Newbie with Questions

TeriA_NY(z5 NY)April 1, 2004

Sorry, I originally posted this in the image gallery by mistake.

I was looking at the Alpines and Rock Gardens Forum and someone was saying that the Helleborus was their favorite plant and one that they could not live without, so I thought that I might try it in my rock garden.

I started my rock garden under a crab apple tree about five years ago. I have not been able to give it much attention since then because of caring for my small children and I also became frustrated because I was not having much luck, almost everything that I planted died.

This year I have been doing a lot of research trying to find the right plants for my conditions and I am looking forward to putting a lot of time into my garden. My main problems are that the area is shaded and very rocky. I am planning on adding a lot of compost, mulch, etc. this year. I started composting and mulching the area last year.

My questions are:

1. Will the Helleborus tolerate shade?

2. Does the foliage last all season after the blooms fade?

3. Are they hardy plants?

4. Where is the best place to purchase Helleborus? (I live in Orange County, N.Y.)

I was looking at all of your flower images that were uploaded and they are absolutely beautiful!

Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have.

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Hi Teri, I think that hellebore would like your shade. I would amend the soil first though before you add them. If others things have died in that area it might needed to be given some organic matter and the soil loosened before you start.
They are very hardy plants and are evergreen. Once they get established they last for many years.
I don't know what nurseries you have in your area. Here in Georgia I found hellebores in gallon pots this winter in Lowe's and Home Depots. They did not sell well as they look to be to be about a year away from blooming and they are still one of the plants that are not well know even though there have been several articles in the paper over the year. You can call around your local nurseries. If that doesn't work there are of course mail order nurseries that can provide them to you.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2004 at 9:21PM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

Home Depot here had gallon hellebores in bloom for $4.98.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 7:13AM
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TeriA_NY(z5 NY)

Thank you for the suggestions. I have a home depot about 2 miles from me, so I will go there and check. I also have a couple of decent nurseries I can also check.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 7:25AM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Hellebores are a bit large for a typical rock garden as they get quite big. For special hellebores check out Ellen Hornig in Oswego. Her on ine catalog is at

    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 9:59AM
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Wacky_Jakki(z5/6 CT)

Giboosi - which Home Depot? The one near us in Middletown doesn't seem to have any! Let me know! Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2004 at 4:00PM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

The one on Federal Road in Danbury. I was stunned to see them there, healthy and in bloom. Helleborus argutifolius. Although, it was obviously new stock and hadn't had a chance to be abused yet, so I snatched some up! Hope you get some.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 10:56PM
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Nanabean(Z5 Chicago)

I planted three mail order hellebores under a tree last year and mulched them. I thought they had died over the winter but they have now sent up shoots. How many years should it take them before they bloom? I have ordered three more to pland this year. I'm a newbie with them too.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2004 at 1:43PM
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Seneca Hill in Owego is a great place to get hellebores from. Am eagerly awaiting some spotted ones. Think the prices are reasonable and on other plants I've gotten good size and very good root systems.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 1:38AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I purchased a Hellebores from a local nursery in Amherst, NY before Easter. Planted it in a bed where it is sunny now but will be in part shade after my maple trees leaf out. It is growing beautifully. THough it won't bloom this year the foilage is very nice and fills in the area.
I only wish I could have gotten one for $4.98. Mine was in a tiny nursery pot for $10.00!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 11:54AM
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