Helleborus blossoms alert us that spring will soon arrive. Blooming in late winter, these majestic flowers are one of the first plants to bloom in the shade garden. Often called the Lenten Rose because they usually bloom during the Christian season of Lent.
Helleborus prefer a shaded location that is evenly moist but well drained. Do not grow in excessively wet areas. Northern growers will have success growing them in sunny locations if the soil is adequate. Amending the soil with compost and peat moss will reward you with years of pleasure from these beauties. Helleborus are heavy feeders so applying a slow release fertilizer in spring and fall when they are actively growing will improve their performance.
Helleborus are hardy in zones 4 through 9 and are evergreen in most of these zones. A mulch should be applied to the crown in late fall and removed in late winter when the flowers appear. Trim off old faded foliage in late winter to enjoy the fresh new flowers.
Helleborus are deer and rabbit resistant and have very few pest and disease problems.