Helleborus under pin oak

drsuz(z5 IN)February 2, 2006

Hi. We've had a mild winter thus far in Indianapolis. I have approx. 6 hellebores(Lenten Rose varieties; planted year before last) under the pin oak in the front yard. I also have some ferns, hostas, and bluebells there. Everything is fairly spread out; nothing is crowded. Despite making sure the hellebores are watered in the summer, they haven't made any attempt to spread or flower. They're just hanging in there. Any thoughts on what I could do to help them? I've looked through the postings to the forum and it seems that they tolerate some acid, so I don't think it's the tree -- but please let me know if I am wrong about that. Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I don't know pin oak, but I do find it mentioned in lists of trees unsuitable for underplanting with rhododendron and azalea....it's on the list as an unsuitable associate, reasons for that grouping of trees are: too dense or fiberous rooted.

Have you dug around theplanting area under your tree to see what, if any, root competition there might be? Are the lower branches drooping in form so that they exclude too much light?

Sometimes these larger trees can really rob the soil of nutrients and water more than we realize...do you mulch with compost or organic plant remains?

I'm growing many oriental hybrids, foetidus, macrantha in my acidic clay. About once every 12 - 18 months, I push a stick of plain blackboard chalk down in next to each plant for a slow release of lime (three sticks for a large clump). Seems to work very well, and I don't have to be concerned about changing the PH of an entire planting area and making the acid lovers unhappy.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 11:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hope you have them in a raised bed, because they require good drainage and bright light. They are also tolerant of drought conditions, once established. I grow them under many types of trees, including Oaks and they do extremely well there. They will grow, but not bloom well, under low growing evergreen trees or shrubs. Soil ph does not seem to matter much for the Lenten Roses, but the Christmas Rose, H. niger must have a more alkaline soil to survive.
Check the soil around your plants, if it stays constantly wet, you will need to raise them up so that the roots are in moist, but not soggy, soil. Also, hold off watering them frequently during the summer. Sometimes(like last Sept) some of mine go for a month or more without water and bloom on schedule in the winter.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 12:30AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Too late to plant?
I ordered Ice Follies Hellebores in August, the delivery...
no flowers
I moved and split a hellebore 3 years ago, since then...
Rabbits - Grrr!
Rabbits have systematically munched almost every stem...
Winter Thrillers series, Wedding Ruffles - What type?
I've noticed that there are different categories such...
Feb.. 2-16-14
Just posting a Hellebore photo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™