Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
One landscape plant I wish I grew of are Heuchera today on Southern Gardening.
I absolutely love the colorful foliage of Heuchera with the seemingly unlimited variation foliage textures that add interest in any garden or landscape. Ruffled margins, some with deep cuts, and others with smooth edges. Texture is certainly on display with coral bells. The first coral bells had green foliage. It’s amazing how imaginative and productive the breeders have been. Lately it seems like the green foliage selections are hard to find, particularly in the Deep South due to our hot and humid summer season. New selections have purple, red and white marbling and different colored venation. Foliage colors of bright gold, orange and brown abound. And others with different colors on top and bottom add flashes of color when the wind blows. From my experience these more colorful selections seem to do better in my landscape. I was recently visiting the Mississippi State Trial Gardens in Starkville where they are creating quite a display of coral bells with many of my new favorites. Coral bells don’t have many pests. Perhaps the biggest problem is leaf scorching, especially if not planted in partial shade. Find a spot having a few hours of afternoon shade. Well drained soil is a must. Plant the crown a little higher than the surrounding grade to increase drainage. In spring or fall, carefully dig the plant and break the pieces up where you see the small leaves coming out and replant.
I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I hope you join me next time on Southern Gardening.