Coral Bells

Nothing quite amazes me like the never ending stunning varieties that Coral Bells are made up of.  While the flowers are rather insignificant, it’s that glossy, veined, single of multi-coloured foliage that makes this a beautiful specimen to have in your garden. Planting the darker cultivars among gardens of bright green foliage will add dramatic visual interest to your landscape.  Deadheading will keep it’s appearance tidy and dividing it every 3-4 years in the Spring will give you an endless supply of this star.

Coral Bell’s

Heuchera sanguinea

  • Light Exposure: Sun-shade
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 12-36″
  • Width: 6-30″
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Bloom Colour: Red, white, pink
  • Foliage Colour: Red, gray, blue, green, yellow, and combos of all those colours
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, slopes, groundcover
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fall colour, attracts hummingbirds
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

Culver’s Root

This shade loving perennial is slow to establish however is a lovely plant to have in your garden with it’s deep, glossy, green foliage and soft spiky flower heads that give structural interest that carries over into the winter.  It may require some staking if it gets too tall and can be divided every 3-4 years in the Spring.

It has been used medicinally to treat liver disorders and constipation.

Culver’s Root

Veronicastrum virginicum

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Hummus-rich, moist
  • Height: 4-7′
  • Width: 12-18″
  • Bloom Time: Mid Summer to early Fall
  • Bloom Colour: White, pink, blue
  • Foliage Colour: Glossy dark green
  • Pests and Disease: Root rot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, cut flowers, attracts butterflies
  • Zone: 4-8

Example Varieties:

Jacob’s Ladder

This nectar rich shade lover is named for it’s distinctive ladder like foliage that supports delicate flowers of white, pink, purple and yellow.  Pinching back the plant after flowering may encourage reblooming and any brown foliage that occurs from too much sun, called scorching, can be trimmed away to promote regrowth.  Bees can get both nectar and pollen from the flowers so it is a great benefit to have some of these unassuming perennials in your garden.

Divide Jacob’s Ladder every 2-4 years in the Spring.

Jacob’s Ladder

Polemonium sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 1-3′, depending on variety
  • Width: 6″-2′, depending on variety
  • Bloom Time: Spring to early Summer
  • Bloom Colour: White, pink, purple, yellow
  • Foliage Colour: Green, variegated green-white
  • Pests and Disease: Powdery mildew, wilt
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, cut flowers, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Solomon’s Seal

A gorgeous shade loving perennial, Solomon’s Seal is slow to establish however what it’s in place its bright green leaves and delicate white flowers are beautiful to behold.  As the season goes into the fall you are then rewarded with golden autumn foliage and decorative black seed pods.

Many species are edible with it’s leaves, stems and rhizomes used in tea and it’s a known medicinal as an diabetic aid, aphrodisiac and an aid in mental vitality.

You can divided Solomon’s Seal in the early fall.

Solomon’s Seal

Polygonatum biflorum

  • Light Exposure: Partial sun-shade
  • Soil Type: Rich, moist, hummus
  • Height: 2-3′
  • Width: 8″-2′
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Bloom Colour: Greenish white, cream
  • Foliage Colour: Blue/green, golden in fall
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, fragrant, cut flowers, drought tolerant, Fall colour
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties: