Grower Select: Georgia Peach Coral Bells
Scrumptious! Georgia Peach Coral Bells will be a sweet sight in your beds, borders, or patio containers. This sublime Spirit stands out for its large, luscious foliage that goes through fascinating color changes throughout the year. The scalloped leaves start off in spring with warm pinkish-orange tones, the upper surface dusted with a delicate frosting of silver. In fall and winter, rich burgundy-pink hues take over. Gorgeous. Not simply pretty, Georgia Peach is also tough, performing well even in the South. It was bred to tolerate heat and humidity, and it handles hot climates as gracefully as any Georgia belle.
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. The charge was led by talented plantsman Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries in Canby, Oregon. Heims and his team developed this selection, too. The Terra Nova crew used especially heat-tolerant parent plants to produce Georgia Peach Coral Bells. It hit the market in 2007 and continues to be a favorite among gardeners in both the North and South.
Flowers, too! Georgia Peach Coral Bells is grown primarily for its captivating, rosy-orange foliage, but its blooms are a nice bonus. In late spring and early summer, tiny, airy, cream-colored blossoms rise on slim stems, making a lovely accompaniment to the apricot leaves.
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 Georgia Peach in rich, organic, well-drained soil that is moist but never soggy. Trim off spent flower spikes if you find them unattractive. Georgia Peach 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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