Early Spring Pleasures: Hellebores

When I moved the leaves, the new flower buds were easily seen.

I discovered Hellebores (Helleborus niger) some years ago when I was searching for shade loving, deer resistant plants.  While they are not native and not bird friendly (high priorities for me), I value them for their  extremely early bloom and low upkeep.  Also known as the Lenten Rose, the foliage is poisonous and deer give it a wide berth.  There’s something medieval about their appearance.  At this time of year a little maintenance is necessary, but for the rest of the year, you can leave them alone.   This is the time to prune away last year’s foliage.  It has lasted through the winter but shows winter’s ravages in the browning leaves.  I do this when I see the new buds peeking up through the leaves.  All that needs to be done is to carefully snip away the leaves close to the earth and remove them, taking care not to snip off a flower stem.  Soon their gentle blooms will bring you pleasure.

Now that the leaves are gone, these flowers will grow and open in a week or two.

Now that the leaves are gone, these flowers will grow and open in a week or two.

Eighteen days later.

Eighteen days later.

Buy them on sale if you can as they can be expensive.

Buy them on sale if you can as they can be expensive.

These two were on a fall closeout sale at White Flower Farm

These two were on a fall closeout sale at White Flower Farm

 

 

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    jacque said,

    Love those hellebores! I have dozens of them around various parts of my garden. They spread very politely and make a nice show.

    Like


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