merlin lenten rose
Mon, Jun 07, 2021

Hellebore Plant: Varieties, Care, Transplantation and Everything You Need to Know about It

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Hellebore Plant: Varieties, Care, Transplantation and Everything You Need to Know about It Article Preview
hellebore flower

Hellebore plant – is truly one of the exceptional plants that is one of the first to bloom. Evergreen leaves form low tufts that can grow up to 8in in height. These flowers appear even before the beginning of spring; the lenten rose bloom time is from February to April. Plants can bloom again in the fall. This magnificent perennial is recommended for shady areas and can be grown under trees and shrubs. In this article, we will tell how to plant Helleborus and how to care for it in the future.

What Is a Hellebore Plant?

Helleborus, or, as it is also customary to call it, lenten rose, belongs to the Buttercup family and, as most of its representatives are also poisonous, so you need to be careful with it. Evergreen and perennial hellebore is not only frost-resistant but also drought-resistant. Lenten rose blooms mainly in early March, while the beds are not yet decorated with later flowers. Hellebore flowers are incredibly beautiful, in their shape they resemble lanterns.

Lenten Rose Planting

The choice of the planting site for the lenten rose plant should be approached as thoughtfully as possible because the plant is rather painfully undergoing frequent transplants. If you have decided on the perfect place, then hellebore can grow beautifully and delight you for the next 10 years.

When is the best time to plant lenten roses? It is customary to sow hellebore seeds from spring to autumn in loose and fairly moist soil. The recommended depth is about 2.5in. This way, by March next year you will be able to watch the blooming of the hellebore. We figured out when to plant a lenten rose, let’s talk about the place.

Where to plant hellebores? They are not particularly demanding on the soil, but they grow best in the partial shade of shrubs and trees – where the loose soil is almost always moist. As we said earlier, it is better to plant hellebores once for a permanent place, mainly under large spreading trees, so that in summer they are in the shade, and in winter (when the hellebore begins to bloom), the plant is provided with a sufficient amount of light. This planting option has another advantage: the leaves of the tree under which the hellebore will be planted will serve as a natural mulch that will nourish the root system with useful substances, and, accordingly, increase the fertility of the soil. Another tip with regards to the aesthetic aspect: it is worth planting hellebore in groups, so it looks most advantageous against the background of a snow-covered garden. As an option for an interesting and beautiful planting, flowers can also be planted around a tree.

Hellebore Care

lenten rose plant

Does Helleborus need sun or shade?

The best place for the hellebore growing season is in darkened places, for example, under the crowns of trees or near a fence. With regards to lighting, it is best to avoid direct sunlight or possible hot sun.

Air humidity

Since the hellebore flower is quite resistant to drought and adverse environmental conditions, there is no need to worry too much about it. But hellebore will do better if the air humidity is sufficient, usually slightly above average.


As a rule, the hellebore has enough natural moisture, such as melting snow, rain, or dew. To maintain moisture, the plant can be mulched. This is especially important in hot, dry weather.

Top Dressing

Here you need to be careful since an excess of fertilizers can affect the plant much worse than their lack. As a rule, the hellebore has enough nutrients that it gets from feeding neighboring flowers and trees. You can also use phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, but they need to be applied during the period from August to October.

Please note that you do not need to fertilize the hellebore in the first year after planting in a new place!

Hellebore pruning

The hellebore does not need formative pruning, but if you want to preserve the evergreen foliage for the whole winter, then the plant should be pruned to the base when the leaves start to brown at the tips.


The hellebore can be propagated vegetatively, generatively, or by seed propagation. To propagate the hellebore by dividing the bush, you need to carefully dig out five-year-old bushes or older, divide the hellebore root into several parts, and plant in pre-prepared holes. The most suitable period for most lenten roses is spring, but as for helleborus orientalis, this should be done in autumn.

Transplanting Lenten Roses

Transplanting mature lenten rose seedlings to a permanent place should be carried out in September or April, but be prepared for the fact that you will see the first flowering in about 3 years since the plant needs time to fully recover after transplanting.

Lenten Rose Varieties

hellebore flowers

Merlin hellebore is an interesting strain. At first, it blooms with flowers of a pale pink hue and smoothly becomes saturated dark pink. Merlin lenten rose looks especially beautiful at the end of winter.

The Red Lady is unusually attractive, has leaves edged with small teeth, and consists of three to five lobes, attractive with their bright green color. Possesses beautiful bright red flowers of the color of ripe pomegranate, towering on strong tall peduncles. They are distinguished by their cupped shape, large size, bright and rich color.

Pink Lady: abundant flowering begins at the end of February, the plant simply delights with its large flowers. Flowers attract with their solid purple speck, being one of the favorite plants among professional designers.

Mrs. Betty Ranicar has incredibly beautiful white double flowers, and by the end of flowering, they turn light green. It is not uncommon for an adult plant to have up to 4 buds on one peduncle.

Windcliff Double Pink stands out from other varieties with its double pink flowers. The variety is quite resistant to diseases and pests and will decorate your garden!

Let’s Finally Find Out If Lean Rose Is Toxic?

All people who are at least a little familiar with the topic of botany are well aware that absolutely all parts of the lenten rose (as well as all representatives of the hellebore genus) contain the toxin protoanemonin. It is what causes various gastrointestinal and skin problems, of which there is a significant number. It is even registered and included in the list of poisonous plants as a plant marked with class 1 (which means – the main toxicity). The relatively good news is that human death is rare, as you have to swallow a large amount of the plant to harm yourself. Unfortunately, the death of grazing animals, dogs, and even cats is not uncommon. You need to know that skin contact is usually easy to treat, just rinse the skin and apply a healing ointment. But if any part of the plant has been swallowed, be sure to call the nearest poison control department right away.

The Main Symptoms of Poisoning

When the plant comes into contact with the skin, people usually develop rashes, itching, and blistering. And if any part of the plant has been eaten, it will cause nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and cramping. And most importantly, hepatitis, jaundice, and even paralysis.

Porno-hoofed animals, cats, and dogs that accidentally or intentionally ingest plants may experience profuse and uncontrolled salivation, abdominal pain, colic, and depression. Less severe symptoms usually resolve within 24 hours, but poisoning may be more serious if large amounts of Lenten Rose are ingested. If you suspect that your pet has eaten a large amount of this plant, seek veterinary attention right away.

Hellebore Diseases and Its Pests

merlin lenten rose

Pests and diseases do not so often destroy healthy hellebore, but sometimes it is aphids that are a problem. We advise you to look inside the flowers and their new leaves. If you suddenly notice some sticky substance dripping, then it is most likely falling from aphids. In case of aphid infestation on plants, first, try to wash them off with a hose, or using any strong pressure of water. This usually helps. If not, place ladybugs or spray aphids with neem oil, which is non-toxic. Sometimes even snails and slugs eat seedlings or new leaves, then it is best to remove them at night and move them to the path. Hellebore can also infect many types of fungal infections, although this is rare. For example, gardeners who for some reason do not like to use fungal spray can simply remove the foliage and entire plants if they are infected or vulnerable. One devastating disease is called the Black Death. As the name implies, this is one of the hellebore diseases, which can destroy plants. You will probably recognize this by the black stripes and spots that are on the leaves and flowers. If you do notice, don’t try to treat it. The best solution is to dig up and remove the affected plants.

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