Winter Care for Coral Bells
Coral bells (heuchera) add distinctive, year-round beauty to a shady or partly shady growing area. Not only do coral bells have delicate blossoms during the summer months, but the plant foliage will stay green and attractive during the winter months as well. Coral bells are hardy to USDA zones 3 through 8, although many varieties prefer cooler regions because they do not grow well in high heat and humidity. Provide winter care for coral bells to insulate their shallow root systems.
Ensure the crowns of the coral bell plants are roughly 1 inch beneath the surface of the soil for best growing results. Adjust planting depth by adding additional soil or removing soil.
Prune away spent blossoms as the season winds down to clean up the plant and make it more attractive.
Add 3 inches of mulch over the root area of the coral bells in late autumn. Keep the mulch 3 inches away from the crowns of the coral bells to ensure the crowns do not decay beneath the mulch.
Remove the mulch in the spring when the soil warms and the growing season begins.
Winter Care For Coral Bells
Grow coral bells in soil that is well draining, improving the soil with 2 to 4 inches of organic matter, such as compost or chopped leaves, at planting time. Coral bells fare the winter much better when the soil is well draining. Water also helps the soil retain heat. This addition helps prevent the soil from heaving during the winter. Wait until spring when new growth starts, and cut back any damaged, dead or unsightly stems.
Because coral bells have exceedingly shallow roots, they are susceptible to winter damage if you do not mulch the roots sufficiently.
- Because coral bells have exceedingly shallow roots, they are susceptible to winter damage if you do not mulch the roots sufficiently.
- Pruning shears
- Shredded mulch (leaves or wood chips)
- University of Vermont: Heuchera
- Preen: Evergreen Perennials -- Color All Year Long
- University of Illinois Extension: Coral Bells
- Hostas Direct: Heuchera Winter Care
- Garden Crossing: Caring for Your Perennials
- University of Illinois Extension: Fall & Winter Care
- Fine Gardening: Genus Heuchera (Coral Flower, Coral Bells)