Royal Heritage Hellebore fertilizer

lboyce(Z5NY)April 8, 2006

I just could not resist the temptation any longer and went out today and bought one of these. It has flowers on it already.

My questions....I am in Zone 5. Is it okay to put this baby in the ground now? I'm so confused...some say fertilize..some say don't bother...I cannot find what type of fertilizer to use. Anyone have any suggestions? Finally, my last question...I've read that these are a winter sun/summer shade plant but then I've read that they can be planted in summer sun. I'm already confused enough and would love any helpful hints for this beauty!

Thanks in advance for all the very much appreciated suggestions.


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I can't speak to your weather conditions, but if hellebores are blooming now in your area and this plant was grown outdoors (not in a greenhouse), you are probably fine. Oherwise you may need to protect it a bit from temperature extremes.

I tend not to fertilize my hellebores - they don't seem to require it and I do mulch regularly with compost which continues to provide any necessary nutrients to the soil. At any rate, it is generally not recommended to fertilize newly planted material. Allow them to settle in and establish first and then fertilize next season if they need it. An all-purpose balanced fertilizer is fine (all 3 numbers the same). Hellebores prefer a lot more sun than most folks think. Your summers tend to be much hotter than mine, but morning sun and afternoon shade is pretty much ideal in most climates.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 10:43AM
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gardengal48....Thank you SOOO very much for taking the time to respond to my questions!! It is very much appreciated. I bought this plant at one of our local nurseries so I can pretty much be sure that this plant was greenhouse grown! I've decided to wait til it warms up a bit (if ever!) to plant it and I also intend to transfer the Hellebore that I have now into a place with more sun as well as the one I have now. The one I just bought is in bloom and I have two buds on the one I have planted. My goodness...the one I already have planted is going to be moved for the second's probably wondering if it will ever have a place to call "home"!
Thanks again for everything!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 7:24PM
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claysoil(z6 PA)

I echo gardengal's advice. I am in zone 6, south eastern PA. The first hybridus hellebores I purchased I placed in different spots around my property to be able to compare them. The two that by far have done the best are the two that get the most sun. One, a Brandywine strain, gets lots of morning sun in the summer and in the winter even more, but no afternoon sun. Another hybridus of unknown parentage was moved, like your vagabond, into a spot where it gets a lot more afternoon sun than I had thought (had to do with a deck being constructed, roof being removed, etc). I watched it carefully, and came to the conclusion that it was VERY happy in its temporary holding spot and left it there. Now it blooms it's heart out and has grown into a sizable clump. It gets pounded with afternoon sun and does not scorch or any such thing. Time and again I have read that hellebores are shade tolerant, not acutally shade plants. Of course, we're talking hybridus here, not each its own. And as I said, I don't know the parentage of the plant that gets the most sun other than that it was mislabeled....I've learned a bit since I purchased it!

And all I've ever used for abundant blooms is compost too.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 10:08PM
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