Proper planting plays a key role in the further development of the plants. You need to know the ins and outs of this so that you don’t have to redo it later.
Plant Coral Bells in the spring in partial or full shade. Use nutritious and well-drained soil. Provide at least 1 foot of space around the heuchera. Do not submerge the stem in the ground and water the plant with 1-2 gallons of water after planting.
This is a short summary of planting, we’ll go into more detail below. To stay up to date on all things heuchera, be sure to read the article Caring for Coral Bells.
Where to plant?
The best place to plant Coral Bells is in partial shade. This means that the plant can receive up to 6 hours of direct sunlight. The rest of the time it should remain in the shade.
This is a general recommendation, but not all varieties can handle this amount of light. Light green and yellow varieties should be planted in full shade. They can tolerate about 2 hours of direct light in the morning and no more. If the afternoon sun hits them, the leaves will get burns.
On the other hand, black, purple, and burgundy heucheras can grow in full sun all day and nothing will happen to them. You just need to water them a little more.
It is important that there is no stagnant water in the planting place and no surface water flow (e.g. from the roof). If this is not the case, make drainage under the plant and keep the surface water as far away as possible.
When to plant?
The best time to plant Coral Bells is March-April. Wait until the ground has thawed and warmed up a bit before planting. As a result, the plant will not only take root by the end of the season, but it will also increase in size considerably.
The second favorable period is September. At this time there is no more heat and it will be much easier for the plant to survive planting. Try not to plant much later than September because the plant needs a few weeks to take root before the first frost.
Avoid planting in the summer heat, as heuchera can lose too much water. This will cause most of the leaves to droop. In most cases, the plant will survive but it is still not worth it.
Also, choose a day that is not too sunny. Prefer morning or evening. A light rain the day before will be an advantage. If it didn’t rain, water the Coral Bells 1-2 days before planting.
How to plant?
Dig a hole twice the size of the Coral Bells root ball. Mix the resulting soil with the same amount of compost or soil conditioner. Use high-quality ingredients with no parasites or pathogens.
If you have a high water table in your yard, pour half a bucket of rocks in the bottom of the hole. This will keep the water below the root system.
Gently pull the heuchera out of the pot and place it in the hole. The stem should not be under the ground but only the roots. Fill all the free space with the prepared soil mix.
Water with one gallon of water. After the water is absorbed, fill in more soil if needed. Then water again with one more gallon of water. Then for the rest of the year, water as soon as the soil is 1-2 inches dry.
Put extra shade over the bush for 2-3 weeks. This will make the rooting process much easier as a result the plant will grow noticeably more vigorously.
Do not fertilize Coral Bells in the first year. Usually, in the nursery where you bought it, the plants have enough nutrients for the whole growing season.
The planting depth of Coral Bells should be equal to the depth of its root system. That is, you need to plant level with the soil in the garden. The stem should not be covered with soil, just the roots.
The planting hole on the other side should be at least twice as wide and deeper than the root system. First, fill it partially with improved substrate and then place the heuchera correctly. Then fill in all the empty space.
This is to make it easier for the roots to develop in the first year. So the plant will take root faster. Also, the drained soil protects the roots from rot.
If the stem of your Coral Bells is too long, shorten it instead of burying it. Cut it back in early summer so that the wounds have time to heal by winter. The resulting cuttings can also be used to make a new plant.
Coral Bells should be planted at least 1 foot apart. This is because these plants usually do not grow more than 2 feet wide. This is the general rule of thumb in most cases.
This way you will ensure they have plenty of room to grow. Also, the plants will have a more regular and lush shape.
To be more precise, they should be planted at a distance that is equal to the diameter of the larger plant. For example, you plant a heuchera next to a large hosta that reaches 3 feet in diameter at maturity. The distance between these plants should be 3 feet.
If you plant too close, the plants will have nowhere to grow but upward. As a result, they will be elongated and unsightly. Also, the lack of spacing between the plants is fraught with various diseases.