Ask a Question forum: Coral bells losing its color

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Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Apr 1, 2017 5:32 PM CST
I bought a coral bells last spring with beautiful bronze leaves with maroon undersides, and planted it in a container. It wasn't long before all the leaves turned green, and it never flowered. I tried to keep it in morning sun/afternoon shade. I have since read that they want that, that they want full shade, and that they want full sun. ?? The new growth this year started out bronze and maroon, but it's already starting to turn green. Right now I have it in full shade - I transitioned it from full sun to shade over about a week.
Any ideas on why it's losing its leaf color, and how much sun it actually needs? My garden faces southwest, and it gets really hot here. In the summer I water it daily - it drains well.

Here's a really bad picture - I'm not much of a photographer. :(


Thumb of 2017-04-01/msandsm/b4049a

I just remembered that last summer I had it in full sun, per care instructions. And we haven't had a day yet over 72', so it could probably go back in the sun for now?

Melissa
=^..^=
[Last edited by msandsm - Apr 1, 2017 7:32 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1403572 (1)
Southeast OK (Zone 7b)
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KarenHolt
Apr 1, 2017 8:30 PM CST
Hi Ms.

You need to move this coral bell to a north garden. Somewhere that gets indirect sunlight or filtered sun. Even morning sun afternoon shade will do well for them. But it really needs to be in a north facing spot. Full shade really does not do much for them here. Their roots like to be cool. They could take full sun in a northern climate. But California is a bit too hard on them in full sun. Luckily they recover well when transplanting. Add 1 tablespoon Epsom salt per gallon of water. Water them well after transplanting.

My coral bells kept their color the first year but didn't bloom. Nor did they bloom last year, which was their second but, they were in full shade and getting weak. I moved them to partial shade and their color has returned and they are going to bloom. Good luck.

*Without knowing the type of coral bell you have, there are some few that can be grown in full sun and perform better. Mine just don't do well in full sun and we get hot here as well.

The Epsom salt added to the water helps with transplant shock, which coral bells have a tough time with.
[Last edited by KarenHolt - Apr 1, 2017 8:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Apr 1, 2017 11:33 PM CST

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I agree, they need more light, morning sun preferable. All my red/bronze ones are in full sun.
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Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Apr 2, 2017 2:48 AM CST
Coral Bells will change colors. If you give it the right condition it will give you the bronze color Fall and Spring.
I do not think there are many that stay the same color in the summer.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Apr 3, 2017 12:21 AM CST
I think I may give it to a friend, who has both a north-facing house and bright indirect light in her garden. I have a set up where my plants get morning light till 10:30 or 11:00; after that some are in shade for the rest of the day, and others stay in full sun all day. And there really isn't any way to change that arrangement.

Thank You!
Melissa
=^..^=
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Apr 3, 2017 2:47 AM CST
If you have no where a coral bell can thrive, I envy your sunlight. I have too little. They thrive here almost anywhere.
Southeast OK (Zone 7b)
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KarenHolt
Apr 3, 2017 6:55 AM CST
Calif_Sue said:I agree, they need more light, morning sun preferable. All my red/bronze ones are in full sun.


Good to know they can handle full sun in California. I based my advice on when I first bought mine it didn't do well at all in full sun. Hence the move to full shade. By the beginning of fall I moved them to ps and they have thrived there. Good to know they won't die off.

Cintas is correct as well. Coral bells change colors each season. You just have to hope you like their off season colors.
[Last edited by KarenHolt - Apr 3, 2017 6:57 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1404831 (7)
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
May 29, 2017 3:29 PM CST
Sorry for the delay in responding to all your very helpful answers - I've been incredibly busy. Finally have a break when I can spend more time learning about my plants. Thank You! Smiling
Melissa
=^..^=

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