Hellebore, Huh? Lessons from the Hellebore Whisperer

UPDATE (April 10, 2013): My plants have flower buds!

Are you afraid to grow hellebore? I am. Like clematis, they are a plant that I have long associated with hoity-toity gardeners and their fancy pants gardens. Their ticket price doesn’t help matters. Hellebores are notoriously expensive plants, often coming in at the $20-30 mark in most retail garden centres. That’s a lot of money to sink into a plant that I am almost certain I will kill.

And then I met Barry Parker.

Barry loves hellebores. He also loves clematis (but that’s a story for another day). And you know what? Barry’s garden is awfully fancy. Few fully staffed, public gardens I have visited have been able to pull off what Barry achieves in his urban Toronto backyard. While the initial shock has worn off, after 4 years, it still blows my mind every time that I visit it.

It may be fancy and a little bit intimidating, but I never walk away from Barry’s garden feeling like a failure in my own. I think this is owing to Barry’s heart of gold and his cheerful, encouraging, and generous charm. Instead, I always leave Barry’s garden with a can-do attitude and the drive to do better. Whats more, having Barry as a friend has helped me come a long way in undoing old, self-imposed stereotypes about gardeners, plants, and gardens.

Despite all of this, I am still afraid of the big, bad hellebore.

Last year, Barry gifted me a trio of three-year-old seedlings that he had potted up from his garden. I took the plants tentatively. While I appreciate his generosity (as I said, they are not cheap to buy), plant gifts from Barry do hold a self-imposed pressure to keep them alive! Up until that point I understood that hellebores are a Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) perennial that enjoy shade. I have an almost entirely full sun garden. But of course there is more to shade than just shade. There is dry shade. And moist shade. There is shade that changes with the seasons. There is the condition of the soil. And there are three fancy plants with a combined retail cost of approximately $90 in my care. Gah!

It is now early spring, and the hellebores that I inherited from Barry are beginning to appear from underneath a patch of snow and ice. They look fresh, green, and most importantly ALIVE, but the question remains: What in the heck do I do now? And so I decided to turn to my friend Barry, the Hellebore Whisper, for advice in hopes of better understanding the needs of a plant that I have come to wildly mythologize and consequently, misunderstand. What I’ve learned has been very helpful and maybe (just maybe), I might even get up the courage to purchase a fourth plant this spring!

An Interview with Barry Parker, Hellebore Lover

Q: If I’m ever going to tackle this fear, I need to get a clearer picture as to the conditions that hellebores prefer. Help!

Barry: Hellebores are enormously adaptable, in nature they come from the edges of woodland, and in scrubby land at usually high altitude regions of central Europe. I plant them close to or under small trees in my small city garden, which gives them sun in the spring and as the trees fill out they get partial shade in the summer. Coming from mountainous regions they can withstand winter temperatures well below 18C, and can be grown in areas as low as zone 4, possibly zone 3 with winter protection.

Q: As you know, I have a mostly sunny garden with a few spots that receive either late or early day shade. Which spot would be best for hellebores? I have mentioned to you that one of those spots is cold and stays cold later than other parts of my garden. Is this spot okay for hellebores or should I choose a location that warms up earlier?

Barry: In your zone 6 garden, some shade during the summer is, I think, advisable. Don’t worry about looking for a warm location, they will bid their time in the cold until the conditions are right and can take care of themselves in the meantime.

Q: What kind of care do my plants need in the early spring as they are coming out of dormancy? Should I prune away old foliage? Fertilize?

Barry: In early spring when temperatures are above 0C it is probably safe to remove all the old foliage. Try to do this before the flowers develop too much as you can easily damage them in the process of removing the leaves.
I fertilize in the Fall, using bonemeal, giving them a good feed early in the season as they come out of dormancy.

Q: You have a plant in your garden that has flowered mid-winter in your garden (January)? What variety is this? Do you do anything special to encourage early blooming? Is it vulnerable at this stage? Do you do anything to protect it?

Barry: This is Helleborus niger ‘Praecox’ a form of the species with very early flowers that bloom starting in November and continuing throughout the winter if mild enough. Often it will rebound after being hit with sub zero temps, when there is a warm winter day. Perhaps it would benefit from some protection to keep the flowers going. There are often some unopened buds in the Spring that can be persuaded to bloom indoors as a cut flower.

Q: After blooming care: Must I deadhead? Can I leave seed bearing varieties to produce seed and possibly seedlings?

Barry: The five petal-like sepals persist throughout the summer and are very ornamental, even though they lose much of their colour. So dead-heading is not a good idea. However they will produce huge amounts of seed and in a year or two you find all sorts of seedlings growing around (and sometimes in) the crown of the parent plant. At first I tried to save many of these seedlings, but with time I’ve learnt to just weed them out, otherwise I’d end up with a congested mono-planting. A few seedlings have grown on to become nice plants, but the majority are not so good. I have one plant that seeded itself right up to and in the roots of a dogwood and impossible to dig out, but fortunately it’s a nice looking plant, having inherited some nice colour from its parents.

Q: When is the best time to buy hellebores?

Barry: Don’t get me started on this question! Here in Southern Ontario we have this mindset that gardening doesn’t start until May. Many garden centres don’t open until then and all they have to order are Hellebores past their best, particularly if they have been forced in a greenhouse over the winter. If you are lucky enough to live in Europe or warmer parts of the U.S. and Canada, you’ll probably find nurseries that put on Hellebore events early in the year where you can buy plants in their prime and choose the colours and forms you like best.

Q: It’s very early spring. I’ve bought myself a new hellebore in a pot, but the soil in my garden is still very frozen. What do I do? Do I need to keep it somewhere cold or warm? How soon can I plant it outside?

Barry: If you buy a plant that is more advanced than it would be outside (i.e. a plant that has been forced for quick retailing) think of it as a plant that you are purchasing for next year, when it will have settled into the soil in your garden and will be at its very best. In the meantime, keep it in the pot outside and close to the house in a sheltered spot. Give it protection if the weather is still frigid (a cardboard box at night would be all you’d need) and when the soil has warmed up and is workable you can plant it where you choose.

Q: Can you suggest a few favorite varieties for beginners? A variety that you love personally?

There are so many to choose from — I love them all! There are the species (currently 17, but knowing botanists, that could change), primary hybrids or intersectional hybrids that are the hybrids of two species, and there are crazy mixed up hybrids whose lineages are impossible to untangle. These would be referred to as Helleborus hybridus.

The variety is endless, they come in a huge range of colours, some clear, others with spotting, striping, and bicolours. There has been a trend to using tissue culture to produce large quantities of identical plants from a chosen hybrid, and some of these plants are very nice (I certainly have some of these), but I prefer plants that are developed in seed strains that are similar, but not identical. It is more rewarding to know that in some respect ythe plant you selected is unique.

Finally I would say that all Hellebores are easy to grow, even for the beginner. Here are some of my favourites:


Helleborus hybridus (Dark pink with cream interior). Hellebores from named seed strains are generally called H. hybridus


Any of the species. Photo by Barry Parker.


H. niger ‘Praecox’


H. nigercors (a primary hybrid of niger and argutifolius). Photo by Barry Parker.


I particularly like cream and greenish flowers.

Thanks Barry!

GIVEAWAY

Still feeling intimidated by hellebore or just curious to learn more? Barry recommends the book, Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide by C. Coleston Burrell. I’ll give away one copy to a random winner.

All you have to do to enter is say something about hellebore in the comments. Have you grown them? Do you want to, but are afraid to try? What is your favourite variety/colour/colour combination? And of course, you can always just type in “count me in,” and that will count as an entry, too.

The winner will be drawn at random after entries close at midnight on Wednesday, April 3, and informed by email.

————-

Disclosure: Please note that Amazon links earn me a small commission, which are put towards purchasing books as giveaway prizes. Please see my current Publication Policy for more info.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

103 thoughts on “Hellebore, Huh? Lessons from the Hellebore Whisperer

  1. Well, I don’t know whether to laugh or — well, I will just smirk. Last year I bought Hellebore from the local Master Gardener’s plant sale, completely ignorant to its hoity-toity-ness. I just thought it was pretty and native looking. I have basically a mostly shaded garden (the start of it). Hopefully I will be able to grow these beauties and enjoy them in the years to come. Thanks for the article. It will give me some groundwork (all pun intended) for flourishing flowers.

    Lyssa

    PS I also like Clematis. Any articles on those upcoming?

    • Yes! I’ve been planting more and more clematis over the last few years and Barry has agreed to an interview on their care as well… especially pruning and choosing easy varieties.

  2. I grow the Helleborus foetidus, an extra tall native which has a common name of Stinking Hellebore. It smells like coffee to me each time I brush the foliage. One 18″ branch loaded with buds broke away from the crown in high winds in January. I have 3 branches remaining and the plant looks a bit lopsided but healthy. Buds are not open yet. I placed it in 3/4 shade but the winds are strong here. The Stinking Hellebore was a gift from a gardening friend, much like yours.

  3. I’m planning to plant a few Hellebores this year on the side of my house with less sun. They’re so beautiful. This was a super helpful post!

  4. Any chance that these could grow in south Texas? I have a very shaded (and dry) garden and would love to try these, but I would hate to have our hot summers kill them. I have already sacrificed enough plant-bodies over the years trying to find beautiful things to grow here!

    • I’ll ask Barry and get back to you. From what I gather that may be too hot for them. That’s partially my fear around growing them in my garden. I have them in a spot that is the coolest I have in the summer and where I have built up the soil with organic matter (most of my yard is sandy.)

  5. I have some that I bought at a farmer’s market, two of ‘em, for 8 bucks each, I think. But they’re not the happiest plants. I could use some help!

  6. I have one Hellebore which was a gift from a dear friend. It didn’t bloom for several years and I was about to relocate it to make it happy. My friend suddenly passed away and I fretted even more about the plant. That winter the hellebore bloomed.

  7. My grandmother just recommended these to me for my shady, empty yard at our new house. I’m thrilled to see this guide! Also looking forward to the clematis interview.

  8. I moved from Florida to Georgia 2 years ago and hellebores were planted everywhere in my new yard. I had never seen them in Florida and was so excited to learn everything about them. After my research, I have learned they are happy to stay where they are originally planted and produce masses of beautiful flowers. I look forward to Barry’s book to add to my plant book collection to teach me more :)They are literally all over my yard, in sun and shade and seem quite happy everywhere.. Like Barry stated mine have produced many seedlings which I will now thin out to give some more a chance to grow. The rest I will try to grow indoors under lights to give away to others as they are expensive here, too. I am always excited to acquire a plant I have never seen before. Thanks, love your site, been following you for a long time and will continue to do so, even if I don’t win!!!

  9. I just noticed that the first picture in this post is the Hellebore that I mentioned that is growing out of the dogwood. I’d forgotten how nice it was.

  10. I love my helleobores. I pretty much ignore them at this point. They’re hardy, and for some reason, the deer leave them alone. my guess is because I have them next to the lamb’s ear.

  11. Just purchased 3 at Canada Blooms. Wasn’t sure when/if to put them outside to harden off while waiting for the ground to be workable. Thanks so much for this informative interview!

  12. A neighbour has a number of hellebores, I keep hoping that she’ll wind up with some seedlings to pass along, as I’ve never been able to spend the $20-$30 on a plant from a garden centre – in the back of my mind I’m always thinking that for $30 I could buy a small fruit tree, or several rhubarb plants, or some other plant that would produce food.

  13. I found out about hellebores from a local radio garden show, then proceeded to see them everywhere! Bought one plant at a local garden fundraiser and that one has survived. Bought another on sale at a garden centre and that one died that summer. I got two more on a deal a couple of weeks ago. I really hope they survive this summer!

  14. I really want some hellebores, though I don’t know that they’ll love my conditions. Since I don’t have money or friends with seedlings I’m choosing the hardest way to get started: dry seeds. Not sure any of them will even germinate, but it’s fun to experiment and imagine what might grow.

  15. I have been growing hellebores for 3 or 4 years now and have also found them very adaptable, and of course beautiful. I found your information very helpful in expanding my knowledge; I also really enjoyed your pictures. Thank you for sharing.

  16. I usually only grow food, but due to the sketchy soil at my new house (rusty nails anyone?), there is a patch of soil that I have designated as non-edible only. I have some Yarrow, some Succulents, and something else in there (I don’t remember). Some hellebore would actually fit in quite nicely! Though I don’t know if I’d be willing to drop $30 on a plant that might not survive….

  17. I’ve been eying Hellebores for a couple years now, but I still haven’t bought one. As you say, they are rather pricey. There are several nice clumps in gardens in my area, so I know it’s possible to grow them well here. Your 7th picture, the creamy yellow one with the pink edges, is just gorgeous. Any idea of the variety name of that one?

  18. Hellebores are one of my favourite plants, and I love seeing the increasingly complex variations growers are coming out with (particularly the Brits!). However, when we last tried planting them in central Alberta a few years ago they seemed to be doing really well all summer/fall but then never came back in the spring. Possibly because we hadn’t given them enough protection during what was a relatively dry (but cold) winter? I guess it’s good I’m living in NYC now – a friendlier haven for them.

  19. Hellebores are on the “menu” for our new house! We have woodlands which are not very diverse, and so besides encouraging the current residents (wild geranium, jack in the pulpits, mayapples) there will be new plantings. Because of the major deer issues we’ll be looking into some of these babies too, around the edge of the path!

  20. We had just moved into our new house and it was the end of winter and I went to the garden center section at Lowe’s and they had Lenten Rose hellebores on one table along with all the bare root trees and bushes. I bought one on a complete impulse and planted it in a pot. It has thrived with no special attention from me and I adore it still.

  21. I want some for the backyard garden (that currently exists only in my mind). Haven’t figured out which varieties yet though!

  22. I work in the Garden Center at a big box store. We just got Hellebore’s in for the first time, last week. They sell for around 23.00 each and are beautiful! But we have not sold a single one yet, I suspect, because of the price and our weather has been very cold here so we haven’t had a ton of shoppers yet. I liked the article a lot. Love to learn about different types of plants and new ideas. Thank you!

  23. I love Hellebores. They are beautiful in the garden as well as in flower arrangements. I have not had great luck in growing them, however. They seem to be limping along in my garden. After reading Barry’s comments I think they may be getting too much sun.

  24. I have one hellebore that I bought and one that was given to me by a gardener friend. Both have survived two winters and one is blooming– or was until the snow. (I haven’t ventured out yet to see what’s up with it.) They get morning sun only and are doing fine.

  25. I also love Hellebores but am also too afraid to try growing them due to their hefty price tag. Every time I see one at the garden center, I can’t help but admire.

  26. Don’t be scared of Hellebores! Barry is right, they are super adaptable. As long as their basic needs are met, they tend to themselves. I have Helleborus Brandywine in my garden, and it has weathered several years with little attention. I love to have them around, because they (along with the snowdrops) are a sure way to know spring is near!

  27. I currently have 3 hellebores in my garden. Two I am sure will return, but I am holding my breath on the 3rd one. I am looking to buy a few more because they work so well in my shady garden. However, I’m growing them by the seat of my pants … more benign neglect than knowledgeable handling. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  28. I just discovered them this year and am infatuated! Annie’s Annuals has them for $15, for those in the States.

  29. I too recently learned about hellebores and pretty much fell in love. They brighten up the winter here in the midwestern U.S., and I’d like to try growing them.

  30. My mom grows helebores in her garden off the east coast of Vancouver Island, all of them gift seedlings from friends. I’d be happy to grow any of them, when we finally get a garden. We’re up north however, so I’d have to choose the hardiest to survive the -20 to -40 degree cold spells. Or build my dream walled shade garden!

  31. When I “discovered” hellebores last year, I lost
    My teacups over them and bought two. I hope they survived under my mulch this year…

  32. This sounds like a perfect flower for my front postage-stamp garden! While our house faces due east, we don’t get very much sunlight except for a bit of morning light, because the house and porch immediately shades the front garden at any point past noon. Whether I win Barry’s book or not, I’d love to try growing some of these – they’re beautiful!

  33. I was really surprised when I read this post as I would never consider hellebores to be fancy or difficult or associate them with fancy gardens. I love hellebores and I agree that some are very pricey. Here in the Uk though you can generally pick some up for £6 upwards and you only pay the steeper prices if you want a certain colour such as a black one. I visited a nursery earlier this year which is reknown for growing hellebores and it was fascinating to hear the process of growing them and new varieties. The time it takes to grow them to a good size explains some of the price.
    However, once you have a couple of different ones you can mess around having a go at cross pollinating and seeing what you come up with yourself as long as you are happy to wait a few years.
    They are easy to look after, preferring shade and provide really good foliage to complement other plants during the summer.

    • The culture around hellebores is definitely different in the UK and in the Pacific North West than it is here. My personal anxiety is around not having the right growing conditions in my yard. with many other plants I know how to push it or I can take the chance and experiment… but hellebores are far too expensive to mess around with!

  34. Thank you for this timely post! I was just at the store this past weekend with the hopes of purchasing a hellebore. I ended up walking away empty-handed because I had no idea how expensive they were! Like you, I don’t want to spend $25 on one plant that I might kill in my dry, sunny garden. I still love them and this book would be a great resource for deciding which variety in which to invest and where to site it.

  35. Have gardened since I was a child, but just planted my first hellebore last year; haven’t checked on it recently as it is still covered in snow/ice.Am hoping for the best.

  36. I really enjoyed this post because I was recently googling plants for zone 6 for shade. My daughter and I are going to create a “fairy” garden this spring and I thought this would be a nice addition. We have a lot of shade in our yard and I’m often at a loss for finding plants that flower.

  37. I bought my first hellebore this year and it’s doing great, but I want more colors and sizes, so I’m going to buy some seeds and give the hard way a try. I’ve read it takes at least three years from seed to flower and the seeds are supposedly super picky about cold stratification and humidity. But I figure if 1 in 5 seeds makes it, I’ll have a nice little flower collection that’ll give me more in the future for way less than the 45€ the plants cost here.

  38. I just identified a hellebore in the backyard of my new (and first) house. My aunt thought it was a dwarf magnolia (??). Anyway, it’s green and beautiful. I’m new to gardening, but love every minute I’ve spent outside and I’m happy I came across your blog!

  39. I’ve gone a little nuts with hellebores the last few years. I have two each of two strains on order this year – “Amber Gem” and “Golden Lotus”. I’m a sucker for doubles, and love the yellow with the red details. Sounds like a neat book – I’d love to win it.

  40. Oh they look so beautiful! There is a spot in my Mom’s front garden, under a Japanese maple, that would be absolutely perfect for one. She probably doesn’t know about their reputation, I bet I could convince her to get one and garden vicariously through her.

  41. I’m with you Gayla – too afraid to sink money into a plant that I know so little about! Thanks to you and Barry for this Q and A!

  42. i just bought my first hellebore last spring and i’m (not so) patiently waiting for the snow to melt so i can see how it did! i’m hoping to plant a lot more if this one is happy still.

  43. i had no idea about this – my hellebore was even accidentally mowed with the lawn a few years ago (plus i’m a completely lazy gardener) and it just keeps going. then again, i’m in the PNW.

  44. I grow lots of hellebores in my US Zone 7b garden, and they couldn’t be more carefree and easy. I started with three clumps dug up from my neighbor’s yard six years ago (yes, at her invitation), and now I have well more than I need or perhaps even want. Mine reseed generously and when I transplant them, often at seed-leaf stage, I don’t even bother to water them in. Honestly, in my experience they’re practically plastic. I have lots of shade but it’s very dry, acid clay. They grow brilliantly at the bases of trees; the roots don’t bother them at all. I also have some that get some hot, western sun for at least a few hours each day.

    Their price is high, I assume, because they take three years to flower from seed. But in my experience they’re not hoity-toity at all; elegant looking, certainly, but as resilient as stainless steel.

    For Deborah Newman in South Texas, who posted above: According to Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, there are many cultivars that can be grown in Zones 8 and 9.

    My plants are starting to set seed, actually. I will save seed (you’ll have to take what you get; they’re mixed white and rose colored) for the first 10 people who email me at missinghenrymitchell (at) gmail (dot) com. I’ll look into the rules about shipping seed internationally.

  45. I bought two hellebore last fall and watched them anxiously every day. I thought they bloomed in December and was very worried until they finally bloomed a few weeks ago. Today I bought another one at a garden center. I’m glad to know that they seed–would love to have more of them in my mostly shady yard.

  46. I planted three hellebore in my house’s northside shady garden (Wisconsin, Zone 4b) two years ago. One promptly died. The other two came up again last year but didn’t flower. I don’t know if this was because they were weak plants when I got them, or if they’re in too much shade. If they don’t flower this year, I’m moving them to a sunnier locale. I love hellebores, but like most people, can’t afford them.

  47. I have three hellebores in my yard. Two are doing really well, but the third has been acting sickly lately. I think the squirrels have been digging around it looking for bulbs. Bought mine on a lark from Costco, of all places.

  48. Thanks for the post! I have a few hellebore that are doing well so I am planning on getting some more this year. Its great to learn more about them.

  49. They are all so beautiful! I love the dark pink Helleborus hybridus with the cream interior, and especially the picture of the varied species sitting in the dish on the table. Also, I took a peak at the photos Barry posted from The Jarvie Garden on his blog and the apricot form is my absolute favorite. I live in zone 8 bordering on zone 7. Would I be able to grow a wide variety, and are there some that would bloom during the August heat of North Texas weather? I’m brainstorming for next year in this sense.

  50. We just moved to SW Ontario after five years on Vancouver Island. There, hellebores provide wonderful interest in the Decemebr and January garden. I was really pleased to learn that I can grow them here, too. I have three in my garden now and they are starting to bloom. Yay!

  51. I have always wanted to grow them after seeing the Hellebore Garden in NY’s Central Park. They used to have an amazing range but the price has been too scarey. Thank you for the encouraging post. I’m going to be brave this year and plant one!

  52. Last year a friend gave me a gift certificate to a nursery to buy something in honor of my mother who had just passed away. I chose 3 Onxy Odyssey hellebores. They have just begun for me the first time a few days ago and was so happy to stumble across this article since I was wondering what was wrong with the old foliage (if the plants were sick), but see that I can use remove all of that. Is it typical for the old foliage to be browned and ill looking after winter?

  53. Last year I saw some pink ones for sale in March. That was too early to plant them here in Minneapolis, so I decided to wait. Of course, by the time I went back to get some, they were sold out. I didn’t see any the rest of the summer. I’m hoping I’ll find them again this spring. If I do, I won’t hesitate to buy them.

    Amy

  54. Saw these at pretty much every booth at Canada Blooms this year and loved the colour. However I had no idea what to do with them. Thanks for all the info, I may give these a try this year.

  55. I love hellebores, but like you, I’m put off by the prices. So at the moment I only have a couple of seedlings someone sold for $1 each (they’re okay, but nothing spectacular) and one expensive one. They all get sun until about 1 pm and seem to do okay. Someday my trees will grow and I will move the hellebores!

  56. I’ve ALWAYS loved Hellebore but have never gotten the opportunity to try growing them. (I wonder if they grow well in Florida? Must find out). Would love to win this book and learn more about them. :)

  57. I’ve had one in my very dry sandy soil, part shade garden for years and it has done just fine. I moved last year and replanted it in late October. The blooms have been showing for months but are just starting to lift their heads up in the more recent warmth. I love how the flowers fade to pale green and stay on most of the summer. I’m planning on getting another one at least. I moved to Hamilton and joined the RBG so hopefully will get a nice discount!

  58. These are so beautiful and mysterious. I would love to learn more about them as I have always been intimidated.

  59. Just another comment. I have seen them at local flower shops in the spring and often less expensive than garden centre prices.

  60. My favorite is the Lenten Rose Hellebore. I love the white flower and early bloom! I plan to grow some but like you have been lurking in the wings watching others go to town.

  61. I used to have these in my previous garden under a lilac. One of my favorite plants. The flowers are such a welcome site after a long winter. Hope to get more soon

  62. Ihave had good luck growing a few hellebores in N. Texas for about 5 years. This year I added a new one. I’ve read that much is being done to come out with new ones in the near future. Since they nod their heads toward the ground, I’m looking forward to new hybrids which face upwards. Also, more double ones. The flowers look charming floated in a pretty dish and last quite awhile. And yes, the deer haven’t bothered them like they do most everything else in my garden. Try some.

  63. I really should plant these.
    And I, too, would welcome info about clematis. I grow a few but I want to learn more about them.
    Thank you!

  64. Well, do I feel, um, ignorant. I’ve never heard of a Hellebore. They’re beautiful. And I do have some nice shady areas I’ve been trying to grow in. This interview was very informative. Think I might try some (if I find a deal)

    And I also love Clematis.

    Thanks Gayla. I’m glad you’re back.

  65. Just relocated to South Carolina from the San Francisco Bay Area and brought several plants including 3 Hellebore which my sister dug out of your beautiful yard and gave me. All three plants have bloomed and seed to do alright in their new environment.
    Love, love, love Hellebore and enjoyed your very informative article. Thank you!

  66. I bought a hellebore the first spring after I bought my first house and had no clue what I was doing with my first real garden of my own. I put it in a horrible spot but it thrives there and I can’t believe it. It’s incredibly hardy and although it’s in a less than ideal spot I REFUSE to move it because it is rad and I have a sentimental attachment to it!

  67. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Barry Glick, “The Hellebore King.” His nursery is mostly wholesale but his website Sunfarm.com has lots of information on growing them.
    I have only bought a couple of hybrids but I have a yard full of common ones in shades of white to deep plum, all from just a couple given to me by a generous gardener when I moved here. This year they are the most beautiful and colorful in the 15 years I’ve been growing them. I also have H. foetidus; I love the chartreuse flowers. Those plants are not as long-lived or easily moved, but they seed themselves around and I let them grow where they choose.

  68. Oh, hellebores are so pretty. I would love to grow them, but I’d be afraid to grow them in the Las Vegas dry heat.

    Thank you for the info and for the lovely giveaway. :)

  69. I grew up with green hellebores and only recently discovered they come in such a range of colours. As a child they were my favourite b/c what other plant has such long-lasting, vibrant GREEN flowers?!

  70. I’ve loved and grown hellebores and clematis in my TO garden for years – it’s so nice to see them both taking off, providing many more colour varieties. Hellebores really are durable so give them a spot in your garden world!

  71. There’s a lady in my old neighborhood who sold perennials for a dollar…yes, I spent a lot of money there. She even sold hellebores for one dollar! So I have a bunch at my old house that I want to dig up and transplant. Is this possible? They have finally bloomed after many years of waiting!

  72. I have admired hellebores for years but have been waiting until I developed my shade garden, before buying any. Thanks for the great article to get me started.

  73. I love hellebore’s, I’m glad I didn’t know they were difficult. I planted a small one years ago and a florist friend of mine said it is now the best one she’s seen. So last year I splurged and bought a yellow one from Ebay.

  74. it seems unnatural to see such an early blooming flower but I’m willing to give a donated/free hellebore a try, count me in!

  75. Count me in! Because I had a gift certificate, I ordered a hybridus GOLDEN LOTUS STRAIN from GardenImport. Can’t wait to see how it settles in. This post was very helpful – glad to have you back Gayla!

  76. I always see Hellebores in my local garden center but never purchased one due to the high cost. These perennials are absolutely beautiful and I would like to add them to my fabulous garden one day!

  77. I snuck a few hellebores out of the to-be-composted bag of weeds while working as a gardener a couple of years ago. They were just a year or two old seedlings that had sprung up near a parent plant. They are planted at my mother’s house. Alas, while the deer do not eat them, apparently rabbits do. The poor plants get mowed down every winter. I hope my mother gets flowers this year, but the rabbits might have other plans in mind.

  78. I am really hooked on Hellebores ever since a friend gave me a few “scraps” from her garden about five years ago..

  79. I love hellebores! I planted my first one last season and our puppy ate it down to the ground in January – we’ll see what comes up this spring!!

  80. My mother gave me a mailorder, un-named cultivar hellebore several years ago, which is still living at the base of my mailbox post. It is doing quite well and getting larger with no extra effort on my part. I haven’t noticed any seedlings around the plant yet, so I would like to divide it and spread it around the garden and pass some on to some of my gardening neighbors. But I’m not sure exactly how to or when to divide the plant without injuring it. And what does it take to germinate seeds?

  81. I would love some early bloomers in the perennial garden outsider kitchen windows–I could use the good cheer.

  82. i bought a couple hellebore plants last year for our new garden. i’m crossing my fingers that they do well this year. i feel like they could become an obsession/collection.

  83. I would LOVE to grow hellebores, if I could just find them locally! So expensive to buy online and ship. Hmph.

Comments are closed.