Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hellebores

This might seem a bit late for a post about Hellebores, but I was walking in the garden today and realized just how good mine look now that the new growth has come up.

Hellebores are easy to grow and are fantastic year round in the shade garden. All they need is soil that isn't heavy clay or too wet. Mine are growing in clay-loam. I've also grown them in sandy-loam and organic rich soils, and have seen no real difference. They grow a bit more slowly in the clay-loam, but that could be because I'm not watering enough as well. My shade garden tends to be a bit dry.

Nearly all varieties are great garden plants, so find one you like and experiment away! They're also all deer and rabbit resistant. Slugs and snails do chew some minor holes in the new growth at this time of year, but they much prefer the hostas.

'Courage' is supposed to have upward-facing rose-red blooms, but so far they've been downward-facing. It does have a good growth rate however, and looks fantastic this year.




H. niger is the hardiest species, and can be grown into zone 3. Big white flowers are usually upward facing for me. I found one with nice veining in a batch we got from a nursery. It could possibly be a hybrid, but blooms just like H. niger.


'Walhelivor' (Ivory Prince) has done fantastically, and is getting incredibly huge. No problems in zone 4/5. Great looking foliage year round, and outward-facing ivory flowers change to green and are effective for a long time.


H. foetidus is one of my favorites for foliage and flower, but needs winter mulch to prevent it from blooming too early. This one has fantastic green flowers that are unlike other hellebores. This year there was plenty of snow cover, and they're blooming beautifully. Other years, mine has tried to bloom in January and had the flower stalk freeze.


'Hot Flash' is a selection of H. x sternii that I've been growing for 3 years for it's beautiful silver foliage. It is taking a long time to grow, but that's to be expected. I'm glad it can't read descriptions, it hasn't realized it's not supposed to grow here. Listed hardiness zone is 7(maybe to 6). It's even flowering for me this year. Flower is muddy pink and nothing to be excited about, foliage is so great it doesn't matter though.

No comments:

Post a Comment