Growing Hellebores
So, today I was cleaning around some flower beds in my yard. Why not? It was an absolutely beautiful day with it only being March 1st and 82 degrees! I’m in! But during my raking and picking up limbs and pulling some flowerbed weeds, I saw them! My Hellebores had peaked up around my old oak tree. Now don’t be to excited because it’s not like the whole bed was covered. In fact, I only have two! Yep, just two little plants. Even so, I got these from my late aunt’s house when she passed. She has a whole area of them and I remember digging up quite a bit, but looks like only two are living. But these two plants are special. So, I got to thinking about how to take care of them and just what I could do to maybe expand that garden. So, I did a little research and thought I’d share my findings. Hellebores are also known as Lenten Rose, Christmas Rose or winter rose. They are one of the earliest blooming perennial flowers in the shade garden. They have evergreen foliage, gorgeous flowers and are very low maintenance. They usually bloom around the end of January here in South Carolina and they keep blooming all the way until early summer. Adding that the leaves are evergreen, the plants require very little maintenance and they have very few pests. Even deer and rabbits don’t like them. They are a little finicky about being moved, so when you are planting them, try to choose a site that will be their forever home. That might explain why I only have a couple plants verses the many I dug up to transplant. Also, you need to know they are poisonous if ingested to don’t plant them where your pets may try to eat them. My pets never eat things like this, but a lot would have to be ingested to be fatal. The sap from the plants can cause minor skin irritation, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves when handling them. As with many shade plants, this perennial grows best in rich, well drained soil that is moist but not soggy and high in organic matter. (That may also be my problem). Hellebores will suffer from root rot if they are left in wet soil. When planting them or transplanting, do that in the spring or the fall so the crown is just below the top of the soil. Planting them too deep will keep them from producing as many flowers. Adding some compost around the plant will help it off to a good start. (That also could be my problem). They grow in clumps but will spread out a bit once they are established so leave them some room to expand. Once they are in the ground, there is actually nothing else you need to do but water them. So, have you wondered why its called the Lenten Rose? Well I was curious so here’s why. It’s recorded history dates back centuries when it was used in witchcraft and medicinally and leather when it became know by the common name, Lenten Rose because of its habit of blooming during the season of Lent. This helped make them a favorite in Victorian gardens for over 100 years ago. So, there you have it! If you have never heard of this pretty flower, now you now. Also, if you don’t have any in your garden, you need to get you some. I think I’m gonna get me some more and fill my space with some early spring blooms. So, until next time Live your life in bloom. Sent from my iPad