The Gold Collection of Hellebores offers a natural progression of blooms from November through March. Selected by Heuger Trading in Europe, these hellebores make wonderful hostess gifts, and dress up any container or garden bed. Many have been selected for outward facing, cream flowers with accents of green or antique rose.
The bloom sequence begins in early November with Joel and Jonas soon followed by Jacob with its red stems. Joseph Lemper is next in line with green stems and blooms that fade to apple green. Also in December, Rosemary adds some color with her rosy pink flowers.
Starting in early January, many new introductions to the Gold Collection series begin to bloom. Ice Breaker Fancy opens with creamy flowers that mature to a rich green. Joker has clear white flowers with rose tints. Shooting star has long red stems with creamy white flowers that age to rose. Spring Party not only has love blooms, but also has dark green marbled foliage. Merlin also shows marbled leaves, and blooms February through April with light pink flowers that age to deep cranberry.
This collection of hellebores grows 9-18" tall 9-24" wide depending on variety. They prefer morning sun, good drainage and are cold hardy in zones 4 and 5. By planting different varieties with overlapping bloom times you can have color from November to April that are sure to delight the fairies and inspire woodland magic.
'Joseph and Jacob'
|Hellebore 'Rosemary'||Hellebore 'Merlin'|
'Ice Breaker Fancy'
Common Name: Hellebore, Lenten Rose, Christmas Rose
Origin: Temperate zones from Europe to Western China; many grow in the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe.
Culture: Most prefer woodland conditions with deep, fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil and dappled shade. Hellebores can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions as long as plants have good drainage.
Maintenance: Heleborus x hybridus appreciate a yearly application of fertilizer in late winter to early spring. Top dress around the plant with compost or well rotted manure in early winter, but keep clear of the crown to prevent rot. Many authorities recommend removing old leaves to maintain a tidy appearance.
When flower stems are 3-4 inches tall cut off all the old leaves. This will enhance flower display and reduce the spread of disease year to year. When flower stems die back they may be removed as well. Seedlings that appear around the base of plants may be left if not overcrowded. Otherwise pot them up or move them in spring.
When plants are well established, or if they become congested, they may be divided. The best time to do this is late summer or early fall, when active growth has slowed. Be aware that recently divided plants may take a year to reestablish, and thus may not flower the following spring.
Garden Use: The fact that they bloom in late winter when everything else looks dead or conspicuously absent makes them the stars of the winter shade border. They are excellent companions for hostas, woodland flowers, ferns, and other shade-loving plants.
They are also deer resistant and somewhat drought tolerant once established. Being mostly evergreen, their large textured, dramatic leaves provide structure and color year-round. Combine all these desirable qualities with overall toughness and you get a stellar perennial worthy of inclusion in every garden.
Pest and Disease: Hellebores have few problems with disease but they are susceptible to black fungal rot. Keep an eye out for aphids. Slugs and snails are also known to attack young growth. Bait with Sluggo before damage becomes apparent.