Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Plant Profile: Hellobores

The Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) blooms in late winter into early spring. It is a tough plant that is drought-tolerant, thrives in shade, and is deer-resistant. If it is happy in a spot, it will soon form a nice colony to become a virtual ground cover. The large leaves are evergreen and resemble our native Mayapples.

The Hellebore flower is stunning and the latest breeding introductions are spectacular. My friend, Barry Glick, the self-proclaimed Hellebore King, grows amazing hybrids. Among them are beautiful doubles and picotees that I covet.

These are very low-maintenance plants. In mid-winter, I gently remove any fallen leaves from around the Hellebores to be able to enjoy the blooms when they start to emerge in the bleakest months of the year.

The only other attention they ever need is to cut back the old, tattered foliage in early spring, if it bothers you.

The Hellebore is a popular cut flower in Europe. The flowers on this hardy plant are lovely floated in a bowl of water. I have had them last that way for over a month indoors. It is so nice to be able to enjoy them inside, when bad weather prevents you from going out into the garden.

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine and edited by intern Allison O'Reilly.

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