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Hellebores, Helleborus x hybridus

Above: 10 Hellebores were planted here 20 years ago

Twenty years ago a California couple bought a house in a heavily wooded area of Dallas because of the beautiful Cedar Elm trees.

As they set about landscaping the shady lot, Hellebores were chosen being easy-care perennials that brighten winter landscapes and prefer partial shade. We will read later about the other good qualities of Hellebores also known as Lenten Roses.

From a few Hellebores came many. Over the years they have self-seeded and now carpet the south side of the property. Linda Alexander and I had the pleasure of walking through this garden recently with the homeowners.

Above: Hellebores under Cedar Elms

Above: A view of the Hellebore garden from the street

Above: A shady bed of Hellebores, Cast Iron Plant and Ophiopogon

These are the seedlings beneath the large leaves, it takes 3 years for these to become blooming plants.

Hellebore seedlings

Husband and wife say they mulch and leave the rest up to nature. In the last few years, husband has sprayed Miracle-Gro on the Hellebores in the spring. Every year they add mulch. Wife adds this has been their most successful gardening project.

Hellebore blooms dazzle in a variety of colors including green, white, yellow, red, black, and many variations of pink and purple. They bloom in this garden from January-March.

Pink Hellebore

More about Hellebores

  • Timing-it’s  nice to have  winter flowers and blooms that last so long
  • Beauty-nodding, cup shaped flowers, with enchanting colors
  •  Reproduction-Hellebores are self-sowing and will naturalize to make large clumps. The offspring are not always like the parent; surprises welcome!
  •  Location-Dappled shade is preferred but they can survive in full shade or with some sun. They grow in almost any kind of soil except except the extremes of overly dry soil or poorly drained wet soil.
  • Evergreen-glossy dark green multi-lobed leaves with a serrated edge and leathery texture. You may want to remove the tattered leaves during fall clean-up.

Ann Lamb

Fine Gardening gives excellent advice on growing Hellebores. Good advice: to get what you want, buy them in bloom.

If you would like to use Hellebores as a cut flower, read this article from Gardenista.

 

 

 

 

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