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Description

Coral bells are one of the most charming flowering perennials for residential gardens within the Inland Empire. A number of cultivars are now available from many nurseries; some are derived from native California species. Coral bells are recognized by their rounded leaves, delicate flowers and tidy mounding habit. They produce numerous slender spikes containing colorful bell-shaped flowers in the spring.

Coral bells are highly attractive when featured in small garden spaces and containers, or when planted in large masses and drifts in the understory of trees. Their best garden value is achieved when planted in partial shade, in well-drained soils with regular water. Flowering cycles vary according to species and cultivar; ranging from spring to summer and fall. Leaves can burn when planted in full sun in hot locations. Popular cultivars include H. 'Wendy' is a robust selection that mounds 10-12 in. high with pink flowers, H. 'Santa Ana Cardinal', growing 10-12 in. high with cardinal red flowers, H. 'Canyon Chimes' is a tiny cultivar growing 4-6" high with small leaves and petite pink flowers, and H. 'Suzana' produces coral-red flowers and mounds 8-12" high.

Water Needs

Coral bells grow well throughout the Inland Empire in partial shade and with normal winter rainfall and moderate amounts of summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates Coral bells can grow with varying amounts of water; higher amounts of water will result in stronger springtime flowering performance and summer foliage character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

 
0"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
2"-3"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
2"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding, Compact
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.
Width: 12 in. - 15 in.
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Foliage Color: Medium green, Bronze, Bright green
Flower Color: Red, Pink
Flower Season: Summer, Spring, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Moderate shade, Partial sun
Function: Wildlife value, Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Near pools and water features, Mass planting, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, California native, Borders, Small spaces

Maintenance

In small gardens, spent blooms can be removed periodically to extend the bloom season (1). Heucheras can be divided to thin and replant elsewhere in the garden (or give away) by digging up and separating in November. Dividing every few years can also help reinvigorate plants (2).

References

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