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As delightful as an ice-cold sweet tea on a hot day! This sensational Spirit is a beautiful sight to see from your patio or lounge chair. Plant Sweet Tea Foamy Bells where you can view it up close and appreciate its complex mix of warm earth tones. Its foliage color ranges from burnished copper to apricot to tawny gold. Each Maple-shaped leaf is further adorned with deep maroon–purple veining. In mild climates, the foliage even remains attractive during the winter months. Serve up some Sweet Tea in any of the partly shaded borders around your home for a lovely show that lasts all year.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
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A marriage made in heaven! Or, in Oregon. Sweet Tea Foamy Bells is a hybrid Spirit that had its origins in Canby, Oregon, in the early 2000s. Master plant breeder Dan Heims and his team at Terra Nova Nurseries crossed two American natives, Coral Bells and Foamflower, to produce a crop of interesting seedlings that became known as Foamy Bells. Sweet Tea was one of the best of the lot, chosen for its large, dramatically colored leaves and its vigor. It was introduced in 2009, and although many other Foamy Bells selections have come out since, it remains a customer favorite.
Flowers, too! Sweet Tea Foamy Bells is grown primarily for its captivating amber-peach foliage, but its blooms are a nice bonus. In late spring, tiny, airy white blossoms rise on slim stems, making a lovely accompaniment to the earth-toned leaves.
How to Grow
Most Foamy 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 Sweet Tea in rich, organic, well-drained soil that is moist but never soggy. Trim off spent flower spikes if you find them unattractive. Sweet Tea 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 Foamy Bells in containers.
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