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Hellebores – A Surprise in Very Early Spring

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.

Hellebore – Lenten rose, Maid of Honor

It was time to clean out around the other hellebores.

Hellebore – Ivory Prince

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.

Lenten Rose – First Dance in the Wedding Party series

The dead leaves are gone but it is past time to get rid of  the old foliage.

The First Dance is more willing to provide a good look at the  flowers, but  I still need  to  cutback foliage.

Mystery hellebore

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.

4 comments to Hellebores – A Surprise in Very Early Spring

  • 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.

  • Pat

    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.

  • Pat

    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.

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