Does anyone grow helleborus here?

ostrich(3a AB)June 12, 2014

You see, all these impulse buys just get me in trouble...! I saw some very healthy looking helleborus Ivory Prince in gallon pots on sale last week, so I just HAD to buy them!!!

Now, I am trying to decide where I should plant them. In our zone 3 climate, can I plant them in a east-facing location with afternoon shade, or must I plant them in a shaded location here?

Does anyone grow helleborus around here? Do they grow well here in Calgary? Does the foliage remain evergreen in our harsh climate?

Thanks in advance!

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I tried to grow Helleborus niger twice in Edmonton. It was supposed to be the hardiest one but it never made it through winter.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:40AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

pricklypoppy, would you mind telling me more about the location where you grew the helleborus? Was it protected? Any snow cover there at all? What direction did it face? I am curious as to whether it was in the optimal growing condition and yet it was still not able to survive there?

Thanks so much for your information!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:54AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Maybe you could try a south-facing location near the foundation of your house. I have an allium christophii near the foundation on the east side and it has survived for several years there (hasn't bloomed the past couple, though).

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 7:47AM
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Hi, Ostrich, the two locations I tried: one was far away from the house at my southeast side of my garden alone with sugar maples (the sugar maples actually survive here just fine); the second location was closed to the foundation on the northeast side of the house. Both location have snow covered in the winter but at the first location snow melts much later than the second location. At both locations, I started them in the spring and they grew fine till fall, but did not wake up in the next spring.
My south facing side of the house don't have snow cover in winter. Only rhubarb survives there.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:18AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Hi pricklypoppy, thank you for letting me know!

What type of helleborus did you have please? Also, were they supposed to be hardy to zone 3? This one that I bought was an Ivory Prince, and it's supposed to be hardy to zone 3.... still, I am a bit scared now! If they would allow me perhaps I should go and return them!!!!!! Hmm....

Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:27AM
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Hi, Ostrich, the variety I tries were unnamed Helleborus niger from Fraser's Thimble farms. They were rated as zone 3. My guess is that they need more protection and some micro-environments do make difference for them to survive. The only way is to try and see. I like helleborus and I grew when I was in Vancouver island. Might try to get another one with my Fall order to try it out in Edmonton.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:23AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Hi pricklypoppy,

Thanks! Actually, I found the website - the blogger is from Edmonton. He has successfully grown Ivory Prince for the last 3 years! So I am quite encouraged. You may want to check out his blog - beautiful photos! Love it.

I just found a spot where it's east facing and just by the fence. Some zone 4 things have survived and even thrived in that area. So I hope that these will too! We will find out in a year's time.... :-)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 9:50PM
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raehelen(USDA 7-8)

Just thought I'd put in my 2 cents worth. I live in the Lower Mainland of BC (though I came from Edmonton), and I find that even here H. Niger are not as hardy as other Hellebore. (I have lost all mine). What thrives for me (even more than Ivory Prince) are H. Hybridus (used to be H. Orientalis). you might want to give one of those a try.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 3:35PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

raehelen, thank you. I really only just found Ivory Prince on sale, so that's why I got them. Otherwise, they are just too pricey and risky!!! :-) I have my Ivory Prince now planted in a pretty well-protected east facing location. In this location, my other zone 4 plants have survived and done well too. Let's see how these do! :-) Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:13PM
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