Helleborus for sun

jeanerz13(6a)June 29, 2013

I have a flower bed that I want to re-do. I'd like to have some color at other times than just a week or 2 in june/july when the daylilies bloom. I was thinking Helleborus would be good because it has evergreen foliage and blooms in late winter. My problem is that section of the bed where I would want to plant it is on the east side of my house and gets sun until about 2:00 or 2:30 pm. Are there any varieties that will take that much sun?

Also, on a more general note, would you consider that "full sun"?

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You bet!! It is a bit of a gardening myth that hellebores are shade lovers or prefer to be in shade. They are only shade tolerant - most are native to areas of open meadows or woodland verges and they receive considerable sun under those conditions. Corsican hellebores, Helleborus argutifolius, are native to Sardinia and Corsica and grow in full-on sun on hot, rocky cliffs.

Obviously that would be an excellent choice for a sunny location but it is not as cold hardy and zone 6 would be borderline. But pretty much any of the hellebore hybrids can take morning sun with shade in late afternoon. My choice would be one of the sternii, ballardiaea or ericsmithii hybrids (Ivory Prince, Pink Frost, Merlin, Cinnamon Snow, etc.), as these tend to have more robust parentage and sturdier foliage than the xhybridus (orientalis hybrids) forms but with a much narrower flower color choice.

6 or more hours a day in summer is considered full sun but it makes a BIG difference when that sun is received. Midday or late afternoon sun is a much harsher situation that early morning sun and more shade tolerant plants will be happiest under that earlier condition.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 3:36PM
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That's good to hear :) I was thinking of either Candy Love or Pink Frost. I want something that doesn't have droopy heads.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:12PM
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My hellebores get sun from about 12-5. They've been doing great so far - loving it - but the last couple days have been a little droopy when I got home from work. I've watered them - but is the high sun they are getting making them more water needy? I don't want to have to water them every day during the summer! Is moving them, then, the best thing here?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:26PM
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When did you plant them and where are you located? And what kind of hellebores? The x hybridus selections are the least sun tolerant of the common types so some shade may be preferable for them. Otherwise, sun should be fine and the need for water decreasing as the plants become established. Drought tolerance does not happen immediately.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 4:19PM
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