10 Companion Plants for Coral Bells (With Pictures)
Coral bells are high-foliage plants that produce small flowers shaped like bells that attract butterflies and other pollinating insects. They are attractive and easy to grow, but many people struggle to find plants that can act as companions to coral bells. If this sounds like your situation, keep reading as we look at several plants that you can use.
The 10 Companion Plants for Coral Bells
|Reason to grow||Similar growing environment|
Hostas pair well with coral bells because they both enjoy a similar growing environment, and the thick, shiny leaves of the hosta can help prevent foraging animals like rabbits and deer from eating the coral bells. Another benefit of pairing the two plants is that they produce amazing colorful foliage each year.
|Reason to grow||Similar growing environment|
Astilbe has similar growing conditions as coral bells, and together, they can produce an attractive garden. This plant’s flowers look almost like red, pink, and white flames, and they will perfectly accent the coral bells all summer long. They can get quite large, so they work best as a background plant, or you can choose a dwarf variety to mix in.
3. Japanese Painted Fern
|Reason to grow||Similar hardiness zones|
The Japanese Painted Fern does well in growing zones 3–8, which is close to the coral bells, meaning they will almost always grow well together. This fern is a great choice for adding more color to the surrounding foliage as it grows, and it won’t steal nutrients or block sunlight, slowing growth.
|Reason to grow||Bright colors|
Impatiens are great plants to pair with coral bells because they are extremely tolerant of shade and available in various colors, including red, white, pink, purple, and yellow. The abundant flowers will improve the appearance of any garden with bright colors usually reserved for full-sunlight plants.
|Reason to grow||Colorful thick foliage|
The hellebore is a good choice for pairing with coral bells because it produces thick leaves in many colors that look attractive and can prevent rabbits and other foragers from eating your plants. One trait of these plants is that they require full sun during the winter, which is usually not a problem because everything else dies off, but in the summer, it prefers a cooler shady environment like the coral bells do.
|Reason to grow||Many color options|
Daylilies are great for pairing with coral bells because they produce foliage that resembles a green waterfall and works well to create a border. These plants also don’t mind extra sun and can help make shade for the coral bells due to their large size. They produce attractive flowers that only last a day but continue to bloom throughout the season. They are available in several different colors and sizes, so you can find something that perfectly accents your garden.
|Reason to grow||Large flowers|
The iris is a great plant to pair with coral bells because it can get large enough to help cast shade on the coral bells while enjoying full sunlight. It produces large, showy flowers that many people enjoy. There are more than 300 varieties, with colors that include blue, violet, purple, yellow, and white, along with many different shades of each.
|Reason to grow||Matching flowers|
The azalea is an attractive plant that produces large clusters of bell-shaped flowers that perfectly match the flowers of coral bells. The downside to this plant is that it enjoys warmer growing zones of 6–8, so getting them to grow well together can be challenging if you are not in the right spot.
|Reason to grow||Hardy|
The brunnera plant is an extremely hardy plant that produces attractive foliage that will complement your coral bells nicely. It has silver leaves with green veins running through them, contrasting the coral bell’s dark-green leaves perfectly.
|Reason to grow||Attractive foliage|
Pulmonaria produces attractive foliage that complements the coral bell’s dark-green leaves. The leaves of this plant have many white spots that almost look like someone spilled paint on them. It produces small pink and purple flowers that look amazing, and it doesn’t need much fertilizer to stay healthy.
What Are the Worst Companion Plants for Coral Bells?
Since your coral bells enjoy plenty of shade throughout the year, especially during the hot summer months, it wouldn’t be a good idea to plant sun-loving plants nearby, especially if they won’t get tall enough to cast shade on your coral bells to help them grow better. The coral bells would likely get too much sunlight, which can fade their color and slow their growth, or the other plant would get too little sunlight, slowing growth and reducing the harvest. Some plants might not even bloom if there isn’t enough sunlight. Plants to avoid pairing with coral bells include the black-eyed Susan, chrysanthemum, coneflower, cosmos, and delphinium.
When choosing plants to pair with your coral bells, look for something with a similar growing environment. It should grow well in shady areas of cooler climates and in well-drained soil that is neither too moist nor too dry. If you want to create thick foliage under your flowers and a barrier against foraging animals like deer and rabbits, we suggest the hosta, brunnera, or pulmonaria. If you are looking for more flowers and color, go with the impatiens or the iris.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels