How to Grow Carolina Silverbell — Halesia

Carolina silverbell flowers
Flowers of a Carolina silverbell tree, Halesia carolina.

Carolina silverbell, Halesia, is a deciduous tree or large shrub of North America valued for its handsome, drooping, bell-shaped white flowers in early spring.

Silverbell thrives in any well-drained soil. It northern, cold-winter regions it grows best in a sheltered position.

Carolina Silverbell grows to 40 feet with spreading branches; in cold winter regions, it may never grow larger than a tall shrub.

Silverbell is propagated by seed sown in the fall or by layering and root-cuttings.

Leaves of Carolina Silverbell
Leaves of Carolina Silverbell, Snowdrop Tree, or Little Silverbell

Get to Know Carolina Silverbell

  • Plant type: Deciduous tree
  • Growing Zones and range: 5-8
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Height and spread: Grows to 30 feet (9m) tall and as wide
  • Foliage: Alternate, toothed leaves
  • Flowers: Delicate bell-shaped silvery,, white blooms followed by winged seed capsules
  • Bloom time: Spring
  • Uses: Specimen tree, woodland planting
  • Botanical name: Halesia carolina
  • Common name: Carolina Silverbell

Where to Plant Carolina Silverbell

  • Grow Carolina silverbell in full sun to light shade.
  • Avoid planting Carolina silverbell where it is not hit by a strong wind.
  • Plant Carolina silverbell in humus-rich, moisture-retentive, well-drained soil.

When to Plant Carolina Silverbell

  • Transplant balled-and-burlapped or container-grown plants in spring.

Planting and Spacing Carolina Silverbell

  • Space Silverbell 30 to 35 feet apart; trees grow 20 to 30 feet tall

How to Water and Feed Carolina Silverbell

  • Keep the soil evenly moist for best growth; give Silverbell plenty of moisture if growing in full sun
  • Spread aged compost to the dripline once a year

Carolina Silverbell Care

  • Remove lower limbs early on and train Silverbell to a single trunk
  • Mulch Carolina silverbell with aged compost to keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Carolina silverbell rarely need pruning; prune immediately after flowering when needed

Carolina Silverbell Common Problems

  • Carolina silverbell loses leaves very early.
  • Carolina silverbell has no serious pests or disease.

Carolina Silverbell Propagation

  • Sow seed in fall; seeds may take 2 years to germinate.

Carolina Silverbell Varieties to Grow

  • ‘Rosea’ has light pink flowers.
  • Halesia diptera var. Magniflora bears large showy flowers

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