A member of Ranunculaceae family, the hellebore is a hardy perennial prized for its leathery evergreen foliage and graceful, prolific cup-shaped blooms. They will often flower for several consecutive months. Improved propagation techniques have led to an incredible array of new hybrids and cultivars with interesting colors, shapes, and patterns. With a diversity of options, hellebores are a beautiful and integral addition to the winter and early spring garden.
Hellebores tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. They perform best when sited in partial shade (ideally morning shade with afternoon sun). Plant in moist, rich, well-draining soil with the crown buried just slightly below the surface. Avoid planting them too deeply, as this can hinder flower production. Hellebores grow between 12″ and 24” high, and have a spread of 24” wide.
A few more things to keep in mind…
Many believe that the leathery foliage looks best when sheared in late winter, or just before new growth emerges.
- An annual application of compost will help boost the growth rate of your hellebores.
- Provide plenty of water during spring and fall when they are actively growing.
- Hellebores are highly toxic.