10 Coral Bells to Spice-Up the Shade Garden

Happy in both shade and full sun, coral bells are low-maintenance perennials whose colorful foliage provides a perfect playmate for other shade-lovers who look great, but could use a bit of an infusion of drama.

Now, with foliage in full view so you can easily see the color, is the ideal time to buy coral bells. Each of these is happy in zones 4 – 9.

Like the combination above? It’s Berry Smoothie Coral Bells with Gold Heart Bleeding Heart. Add some blue-tinged ferns and you have a painterly still life!

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Carnival Cocomint Coral Bells

Rich mint-green foliage frosted in silver with burgundy veins. Mix with purple ones!

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Midnight Rose Coral Bells

Black leaves are spotted hot pink in spring fading to cream and pink in summer. Wow.

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Palace Purple Coral Bells

Dramatic, distinct pointed leaves that look purple or burgundy depending on light.

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Frosted Violet Coral Bells

Shimmery violet-purple foliage with deep burgundy veins that deepen as temps cool.

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Caramel Coral Bells

New leaves emerge bright gold, maturing to a warm peachy orange. Tolerates humidity.

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Green Spice Coral Bells

Bright-green foliage painted with deep-purple veins; mix with darker coral bells.

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Redstone Falls Trailing Foamy Bells

Spilling habit and ruby-splashed, ruffled foliage make this ideal for a tall container.

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Obsidian Coral Bells

Smaller and compact means it’s right-sized for city gardens and windowboxes.

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Marmalade Coral Bells

Two-tone foliage is only bested by the super-tall, orange-hued floral stems.

Cultivating Coral Bells

Typically unfussy and easy to grow given afternoon shade in the hottest regions. Herbaceous perennial, in colder zones they’ll die back in the late fall and come back in spring. Evergreen in warmer zones.

  • Partial to full sun.
  • Provide a rich, well-drained soil and water.
  • Fertilize regularly throughout the growing season.
  • Provide partial shade in hottest summer regions.
  • For a neat appearance, remove old flower stalks.
  • Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring.
  • Pruning time: early spring.

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