|Common Name||Alum root|
|US Patent #||PP20364|
|EU Grant #||EU26593|
|Bloom Time||August, September|
|Foliage Color||Green, Lime, Orange, Pink|
|Exposure||Full Sun, Part Shade|
|Hardiness Zone||4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9|
|How Different?||'Southern Comfort' has the biggest leaves of all the amber foliage Heuchera. Award winner.|
|Landscape Value||Mass planting, accent, mixed beds.|
|Most Active Growing Season||Spring|
|Size (HT/W/FL HT)||14" / 24" / 22"|
|Soil (Garden)||Moderately well drained, organic Soil (Garden) types are best.|
|Water (Garden)||Average, better too dry than too wet when established.|
|Special Uses||Award Winners, Deep South, Hummingbird Attractor, Pollinator Attractor, Winter Color|
|Comments||Has been given the Dallas Arboretum Seal of Approval from their Perennials for Purgatory trials. A TOP PICK and a Visitor Favorite in the 3 year Mt. Cuba Center trials - Heuchera For the Mid Atlantic, 2014.|
Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’
With huge cinnamon-peach leaves and a lush habit, this plant makes a bold foliage statement like a Hosta (but evergreen). Creamy white flowers erupt in late summer. Foliage color changes from cinnamon peach to burnished copper to amber. Bred to do well in Southern humidity, the Midwest, the Northeast or in the Northwest.
|Water (Greenhouse)||Dry moderatley between waterings.|
|EC||0.6 – 0.9|
|pH||5.5 – 6.5|
|Fertility Needs||100 – 150 ppm|
|Notes||Be careful not to bury the crowns when planting.|
|Finish Time to 4″||4 – 6 weeks|
|Finish Time to Gallon||8 – 10 weeks|
|Day Length for Flowering||Day Neutral|
One of the easiest perennials to grow, coral bells are virtually carefree. Here are the basics:
• Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, coral bells are tolerant of a wide range of light conditions, poor soil, heat, cold, humidity and drought.
• Foliage comes in nearly every color imaginable, from silver to nearly black. Leaves are patterned, ruffled, wavy or smooth.
• Flowers occur in hues of coral, red, white or pink and are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, and are long-lasting in cut arrangements.
Plant coral bells in spring or fall. Space plants 1-2 feet apart.
Light: Coral bells can be grown in a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to shade. Foliage color and bloom are best when plants receive at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight.
Soil: Heuchera does best in rich well-draining soil, but is tolerant of clay or rocky soils and salt. If you have heavy clay garden soil, amend it to improve the drainage before planting your new coral bells or plant them in a raised bed.
Fertilizer/Watering: Keep soil evenly moist but not soggy. Heuchera is somewhat drought-tolerant once established. Provide extra water during hot spells. In spring, spread a thin layer of compost or apply a balanced slow-release granular fertilizer around the base. For container-grown plants, supplement with a water-soluble fertilizer according to instructions.
Pruning: Trim back tattered foliage in early spring.
Pots: Coral bells grow beautifully in containers. Just make sure there is a hole in the bottom where the excess water can drain from. Transplant into the landscape in early fall if you’d like them to come back again next year. If you garden in zones 6b or warmer, they can be overwintered in containers.
Varieties with lighter colored leaves, like yellow or soft peach, need more shade to protect them from sun scorch. Plant them in morning sun or full shade.
Varieties with near-black foliage or another saturated color can handle more sun. In cooler growing regions, they will even grow in full sun if given enough moisture.
Coral bells with especially fuzzy leaves tend to prefer less water and be more heat tolerant than those with shiny leaves. Those are good choices to plant in warmer climates and in places where the soil tends to be a bit drier.
Some varieties of coral bells change colors throughout the year. Spring and fall weather tends to make the colors brighter while the summer’s heat may encourage a light silvering to develop on some varieties. This is perfectly normal and should not be a cause for concern.
Some varieties of coral bells produce showy flowers while others are grown strictly for their foliage. When shopping, read the plant label to know whether you should expect showy blooms to appear.
Varieties that produce flowers can be used as cut flowers in fresh bouquets. The flower stems are typically long and strong enough for cutting and the flowers last several days. The leaves of coral bells can also be used in small arrangements.
Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to coral bells with vibrant red or pink flowers.
Heuchera goes well with many other perennials, trees and shrubs.
For shady locations, combine with other woodland plants such as astilbe, bleeding heart, ferns, hellebores, hosta, Japanese forest grass and lamium.
For sunny sites, plant alongside artemisia, bugleweed, daylilies, geranium, iris, lady’s mantle, lysimachia and ornamental grasses.
Do heucheras die back in winter?: Coral bells are evergreen in warmer regions and semi-evergreen in colder climates.
Should you cut back heuchera?: If foliage looks ragged, cut plants back in early spring to stimulate fresh new growth. Remove any dead or damaged foliage as needed. Cut back spent flower stalks to encourage rebloom.
Are heucheras perennials?: Heucheras are reliable perennials in most regions.
What is the best place to plant coral bells?: Heucheras are native to North American woodlands, prairies and mountain regions. They will thrive in conditions that simulate their native habitat.
How much water do they need?: Coral bells prefer moist, well-drained soil. Soggy, wet soil, especially over the winter months, kills more coral bells than cold temperatures. Don’t plant them where you pile your snow for the winter.
Can coral bells be planted in full sun?: The ideal conditions for coral bells is part shade, meaning 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, and out of the way of scorching afternoon sun. However, heuchera plants will grow in any amount of sunlight, including full sun, as long as you water well. If the foliage starts to turn brown with crispy edges, it is probably getting too much sun and should be moved to a shadier location.
How big do heucheras get?: Coral bells have a mounding habit, growing 6-16 inches tall and 12-36 inches wide. Flower spikes reach 1-3 feet tall.
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- Garden Smart: Revisiting the Classics – click here
- April, 2020 – Courier Journal: Thanks to horticultural hanky panky, coral bells aren’t your grandma’s garden plant anymore – click here
- July/August, 2019 – Garden Gate – click here
- October, 2018 – Garden Gate – click here
- July/August, 2011 – Ohio Gardener – click here
- November/December, 2010 – Virginia Gardener – click here
- September 23, 2009 – Water Gardening (Online) – click here
- April, 2009 – Digger – click here
- November 16, 2008 – The San Diego Union Tribune – click here
- June, 2008 – Michigan Gardener – click here
- April 19, 2008 – The Journal Times (Online) (Lower Hudson Valley, NY) – click here
- April 18, 2008 – In the Garden (Blog) – click here
- April 6, 2008 – Mid-Atlantic Grower – click here
- April 1, 2008 – Today’s Garden Center – click here