Coral bells are a versatile perennial native to North America with attractive foliage
and bell-shaped flowers. Foliage is evergreen to semi-evergreen and provide interest
year-round. The leaves are the real show; in addition to the many colors, some have
marbled patterns, dramatic veining, silvery overlays, and ruffled edges. Flowers open
on wiry stems above the foliage in the spring to early summer. Flower colors range
from pink to red and white and are favored by butterflies and bees.
Coral bells grow best in part shade, but many will grow in full sun if properly watered.
The light-colored foliage varieties are best in shade protected from the hot sun;
dark-colored foliage forms tolerate more sun. It is quite drought tolerant once established;
however, due to shallow roots, watering during dry spells is recommended. Avoid wet,
soggy soils, particularly in winter.
Coral bells can be lightly fertilized in spring. Remove spent flower stalks at the
base. Prune only dead or sun-scorched leaves in late winter. Due to a shallow root
system, frost heave can result in winter damage; add a light layer of mulch around
the base of plants to avoid this problem.
Exposure: Sun to part shade
Soil: Moist, well-drained
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9