Partner for hellebores in sun

covellaJuly 12, 2005

I created a bed of Helleborus orientalis underplanted with European Ginger along my front sidewalk. Didn't realize a tree I cut last fall would allow the hot afternoon sun to hit part of the bed. I guess I'm going to have to move some of the plants out of the direct sun. What might look good planted in the spaces that get the hottest afternoon sun? I'd like for the plant to compliment the height of the ginger or at least not be taller than the hellebores.

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jgwoodard(USDA z7 TN)

I recommend hellebores. :-)
I plant mine in full sun as do many people, and you'll not have any worries. However, if you do move them I find that growing sun-loving perennials and annuals provide nice color against the hellebore foliage and help to shade and cool the ground around them in summer.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 9:27PM
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Thanks jgwoodard. I see the hellebore holding up pretty well in that space and given a yr to establish I'm sure they will be fine. At first I thought the hellebore would be a problem, now its looking like the ginger might be. The new leaf growth is small - as it might be getting too much sun. I removed azaleas that had terrible azalea gall from this bed originally and it looks almost like a black spot type thing is attacking some of the ginger. Now I'm wondering if I should spray for fungus. There should be good enough drainage to discourage botrytis which I worry about also in my heavy clay. anyway, thanks for your reply. I've only seen one other garden that had hellebore in full sun and I was surprised to see how it thrived.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 11:43AM
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In your zone, I bet the hellebores will do fine in full sun. However, I doubt the asarum will. How about an ornamental grass in a fountain shape, that will grow to some height during the hottest months and shade the hellebores and asarum, such as Gracillimus?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 6:24PM
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Surprised to see my original post still here on the first page! I ended up planting Carex Evergold - a fountaining green and gold sedge that gets about 10" x 10" according to its tag. Just one on each side of the front steps where the sun hits. That will protect the ginger enough to let it spread.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 3:46PM
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claysoil(z6 PA)

The contrast between the shape of the grass blades with the rounder leaves of the hellies and asarum would be nice!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 11:01PM
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I have a Siberian Iris growing next to my hellebore. It shades the plant nicely during the summer, but it's trimmed down to the ground when the hellebore blooms. They do look nice together. I do have a question though. How and when can I propagate that hellebore. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 6:43PM
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You can divide them easily in the fall. The last issue of Horticulture had an article on dividing hellebores. They also grow from seed easily. You can winter-sow them or however you prefer. If you want to get some less expensive younger plants - call Sunshine Farms in VA. They sell 2 yr old plants for $5 I think.

I like the idea of Siberian Iris - I bet thats pretty

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 7:27PM
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