Helebores in Texas heat and sun

debndal(8a DFW, TX)February 15, 2008

My landscaper has suggested helebores in a new bed they prepared. It will get summer sun from early morning till about 4 in the afternoon. I've heard many say they do great in sun, but what about Texas summer sun - which can be far more brutal that, say NC, TN, etc. Any opinions on whether that is too much sun? Thanks for your help.

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Depends on what type your landscaper had in mind and frankly, I'm a little surprised he suggested these plants for that situation. Corsican hellebore or Helleborus argutifolius - being native to Corsica and Sardinia - is likely the most sun, heat and drought tolerant selection. But full day Texas sun may be a bit strong for even this species. Morning sun and and some protection from the hottest of the afternoon sun is preferred. H. x hybridus or the oriental hybrids (offering the showiest and most colorful flowers) would most likely turn to toast in full Texas sun and will need a shady location.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 6:57PM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

Thanks for your reply gardengal. I have a couple of hellebores in the backyard in a really shady area, and they do fine except that they don't bloom much. But I thought the area she recommended them for was too sunny here. I just wanted to know what the experts thought, and was wishing that they would tolerate the sun here, but they are a little to pricey to experiment with. Now I have to figure out what to put in that spot that blooms early and is evergreen and perennial. So far, I'm coming up with a blank.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I have several H. x hybridus planted in a really hot, sunny bed, and I've interplanted them with Salvia guaranitica, which creates a bit of shade for them during the hottest parts of the year, but either dies back or can be cut back completely during the season at which the hellebores bloom and come to the foreground. This requires some maintenance (although I just give the whole bed a "neckline haircut" in late November - it's best to remove old Hellebore foliage annually before the bloom stems emerge, too), but seems to work out well, since the Salvia provides color, motion, and attracts scads of hummingbirds during the summer, when the hellebores tend to just vegetate. I've also had good luck interplanting hellebores with shrub roses, which provide the same benefits and complimentary bloom period. Hellebores are meadow plants in nature, so they're adapted to growing in the light shade produced by perennials and grasses which are somewhat deciduous in winter.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 3:29AM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

Thanks Bubba - maybe there's hope for some hellebores in my new bed. I hadn't thought about creating some shade with perennials - a great idea. I have salvia guaranitica planned for that bed too, so I can just be sure the hellebores are close enough to get their shade. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:45PM
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I have a related problem. I would love to grow hellebores here in Phuket, as I did in Scotland, but fear the heat and humidity might be too much for them. Any opinions?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 9:39PM
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roxy_girl(7b Weatherford TX)

HA HA HA!!! I say have this Land"Quack"scaper to put her money where her mouth is! Let her spend the bucks to buy them (as they are expensive) and you go right ahead and plant them in full sun here in "Hell" (aka: Texas) and IF they make it then you pay her for them...you won't be out any money honey! *lol*

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 11:55PM
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