Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Plant of the Week: Correa

Wow! Do the weeks go by fast or what? Here it is again, time to discuss another favorite plant.

This week I wanted to focus on two plants of the genus Correa. Have you heard of it? If not, probably because it blooms in the (non-shopping season of) winter and is marginally winter-hardy here in the Pacific Northwest. Ooh, but look at those flowers!

Correa 'Dusky Bells'
Starting in September, a succession of pretty pink or white (depending on species) two-inch bells hang from stems cloaked with small, evergreen leaves.

The white bells of Correa alba 'Ivory Bells' and C. 'Dusky Bells'
Here it is the middle of January and my plants are happy as can be, situated in pots on my covered patio. Hummingbirds enjoy nectaring on the bells, making the plants useful for wildlife which I find enormously gratifying.

I discovered Correa in 2018, while reading about winter-blooming plants. My goal was for more color in the garden, not just for the resident Anna's hummingbirds but also because it's so freaking dreary here during the winter that I needed something colorful to help me keep my sanity.

Correa is an Australia native, hence the common name Australian Fuchsia. It is a tough plant for warmer locales, tolerating poor soil, and drought. The lesson here, try not to pamper your plants too much.

Contrast the foliage of 'Dusky Bells' above to the leaves of 'Ivory Bells' below and you'll notice a distinct difference. Which do you like better?

So far, my two plants have eschewed summer's heat (I grow them in shade) and don't appear to be water-guzzlers. No bugs--including the dreaded adult root weevil--have been an issue. Super easy to grow, long blooming, year round interest... what's not to love?

In spring I move the plants (in their pots) out from under the covered patio onto my open patio that has a large Japanese maple canopy--basically a dappled shade spot. There they sit and grow, taking a backseat to the more showy plants. When they start blooming in September and October, I move them back to my covered patio.

Here you can see the chunky little buds.

C. 'Dusky Bells' was bigger when I purchased the two plants but it is also faster growing.

Correa 'Ivory Bells' last year

Correa 'Ivory Bells' this year.

This year. It's about twelve inches wide by six inches tall

This year
Unfortunately, I was unable to locate a first or second year photograph of C. 'Dusky Bells'. Below is a photo I took a few days ago. It's about two feet wide and half as tall.

Correa 'Dusky Bells' this year

This year
In-ground and in warmer locations, the plants can get quite hefty; we're talking four to six feet wide. Can you imagine the hummingbird fights? Because winters here are not quite that friendly, I'm happy to do the next best thing. I'll cater to my potted plants and enjoy them as long as they will honor me by calling this home.

There is information on C. 'Ivory Bells' here on Plant Lust's website. Information on C. 'Dusky Bells' can be found here: Plant Lust's website

Wholesale nursery, San Marcos Growers in California sells several Correa. You can see descriptions here

Thank you for visiting. Comments always welcome!


  1. Such lovely plants! I might have to add some to my sunroom/houseplants collection (not that it's a very big collection, but as you say, this one would cheer me up). I have seen Correa when traveling--I like the idea of planting it in pots and overwintering it indoors. Thanks for the beauty and the idea!

  2. Now, this is a genus I can grow. I have one - 'Sister Dawn' - I'm still trying to entice into blooming.

  3. Oh my, yet another lovely flowering plant from your fantastic gardens. I've not heard of this, but it does have my want-itis salivating. ;-) Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I can't have everything I want. Thanks for sharing ~ Happy January ~ FlowerLady

  4. Oh I miss my 'Ivory bells' ! It died in the winter , not this mild winter. I'll have to remember to try again .

  5. I miss my 'Irory bells'...I died in one of the bad winters. Must try again !


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