February Garden Notes from Preen.com

If winter landscapes look drab right now, take a moment this month to consider ways to remedy things in spring. One smart solution is to add attractive plantings of "near-evergreen" perennials to jazz up landscapes currently lacking in year-round appeal.

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Heucheras in landscape

Heuchera 'Caramel', right, can brighten winter landscapes and in early spring are fine companions to daffodils.

If winter landscapes look drab, now’s the time to plan ahead to remedy things.

Lebanon, PA (PRWEB) January 26, 2013

If winter landscapes look drab right now, take a moment this month to consider ways to remedy things in spring. One smart solution is to add attractive plantings of "near-evergreen" perennials to jazz up landscapes currently lacking in year-round appeal, say the garden experts at preen.com, a source of seasonal gardening and weed prevention tips.

One of the best perennials for winter color is coral bells, which is also known as Heuchera. In recent years, hybridizers have introduced dozens of new colors, generating big excitement in this plant category.

Originally known for its interesting green foliage, coral bells now comes with leaves colored pink, coral, black, silver, purple, magenta, brown and more. These North American natives are close to evergreen in many areas, notes preen.com. They also bloom in spring or summer but it’s their foliage that is most interesting.

In warmer areas the plants can hold their leaves and color all winter. In coldest areas where they die back, they are among the earliest plants to fill out in early spring, making them excellent companions to daffodils. Among beauties whose names hint at their foliage coloration are ‘Caramel’, ‘Raspberry Ice’, ‘Amber Waves’, ‘Autumn Bride,’ ‘Frosted Violet’, ‘Georgia Peach’, ‘Midnight Rose’, ‘Marmalade’, ‘Obsidian’ and ‘Lime Rickey’, to name a few.

Coral bells grow best in sun to partial shade, including areas that get only two to four hours of direct or filtered sun. They prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter and moderately moist, such as you’d find in the fringes of woods, where these plants grow in nature. Many of the late-blooming types get fairly large — usually about 3 feet tall and wide. Once established, they are drought tolerant. Sometimes in winter, freezing and thawing may push coral bells out of the soil. In spring, press the plants back down to the ground and they’ll be fine. Snip off any weathered leaves.

For smart tips on these and other seasonal garden tasks, see the “Garden & Landscape Tips” section of preen.com. Preen is the leading brand of garden weed preventers. Preen products don’t kill weeds; they are weed preventers.


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