Hellebore in Bloom Helleborus

Hellebore Helleborus

These are the first bloomers in a winter garden, guaranteed to beat your seasonal bulbs out of the ground by at least a month!  Garden centers are filling shelves with them right now, and while their blooming won’t last much longer this year, a Hellebore purchased now will be sure to surprise you with flowers from mid winter through late spring next year. Go ahead and stock up on these seasonal beauties, and I’ll tell you why you’ll love them come next winter!

Where Do I Plant Hellebores?

  • Plant all the smaller varieties in full to partial shade.  The large Corsican variety can be planted in some sun.
  • Choose a location where they will naturally get a moderate amount of water. Since they will be emerging from the ground in the northern hemisphere during the coldest days of winter, watering them by hand will not be an option you want to consider.
  • Hellebores are a perennial, and one that remains in its planted location permanently.  Plant it somewhere you are comfortable with it being in the long term.
  • Make sure you live in an area with cold winter weather, as these flowers need the frosty weather to trigger their growth and blooms. They are hardy from -30 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit depending on their variety, so these are a great garden classic for the more extreme northern climates.

When Do They Bloom, And What Do They Look Like:

  • Hellebore blooms in the middle of winter through the late spring.  Expect them to begin emerging in February, and blooming starting in March.
  • The ‘Christmas Rose’ variety (Helleborus Niger) will begin blooming anytime from Christmas Day through the early spring. All blooming will be dependant on the harshness of the winter, and depth of the snow.
  • Blooms come in three basic types depending on the variety, shades of maroon, shades of green, pale pink and crisp white.
  • Expect the flowers to pop from the ground right off the ends of the soft, leafy stems.

How Do I Propagate Them?

Since Hellebores are happiest in tights clumps and do not spread, they take a long time to recover from repeat division.  To spread them through the garden, move volunteer seedling as small plants into your desired location.

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