The star of this Fabulous Flower Friday: Hellebores!
Botanical name: Helleborus sps.
I’ve written about Hellebores before, but I thought it would be nice to have some detailed information about them. I even learned why mine aren’t flourishing … 😉
Hellebores are perennial plants which flower in late winter, being mostly frost resistant, and early spring. They have been referred to as Christmas or Lenten Roses due to their flowering period. Their appeal is not only for their lovely delicate flowers but their foliage as well.
Spring time is the ideal time to plant. They like rich, well drained soil (bingo! that’s one of my issues …). They are hardy plants and do especially well in shade. My second problem is that they don’t like strong winds.
I usually add our organic compost to the plants in the fall. I think I’ll be taking the advice of the Royal Horticultural Society though, and I’ll also add some general-purpose fertiliser this spring at 50-70g per square metre (1½-2 oz per square yard).
When to prune: late winter or early spring. For me, it was obvious because my plants suffer from hellebore leaf spot. For this fungus based disease, simply cut away the affected leaves and ensure that all diseased leaves are removed from around the plant. This is the best defence to keeping the plant healthy. Cutting away the leaves will also help to open up the plant and make the flowers more visible and also more available for insects. This eases the pollination process, which is good for future seeds.
The weather has been quite gray the past few weeks. I’d still go out into the garden, though, in search of something nice and it was delightful to see all of these beauties.
Interesting fact from Wikipedia: The scientific name Helleborus derives from the Greek name for H. orientalis, ἑλλέβορος helléboros, from elein “to injure” and βορά borá “food”. Many species are poisonous.
I bought the Frilly Isabelle last year while on a garden tour with my ‘gardening girlfriends’. What a lovely day that was, and now I’m reminded of that day every time I see this beautiful flower!
There are so many varieties to choose from. I have hellebores gracing 4 different flower beds, and I’m still collecting…
I hope you’ve learned something new about Hellebores today! Maybe you’ll give them a try in your garden, too.