For elegant and unique, long-lasting blooms in the winter landscape, it’s all about the hellebore! They are known by several different common names including the Lenten rose, Snow Rose, and Easter Rose. No matter what you call them, hellebores have become an early-blooming, perennial favorite for good reason!
A member of the 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.
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.
Give your new plants room to grow! Hellebores grow between 12″ and 24” high, and have a spread of 24” wide.
Many believe that the leathery foliage looks best when sheared in late winter, or just before new growth emerges.
Helleborus x ballardiae
H. x ballardiae are a cross between H. lividus and H. niger. They typically bloom mid-January through late March. Single flowers face outward and change colors over time; foliage is dark green with a serrated edge, often with colored veins or stems. Available varieties include:
- Pink Frost White buds transform into pink blooms that age to wine red; red stems and veins.
Helleborus x glandorfensis HGC ‘ICE N’ ROSES’® SERIES
This series of hybrid hellebores have an extremely extended bloom time - mid December through April! The single flowers face upward; the leaves are a shiny dark green except as noted. Available varieties include:
- Ice N' Roses® Mindy Marble White blushed purple-pink petals with darker reverse, marbled foliage.
Helleborus x iburgensis FROSTKISS® SERIES
This series of hybrid hellebores have a long bloom time - late December through March. The nodding single flowers are held well above the leaves. Lovely foliage: blue-green marbled with silver and white, sometimes pink. Available varieties include:
- Anna’s Red Deep burgundy red flowers with red stems.
- Dorothy's Dawn Pink edges fading to cream and green at center with pink stems.
- Glenda’s Gloss White edged violet petals with green centers and purple stems.
- Molly’s White Creamy white flowers, green or pink stems.
- Moondance Flowers bright white aging green, foliage marbled with white.
- Pippa’s Purple Flowers rosy purple with burgundy freckles; purple stems; pink tinged foliage.
- Winter Angels Charmer Deep burgundy flowers and stems.
Commonly referred to as the Lenten Rose, these hybrids are long-blooming and long-lived. It is the latest blooming group of hellebores, typically blooming February through April. Nodding flowers can be single or double, in a very wide range of colors, often with contrasting veins, freckles, or edges. Foliage is usually dark green and glossy. Available varieties include:
- The Winter Jewels® Series Single or double flowers in every possible color; very striking.
- Winter Queen
Helleborus 'Walhelivor' IVORY PRINCE
The Ivory Prince blooms at the same time as the Lenten roses. Flowers are ivory flushed pink, streaked green and rose. They have blue green foliage and burgundy stems.