 12 inches in diameter with drainage holes to allow excess water to drain. Learn more about determining the right size pot for your container plant HERE. Carefully remove the coral bells from their nursery pot and gently loosen the roots. Place the plant in the center of the container and backfill with potting mix until the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Water the plant thoroughly after planting and then regularly. Then you’re good to go! Deadhead spent flowers and remove any damaged or yellowing leaves as needed to promote healthy growth. 

Luckily, the Proven Winners varieties we offer were bred to be disease resistant so you don’t have to worry about losing precious bells!

Vibrant Purple Coral Bells

Coral bells from Great Garden Plants

In conclusion, if you are looking for a plant that is both beautiful and beneficial, coral bells are an excellent choice. These perennials come in a wide range of colors and textures, making them a versatile addition to any garden design. They are also relatively low maintenance and are able to tolerate a range of growing conditions, from partial shade to full sun, meaning they can thrive just about anywhere!

Great Garden Plants offers a wide range of coral bell varieties, each of which has been carefully selected for its beauty and ability to thrive in a variety of growing conditions. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, our online store has everything you need to create a stunning and eco-friendly garden that you can enjoy for years to come.

Shop our collection of coral bells below:

Bright Red Coral Bells
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‘Berry Smoothie’ Coral Bells

‘Caramel’ Coral Bells

Primo® ‘Black Pearl’ Coral Bells

Dolce® ‘Cherry Truffles’ Coral Bells

‘Paris’ Coral Bells

Dolce® ‘Silver Gumdrop’ Coral Bells

Questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know! We have an experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to make sure your garden turns out perfect. Or check out our other blogs, here.