Most of the improvements we make to our plants are for their benefit. One such improvement is the subject of this post.
You should definitely mulch your Coral Bells as it has many benefits. It is best to use 1-2 inches of pine bark for mulch. The best time to mulch is in the spring.
Below I will tell you about the most appropriate types of mulch and what kind of mulch you should avoid using. You will also learn how to mulch properly. After reading this article, be sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Growing Heucheras.
One of the best materials for mulching is compost. This organic mulch supplies the plant with nutrients. It is also good for preventing the soil from drying out quickly.
A small disadvantage of this type of mulch is that it is not very good against weeds. If you choose compost as mulch, you will have to remove the weeds from time to time.
Avoid using poor quality or improperly prepared compost. Instead, buy good compost from a reputable manufacturer.
A second good mulch for Coral Bells is pine bark. One of its major advantages is its long lifespan. Pine bark can last two years while most organic materials break down within a year.
Also, pine bark is good for protecting the ground from overheating and freezing. As a result, the plant will be comfortable both in winter and summer.
Another noticeable advantage of the bark is that it is much harder for weeds to grow through it.
A better choice is pine bark nugget. Pine bark nuggets are bark shredded into 1-2 inch pieces, which is ideal for growing plants.
Another good mulch is pine straw. It looks very original and performs its function well.
An undoubted advantage is the easy access of air to the soil. The pine bark also protects the ground from drying out quickly.
As for weed prevention, it is inferior to pine bark. Pine needles decompose slightly acidifies the soil, which is a small advantage.
One of the disadvantages of pine needles is their short life span. It should be renewed at least once a year.
How to mulch?
If you choose pine bark or compost, the mulch layer should be 2 inches thick. A thicker layer will not allow oxygen to enter the soil and mold may develop. A thinner layer will perform poorly.
If we are talking about pine straw, the layer of mulch should be at least 2 inches. The optimum thickness of the layer is 3-4 inches.
The area to be mulched should be at least the diameter of the bush. But it is better if the mulch circle is twice as big as the plant.
Avoid mulching too close to the stem. There should be a gap of about 1 inch between the heuchera stem and the mulch. A stem buried in the mulch can begin to rot.
The best time to mulch is in spring. After winter, the mulch loses its properties and it is time to replace it. If you use pine bark, check it for quality and if it still holds structure, you may not need to change it. Pine bark can last two or more years.
The second suitable period for mulching is autumn. Over the summer, some of the mulch may decompose and the mulch must be renewed to make it more comfortable for the plant to overwinter.
There are materials that are poorly suited for mulching Coral Bells. But nevertheless, they are widely available on the market.
First of all, it concerns cedar mulch. It is shredded fresh wood. Its disadvantage is that it will absorb nitrogen from the soil and can bring aggressive substances back. The plant may suffer as a result.
The second unsuitable mulch is black mulch. This material is wood waste colored black. Very often such mulch is covered with mold and is absolutely useless for plants.
And the worst mulch is shredded car tires. Never use it for mulching heucheras, because you can cause serious damage to them. In addition, the smell of rubber in your garden will spoil all the enjoyment of plants.
Will Coral Bells grow through mulch?
Coral Bells can grow through mulch if it is no more than 4 inches thick. But pouring mulch over the stem or crown is not a good practice because it will create high moisture around them. As a result, the plant may begin to rot.
If you cut a heuchera, for example, do not cover it with mulch. Allow the wound to dry out and heal.
Always mulch a short distance from the stem (1 inch). This will keep the stem dry and healthy.
If you put more than 4 inches of mulch in the plant, it can simply rot there. Clean it out immediately and provide access to fresh air.