Should coral bells be deadheaded?

Answered by Cody Janus

Coral bells (heuchera) should be deadheaded to promote more blooms and overall plant health. Deadheading refers to the removal of spent flowers, which encourages the plant to produce more flowers and prevents it from putting energy into producing seeds. By deadheading coral bells, you can extend their blooming period, as they may continue to produce flowers throughout the summer.

To deadhead coral bells, simply cut off the stalks of the faded flowers using a pair of sharp scissors or pruners. It’s best to do this task regularly as the flowers start to fade, rather than waiting until all the flowers have finished blooming. By removing the spent flowers promptly, you allow the plant to redirect its energy into leaf production and potential new flower buds.

In addition to deadheading, it is also beneficial to divide heuchera clumps every three or four years. Over time, coral bells can become crowded, which can lead to reduced vigor and flowering. Dividing the clumps helps rejuvenate the plants and encourages healthier growth. To divide heuchera, carefully dig up the clump and separate it into smaller sections, making sure each division has sufficient roots and foliage. Replant the divisions in well-prepared soil, spacing them apart to allow for future growth.

Personal experience: I have been growing coral bells in my garden for several years, and I have found that deadheading greatly prolongs their blooming period. By regularly removing faded flowers, I have been able to enjoy their colorful blooms for an extended period of time. Additionally, dividing the clumps every few years has helped maintain the health and vigor of my coral bells, ensuring they continue to thrive in my garden.