Hellebore – Maid of Honor series
Hellebores, Helleborus x hybridus (formerly Helleborus orientalis) strikes me as a very odd plant. I planted my first hellebores last spring after admiring the hellebores in a friend’s beautiful early spring garden. She cleverly planted hers in a three foot high raised bed that made it more likely to be able to see the full blossom.I planted the potted hellebores I bought in front of a wood fence, a site that provided some morning sun but was in shade the rest of the day. Last year I got to enjoy a bit of the flowers, but I also found the foliage very attractive. Somewhere I read that the foliage should NOT be cut back in the fall.
This early spring I didn’t see much of anything. The old, but still handsome foliage, was tangled in all the dead winter leaves. But after a few days I brushed away the leaves and saw that it was beginning to bloom.
It was time to clean out around the other hellebores.
These hellebores are also called Lenten roses because they bloom at the same time as Lent. The hybrids have been given different names. It is easier to see the blossom in the Ivory Prince. There are very few that are so congenial.
The dead leaves are gone but it is past time to get rid of the old foliage.
I did see this plant at the edge of this bed last year and had no recollection of when I planted it. It was barely noticeable, even though there was any foliage from last year. I am determined now to bring it into stronger health. I will soon have lots of compost to to give a top dressing to all these hellebores – they love compost.
Aside from adding compost from time to time, remember that hellebores like neutral soil. They seem to be sturdy plants and I am looking forward to watching these increases.
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Your mystery one might be a seedling plant provided by the others! I just cleaned up my hellebores’ older foliage last week, and the bloom is really nice even if they do hang their heads.
Jeane – Thank you for taking a good look at my hellebores. The fourth hellebore is still a mystery because I noticed it when I was planting the three new hellebores last spring. Just goes to show that I plant things and then forget all about them. This is not a first.
I think I have that same mystery hellebore! It’s a very muted, dull burgundy, almost dusty.
Robin – That hellebore is indeed a mystery. I keep trying to keep up-to-date plant lists, but you can see I am not dependable.