Coral Bells is a winter-hardy perennial that thrives in USDA growing zones 4 through 8. High heat and humidity prevent this shade-loving plant from doing well in warmer locations. The striking foliage can be green, burgundy, silver, brown, or purple, and the plants can retain their foliage throughout the winter in some areas.
As long as the plant is covered in winter, Coral Bells can survive the cold conditions and come back in the spring. Packing mulch around the plant will insulate the roots from chilly temperatures and allow the plant to overwinter safely.
Cutting Back Coral Bells For Winter
Remove any spent or damaged growth from your Coral Bells in the fall. Leave the rest of the foliage in place during the winter. In zones 6, 7, and 8, the plant may retain its foliage all winter and grow as an evergreen. The foliage will help protect the plant from cold temperatures and snowfall in colder areas. Foliage that died back during the winter can be removed in the spring after there is no longer a chance of frost.
Coral Bells Winter Care in Pots
Potted Coral Bells should be moved into a protected area during the winter. The plants can be transplanted into the ground and surrounded by mulch to protect the roots from chilly temperatures. The entire pot can be moved into a garage, basement, or even inside and grown as a houseplant during the winter. As long as the temperature is above 45 degrees, the plant will be safe. Coral Bells may go dormant during the winter, but if there is enough light and the temperature is warm enough, the plant may continue to grow.
Watering Coral Bells in Winter
It is unnecessary to water Coral Bells planted in the ground during the winter. Potted plants brought inside will need water when the top couple of inches of the soil feel dry. If the plant is dormant and not actively growing, it can dry out more before watering.
Growing Coral Bells Indoors
Bringing Coral Bells indoors for the winter can let you enjoy the stunning foliage all year long. Place the potted Coral Bells in a spot that receives medium to bright indirect light and water when the top couple of inches of soil is dry to the touch. Drench the soil when it is time to water until excess water drains through the pot. Feeding a potted Coral Bells is not necessary if the plant is dormant; however, if the plant is pushing out new foliage or flowers, feed the plant using a water-soluble fertilizer.
Steps To Care For Coral Bells in Winter
Where your Coral Bells plant spends the winter determines the type of care the plant needs. This cold-hardy plant can easily handle a winter outdoors with the proper care, but if you bring the plant inside, it can still do very well, and you can enjoy the beautiful leaves throughout the colder months.
Step 1 - Remove dead or damaged growth.
Step 2 - Place mulch, pine straw, or dead leaves around the plant to protect the roots.
Step 3 - Move potted plants to a protected space, either in a garage or basement or inside your home.
Step 4 - Water potted plants that are actively growing when the top couple of inches of soil are dry; let the soil dry out more before watering dormant potted plants.
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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 15-12-2021