Help! Helleborus 'Cinnamon Snow' from Trader Joe's

mjc_molie(z6 CT)December 29, 2013

Over the holidays I was at a Trader Joe's in southern CT and spotted a display of Gold Collection Helleborus, 'Cinnamon Snow', selling for $9.00! I later saw this plant at Whole Foods (same label) for $12.99. 'Cinnamon Snow' is a magnificent white --- upright red stems and large outward facing blossoms with yellow stamens. It was an impulse purchase. I could not resist its coloration and form. I've grown several Pine Knots in my yard, but I think this was so much more striking because it reminded me of Josef Lemper.

Has anyone else picked up this new variety over the holidays and could you suggest care? I'd like to know the best technique to keep this alive indoors through the winter months. We have gas heat and a gas stove that throws a lot of heat, so my main room does get warm.

Also, how soon could I plant it outside?

Thanks so much,

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I have found that if you join gardenbuddies, there is a forum on there about Hellebores and they have a lot of very informative threads and experts. You will get your answer right away.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 8:44AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Thanks for the tip, Shadeyplace. Will do.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 9:41AM
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There is no reason to direct a poster here to another website for hellebores - particpants here are just as knowledgeble and forthcoming with advice as anywhere else. Winter does tend to slow down the interaction but that just means exercising a bit of patience :-)

Cinnamon Snow has been around for awhile - I've had mine for 3 years. It is a ballardiae hybrid or a cross between H. niger and H. lividus. Lividus is a slightly more tender form of hellbore so in colder zones some winter mulching may be appropriate.

Hellebores just do not have much staying power indoors. Like all plants native to temperate regions, they need the cold winter temperatures, humidity and light conditions that occur outdoors.....not inside. I understand that your climate may not be well suited to outdoor planting now but you want to get this plant in the ground asap. Barring that, it needs to be out of the household environment - an unheated garage or cool basement. Eeven a covered porch would work.

If temps threaten to drop too low, you can always bring it in overnight but that's about as long as I'd consider. It simply won't survive well or long indoorss.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Good information. I just know that GB has a VERY active hellebore thread with CONSTANT replies. They really are experts. Not trying to diss this site at all.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 5:25PM
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fyi "there is no reason to direct a poster here to another website"
I asked a question about Pennys Pink on December 17>>>not one word from anyone here
I asked on GB and got a response immediately.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 12:31PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Thanks, Gardengal48, for your response. I'm glad to hear that you have experience with this variety. And I'm not at all surprised at your blunt assessment of this plant's reactions to the indoors.

Unfortunately, we do not have a garage or a porch --- plus our basement is finished and heated! (I knew I should have walked on by when I saw this at Trader Joe's.)

We've had some awful weather here in southern CT with temps below zero and more cold air on the way. So the outdoors is "out" for now. I'm trying to keep it alive in the coolest room in the house, but it's looking pretty ratty--- yellowing leaves and dropped buds, though it keeps producing new shoots. If it doesn't make it, I'll try finding one online in late winter. I do love this plant!

This post was edited by mjc_molie on Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 13:40

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Last year I bought a hellebore from Trader Joe too.

I kept it indoors for a while to enjoy the flowers. Once it started looking ratty, I put it in my unheated garage.

In your situation, I would probably try to overwinter it in a protected area outside. I am linking to a page with some advice on how to protect container perennials in cold

Here is a link that might be useful: Overwintering Perennials in containers

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 9:29PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Thanks, summersunshine, for the link. I read through it and will save it. Though my Cinnamon is looking ratty, it keeps producing new shoots so I know it's viable.

Last night we had 8+ inches of snow. It will be bitter cold & windy for days. I'm figuring that I'll have to keep it inside in the coldest spot then harden it off on the back deck for a week or so before putting it outside in a protected area-- probably the east-facing front which gets less wind.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 10:48AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Update... Cinnamon Snow made it through the winter indoors. We actually ended up keeping it in a room near a window, which was opened at night to remain colder.

I plan to put it out soon after a month of acclimation ... first out in the day/in at night.. then out all the time ...and now in the ground on the east side where it gets morning sun. And like gardengal48 suggested, mulched for winter.

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:12AM
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