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Just back from the hairdresser! This perky Spirit is permed, colored, and ready to pose for gorgeous garden pictures at the front of your mixed border. Crimson Curls Coral Bells flaunts the curliest leaves—curlier than the earlier popular selection, Chocolate Ruffles. Crimson Curls is a tighter, denser grower, too. You’ll love its intense rosy–red new growth, which eventually settles down into a deep auburn. In mild climates, the foliage becomes a glowing ruby-red in the winter months. All year long, this head-turner will give you a sharp, colorful accent for the formal areas around your home.
Coral Bells are native Spirits that grow all over North America in different forms. Up until the 1990s, gardeners considered them to be nice garden plants, but nothing too spectacular. Then breeders began to make crosses, and exciting new Coral Bells in brilliant colors began to appear. Crimson Curls Coral Bells was developed by Ray Brown of Plant World Botanic Gardens in Devon, England. Brown planted a bed of various Coral Bells in 1993, including the chocolate purple–leaved Palace Purple, and let them pollinate one another. He selected Crimson Curls from the resulting seedlings in 1996 and introduced it to the public in the early 2000s.
How to Grow
Most Coral Bells do best in morning sun, with shade during the hottest part of the day. Bright light will bring out the richest coloring in their foliage, but intense sun can scorch some varieties. Plant Crimson Curls in rich, organic, well-drained soil that is moist but never soggy. Trim off spent flower spikes if you find them unattractive. Crimson Curls is evergreen; clean up any winter-damaged foliage in early spring. Black vine weevils can be a problem in some areas. You can control them organically with beneficial nematodes if this is the case, or simply keep your Coral Bells in containers.
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