Heuchera "Coral Bells"-Review
Heuchera, commonly known as “Coral Bells”, are a wonderful accent perennial plant. These various colored plants complement any landscape or garden. Coral bells can range from a bright, almost neon yellow-green, to an almost black maroon color. Heuchera are very easy to grow, and maintenance on these plants is also very minimal. One of Heuchera’s biggest benefits is that it is one of few perennials that are evergreen.
Where Should I Plant Heuchera
Most varieties, when planted around St.Louis, need to be planted in partial shade away from the afternoon sun. Heuchera grow relatively fast, and have more vibrant coloring and stronger flower production if given adequate shade from the sun. While some coral bells can take full sun, they must have regular watering to thrive. These perennials can become faded or sun scorched when in full sun, therefore a light trim will allow for new growth to fill in.
Coral bells will mainly mature to 1 to 2 feet tall and wide, with a flower stalk rising another 6-8 inches above the plant. Most will produce a white to cream color flower, or even have a pinkish fade to them. Heuchera are also deer resistant, which is a major plus for some landscapes located next to the woods. They are a great substitution for the hostas that deer love to eat.
We will cover several different types of Heuchera below, each with a small explanation of the plant and its details. All coral bells listed are a plant root zone 4 or higher, which is good for St. Louis area at zone 6. They also are very drought tolerant and can handle the high temperatures.
Varieties of Heuchera
Midnight Rose Heuchera
This coral bells is popular for its speckled pink spots on its dark burgundy foliage. The pink is a very nice contrast with the darker undertone, and would complement any lighter color plants in a landscape. At zone 4-9 this is a hardy perennial, and requires very little up keep. Midnight rose can handle partial shade to full sun, and will achieve 12” tall and 18” wide at maturity.
Plum Pudding Heuchera
One of our most popular coral bells, Plum Pudding is a darker cultivar with even darker veins. Growing to 18” tall and wide, the creamy white flowers stand out in June against its glossy foliage. Also a zone 4-9, strong enough to last in St. Louis’ rough hot summers and cold winters.
This Heuchera is a multi-tone natural tan mixture. It is a very earthy tone perennial that would blend well in front of a darker foliage plant, or next to dark siding or brick. This coral bell should be used in partial sun only, as the leaves get sun scorch when exposed to full afternoon sun. These cultivars will grow to 18” tall and wide, and gives a nice pinkish flower in spring.
Obsidian is applauded for it’s extremely dark foliage. This striking perennial is almost black in color and has a creamy white flower in spring that really stands out. This cultivar is ideal for part shade to full sun, growing up to 2’ tall and 18” wide, is considered a larger coral bells.
Georgia Peach Heuchera
Is a very interesting coral bell, almost pink in foliage color, this perennial is very showy and can stand alone in landscape beds. Georgia Peach will turn a deeper pink to purple in the winter for a different look. A larger cultivar at 18” tall and 2 feet wide, it boasts a high tolerance to St. Louis’ heat and humidity.
There are many other types of coral bells available and this is a small list of our most common coral bells that do excellent in our St.Louis region. Here is a small tip to prevent root heaving, add a layer of mulch during the wintertime. Also you want to divide coral bell clumps every four years to keep up a fresh appearance. There are many locations multicolored coral bells can find homes in landscape beds.