Growing Hellebore Garden Plants
Hellebore garden plants are a welcome sight when they bloom in late winter to early spring, sometimes while the ground is still covered with snow. Hellebore garden plants are cool-season perennials that bloom in a wide range of colors at a time of year when few outdoor flowers bloom. Also known as Christmas rose and Lenten rose, hellebore garden plants often spring up through openings in late-winter snow. There are several hellebore species and varieties, hardy from U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, but all have the same basic needs. When planting from seed or division, place the hellebore into well-draining, organic soil in a filtered sun or shady location. The hellebore plant will return for many years; make sure the space will accommodate growth and has proper sunlight. Hellebore garden plants need no more than a few hours of dappled light and grow successfully in shady areas. Plant the hellebore under deciduous trees or scattered through a woodland garden or shaded natural area Soaking the soil in which the hellebore is growing helps the hellebore plant to look its best.
Hellebore care includes removal of older leaves when they appear damaged. Care for hellebore garden plants should also include careful fertilization. Too much nitrogen may result in lush foliage and a shortage of blooms. Plant hellebore seeds in the fall. A 60-day moist chilling period is needed when planting seeds of the hellebore plant. Planting seed in fall allows this to happen naturally in areas with cold winters. Wait three to four years for blooms on young plants grown from seed. Divide overgrown clumps in spring, after flowering or in autumn.