Carolyn. Hellebore Flowers These beautiful flowers look like wild roses or large buttercups. And nothing beats a Christmas rose in full bloom—they stop my customers in their tracks. Let’s meet this dark beauty. With the exception of autumn fruiting raspberries, cane fruits like blackberries, loganberries and summer raspberries produce new canes each year, which will go on to fruit the following summer. Keep the plants sufficiently watered . Hellebore is not a rose, in fact, it’s a member of the buttercup family. 2. In the case of King Argos’ daughters, the madness of the maenads had infected them, Melampus used hellebore to draw it out. I probably have almost 1,000 and there is too much other garden work to do in the spring. Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. Reply. Hellebores like the same conditions as many other early bloomers—cool, dappled shade, and most but well-drained, humus-y soil. susie, Susie, My sarcococca is in a somewhat protected location so I think that it looks better than it would out in the open. An Eye For Detail says: March 16, 2015 at 9:36 pm Such a wonderful variety of colors, Julie. Brian Mathew describes this genus which has been growing in popularity in recent years. Denise, Yes, at this point there is quite a collection of posts on hellebores. But for the most part, it was cultivated and used in dangerous ways for malicious purposes. When everything decides to bloom it will be spectacular but gone in a flash probably. If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Hellebore’s ability to thrive in northern gardens and provide color to wintery gardens endears it to modern gardeners, who want to brighten up a bleak, February landscape. It’s lovely to see the blooms peeking up above the white snow underneath. I do what you do and attend to them once a year. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information. The best advice for anyone who is intending to grow Hellebores from seed is to get them into the ground as soon as possible after they are ripe, which is usually some time between late spring and early summer. I have literally hundreds of hellebore plants and they each have one chance to be groomed. Different varieties of the hellebore plant offer a range of flower colors, from white to black. Nursery News: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade. They flower from winter to spring, with the blooms lasting for months. But before you get chopping, please read the more detailed directions in Cutting Back Hellebores. The season can be so short especially when most of it is spent under several inches of snow. Hellebore’s other primary magical use was as an invisibility powder. Carolyn, flowers in the snow always facinating to me, Sharon, Yes, they have a lot more impact than flowers in May. The flowers of Lenten Rose last a very long time in the garden, but the foliage needs a bit of TLC to keep the plant looking tidy. Very rarely are they ever yellow. Its two-part common name refers to the plant's bloom season (around Lent) and the rose-like shape of its flower buds. It’s quite a risk, but in ancient herbalism, magical roots are often guarded by birds. Carolyn, Uh oh, I posted on the same topic just a few minutes after you! Rather than dying back in the summer like many spring flowering perennials, hellebores produce handsome leaves after flowering which are at their best during the summer months. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. If possible, it is desirable to plant hellebores on a sloping bed, both to improve drainage and also to mak… They do not just look good in the border either – a shallow bowl of water with hellebore flowers floating like magnificent water lilies is the best of all floral table decorations. Every year here I do a feature on our amazing hellebores, also known as Lenten Rose, which thrive in our cool and damp climate. Wonderful plants! Carolyn. But in harsh winters like the one we just experienced, hellebore foliage will look like the photo above. Position your potted hellebores to get as much sun as possible during the winter and spring months. Hellebores are evergreen or semi-evergreen, although the foliage can look a bit battered in winter, it can be removed in late winter /early spring. Plants that look like the photo above often suffer snail damage, sooty mold, and whitefly, none of which will kill the plant, but sure isn’t attractive. They rise on sturdy, red … The flower colours ranges from white to yellow, pink to blackish–purple, often with exquisite internal markings. It thrives in seasons of dying light and cold, frozen soil. Such tough plants. The reality is that hellebores are hardy, even in snowy regions, almost pest-free, easy to grow and easy to maintain. Hellebores (Helleborus spp.) The best advice for anyone who is intending to grow Hellebores from seed is to get them into the ground as soon as possible after they are ripe, which is usually some time between late spring and early summer. STEPHEN RYAN: Weren't those Hellebores just stunning. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Looks. My hellebore have bloomed all Winter here in Raleigh, North Carolina. Looks like I'm going to have to find more room around here. Basically, it was most often used as a poison. Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens Says: March 14, 2014 at 9:21 am. Furthermore, neighbors with evil intentions sprinkled hellebore on wheat or vegetable gardens to make the harvest toxic or foul-tasting. Your hellebores look as bad as mine. I usually cut the leaves back on my hellebores just before Christmas, even though they usually look just fine. Some many great new cultivars available. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! I plant them close to or under small trees in my small city garden, which gives them sun in the spring and as the trees fill out they get partial shade in the summer. Rather than dying back in the summer like many spring flowering perennials, hellebores produce handsome leaves after flowering which are at their best during the summer months. I also like to grow some non-seeding summer flowering herbaceous geraniums in between hellebores in order to extend the season: varieties like ‘Rozanne’ and ’Anne Folkard’ are ideal. When to plant Hellebores? Hellebore sounds like a dangerous herb, doesn’t it? This flower tends to be burning and acrid in its interactions with the human body. Hellebore is a herbaceous evergreen perennial plant that has delicate drooping flowers. Carolyn I love those double hellebores. So the answer is there is nothing wrong with your hellebores. If you look closely at your hellebores, you should be able to distinguish between the old leaves left from last year and the new leaves that have grown this year. All garden plants need pruning at some stage, and hellebores are no exception. In the Victorian language of flowers hellebore has an interesting dual meaning. Blooming in the shadows, hellebore’s lovely flowers draw us into the darkness with it. It had lots of new growth just waiting for a warm up. He may have wanted to prove his strength by taking a dangerous purgative, or he may have been maliciously poisoned. That is about all that is going on at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens right now. They’re frost-resistant, evergreen plants with cup-like flowers that range anywhere from pale green to deep maroon-black in color. Black hellebore (Helleborus niger), which is the oldest variety and most steeped in legend, blooms in the winter. Since so many of my customers have questions about this, I thought I would write a quick post on the subject. Witches ground it into a powder and then walked on it to make themselves invisible. For a longer post with a detailed explanation of hellebore maintenance as applied to the various types of hellebores you might have in your garden, please read, The question I get from my customers this time of year is: “What’s wrong with my hellebores, the leaves look terrible?”  The answer is that although hellebores are often called evergreen, they are actually an herbaceous perennial and lose their foliage every year just like a peony or a coneflower. My hellebores usually start to flower around Christmas or just after. When King Argos’ daughters were driven mad by capricious Dionysius, the healer Melampus gave them hellebore in milk to restore their sanity. It’s Hellebore time–one of my favorite times of the year! All were used centuries ago in poisons, potions, and flying ointments by medieval witches. After all, one careless treatment could quickly turn fatal. Larry, I too am waiting to see what is dead or broken off in the horrendous ice storm. Great post! Like so many of the primary herbs of legend, hellebore is downright scary at times. I want to get the job done before the new flower stems mingle with the old leaf stems. ( Log Out /  Because Hellebores like to grow under deciduous trees, they really benefit from plenty of leaf mulch. The flowers sit above the plant and seem to keep their shape and look intact. The disease marks the leaves of the hellebores with black streaks, often following the veins of the leaf, and creating ring patterns. Carolyn. Carolyn, Hello Carolyn, When we moved to this house 6 years ago I had just discovered hellebores and had attended a few courses led by Roger Harvey of Harvey’s Garden Plants. Its unlucky victims eventually died of cardiac arrest after nausea, vomiting, tongue and throat swelling, and a slowed heart rate. Helleborus is very forgiving, and will allow you to prune it year round without any adverse side-effects. Thank you for this useful information Carolyn. Like you, I’ve cut off all the old leaves to avoid dealing with the old and new leaves mixed together. When the pot depth reaches 60cm / 2ft that should be sufficient. Part Two An Ode to Seed … Carolyn. Customers will get an email with details. Hellebores have long been grown in gardens, although originally for their medicinal properties.Hellebores are filled with alkaloid toxins and have been used both as a poison and a purgative. They all get sun until about 1 pm and seem to do okay. Carolyn. As the perennials of summer go to sleep, the evergreen clumps of Helleborus foetidus remain and become the focus of the winter garden. Since the fall of ancient Greece, this plant has held a shadowy place in the flower world. Like you, I’ve cut off all the old leaves to avoid dealing with the old and new leaves mixed together. Hellebores are commonly known as winter rose, not because theyre any relation to roses but because they bloom in winter. Carolyn. Reply. This plant isn’t all darkness and evil. Their exquisite bowl- or saucer-shape flowers in white (often speckled), pinks, yellows, or maroon remain on the plant for several months, even after the petals have fallen. Helleborus niger offers pristine, pure white flowers from late winter to early spring on purple-spotted 1-foot-tall stems. Hellebore features prominently in all of these recipes, alongside belladonna. In mild winters, hellebore leaves will still look fresh and green in March. BW https://www.rhs.org.uk/.../perennials-and-bulbs/looking-after-hellebores Nursery Happenings: Our first open house sale featuring a huge variety of hellebores is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, from 10 am to 3 pm. Since so many of my customers have questions about this, I thought I would write a quick post on the subject. Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog. You are probably wondering what I will do this year when the hellebores are blooming early. George Lasch demonstrates the importance of deadheading your prize hellebores in early summer. A typical hellebore in my garden right now. Unfortunately, because of its dangerous toxicity, it’s easy to overdose on. These days, everyone avoids taking hellebore. What to do with Hellebores in summer? The depth of the pot is particularly important as the roots mostly grow down. Your soil preparation before planting is most important. Hybrid hellebores (Helleborus Xhybridus) are very tolerant and will grow well in most soils as long as the ground is not extremely dry or stagnantly waterlogged, although they usually survive even those conditions. i hope some of the fabulous new hybrids will eventually come down in price so I can afford them! In folklore, hellebore is often used to call forth demons and curse enemies. Here are links to the other articles: Part One Hellebores for Fall. For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com. Hellebore can mean hope as well. Hellebores also grow well in containers. This evergreen, wintertime flower reminds us all too clearly of our own mortality. Most plants on well-drained soil in sun or dappled shade (these hellebores do especially well in lightly shaded areas) will be as happy as Larry and their clumps will increase in size year on year. The question I get from my customers this time of year is: “What’s wrong with my hellebores, the leaves look terrible?”  The answer is that although hellebores are often called evergreen, they are actually an herbaceous perennial and lose their foliage every year just like a peony or a coneflower. With its softly colored flowers, a hellebore may look delicate, fussy and somewhat exotic, but it’s living proof that looks can be deceiving. Last year someone gave me a bit of Sarcococca and it’s not looking very good after our hard winter; glad to see yours looking so beautiful. In other case, the purgation was less exciting. Helleborus (hellebore) is a small genus of about 20 species of herbaceous perennials native to Europe and Asia. Wish I could come to your open house sale, but not possible this year. Most will grow up to 45cm (18in) tall but some, such as Helleborus argutifolius and Helleborus … Old, fruited canes can be cut down to the ground to make space for new stems. Divide for More Plants. I just purchased two Pink Frost Hellebores at the Boston Flower Show this week – although there is still a lot of snow on the ground in my garden, I look forward to planting them outside. Old foliage can safely be removed in early spring after frost ends to tidy up the plants. The flowers of hellebores are usually shaped like either cups or bells (outward facing or drooping). She cried and her tears blossomed into these flowers. Hellebore foliage is winter green not evergreen. Soaking the soil in which the hellebore is growing helps the hellebore plant to look its best. If the flower dangles, I am not put off. What about aphids? It’s also important to choose a large container, as hellebore plants don’t like to be transferred. Hellebores. The flowers are shaped like a cup or bowl and are mostly single, with five petals, although there are a few double-petalled varieties. Or maybe it’s witch’s herbals list hellebore next to belladonna and mandrake root. My only problem with Hellebore is aphids. Hellebores need no more than a few hours of dappled light and grow successfully in shady areas. . I have decided that discretion is the better part of valor so no leaves will be removed until mid-February. Take a look at our top tips for pruning cane fruit. If an eagle flies overhead as hellebore is being harvested, then the harvester will be dead within a year. Foliage: lance-shaped leaves with a smooth or serrated edge; blue to dark green color Their foliage remains attractive into the summer, so they are suitable for splashy, mass plantings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Eventually the leaves fade and are replaced with fresh new growth. Most of the common hellebores are clump-forming, low-growing evergreens with toothed, palmate foliage. There’s a kernel of hope at the heart of hellebore’s legend: even in its dark history, the legend of the Christe Herbe brings hope. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Like any plant, hellebores can look pretty tattered after a hard winter. Carolyn, Excellent advice, Carolyn, and just in time for me to take care of my scruffy-looking hellebores as they emerge from under the snow. Remove grass, weeds, and debris. Prepare the Soil. They do well in this damp Welsh garden that has sunshine in summer but lots of shade all winter long. It was said that medieval witches harvested hellebore on moonless nights, facing the east in defiance instead of supplication. Dense shade will reduce the number of flowers, especially if it persists all year round. This entry was posted on March 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm and is filed under hellebores, How to, Shade Perennials, winter, winter interest with tags 'Ballerina Ruffles' hellebore, Carolyn's Shade Gardens, cutting back hellebores, hellebore, hellebore leaves, hellebore maintenance, Helleborus 'Ballerina Ruffles', winter interest plants. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US. Hellebores require loamy soil that is moist but drains well. Carolyn. https://www.gardenia.net/guide/plant-combination-ideas-with-hellebores