growing hellepbores in maine

goinnorth(z5 ME)August 4, 2006

i want to grow hellebores here in zone 4 in maine. i have a couple and they have foliage, but didn't flower this year. i'm wondering if there is any tricks to get them to flower, conditions they particularly like. i am new to these plants, so bear with me: i am under the impression there are 2 types -christmas and lenten rose, the first blooming in winter, the latter in spring -easter time - is this correct??. so if i'm growing the lenten rose strain, will it bloom right through the snow. i mean, 2 winters ago, there was 4 feet of snow on the ground until april. but this past winter, there was very little snow. anybody have any helpful info???? thanks, mara

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jgwoodard(USDA z7 TN)

Hi Mara,

There are many hellebores, the common names Lenten Rose and Christmas rose refer to Helleborus x hybridus and Helleborus niger respectively. They often bloom simultaneously, it just depends on the plant. An interesting old thread here related to your topic can be found below. The plants will bloom when they are ready (in the wild at high altitudes this means after the snow finally melts). Blooming can commence December to March in a 'typical' garden or in April or May or June in harsher winter climates. Also, most will not bloom until they are three years old in average conditions. If yours are young plants, they may not have been old enough to bloom last spring. I would plant them where they get plenty of sun during spring summer, and autumn in your garden. More sun = more blooms. Winter sun isn't very important, so even a north facing slope would be ok too.

Joseph

Here is a link that might be useful: hellebores in USDA zone 4

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 3:33AM
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goinnorth(z5 ME)

Thanks Joseph - that's exactly the info i was looking for. much appreciation, mara

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 5:09PM
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goinnorth(z5 ME)

Oh, you're THAT Joseph!! Very nice website, i happened across it the other day.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 5:14PM
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