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GARDENING INFO FROM DOUG – Curing the Winter Blues With Hellebores

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

NOTHING LIKE SEEING SOME COLOR DURING THE DEAD OF WINTER

Are you familiar with Hellebores? You may know them from their nickname—Christmas Rose (for those that bloom in December) or Lenton Rose (for those that bloom in late winter). Each year more people are learning about hellebores and are becoming interested in planting them in the landscape. Hellebores are truly winter’s most interesting evergreen perennial.

Yes, you read this correctly—winter blooms, evergreen, and a perennial. Besides being a winter bloomer and an evergreen perennial, Hellebores are DEER RESISTANT!

We just brought in a large, fresh, new shipment of hellebores about three weeks ago—in the middle of January. They are beautiful and show some good colors. People come into the garden center and see them and ask, “can you plant this time of year?” The answer is YES! Here in Central Virginia we hardly ever experience our ground freezing deep. Hard, frozen ground is the only reason that may stop planting this time of year. Many landscape firms like to use this time of year to get caught up with all the planting demands.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN GROWING HELLEBORES

  1. Hellebores are generally trouble-free and easy to grow. Some occasional issues are with snails, slugs, or aphids.
  2. These beauties need to be planted in some shade like under a canopy of trees. You can invite problems if you don’t give them the right growing conditions.
  3. Hellebores are considered drought tolerant but don’t do well with extreme drought.
  4. They need to be planted in rich, composted soil that drains well. Healthy soil is the key to healthy plants.
  5. There are different family types of Hellebores and some need to be treated differently than others. For example, with Helleborus niger, you do not cut back the foliage. These plants will not respond by “re-leafing” and cutting off too much foliage can kill the plants.
  6. They make great companion plants to other popular shade-loving perennials such as hostas, astilbes, ferns, etc.

As I stated earlier, we have a beautiful selection of hellebores at this time. Our soil is not frozen so you can be planting today.

PLANT A LITTLE WINTER HAPPINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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