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Where are my hellebores?

Posted by maine_gardener Z 5 Me (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 4, 04 at 10:57

I'm not new to gardening have been at it for years and have a green thumb. BUT I just can't seem to get hellebores to grow. I had 6 planted this wil be there 3rd year and there is not one sign of them any place except one is showing a bit of life.
They are planted in my shade garden along with hostas and many other types of shade loving plants. I'm in Maine could it be too early for them to be showing signs of growth are are they gone for good?
I love hellebores and would love to have them grow. They are kinda pricey and I hate to lose them. I just can't figure out what I have done wrong. Any ideas.
If these are goners I will try one more time and plant a few more. The ones I hade where bought at a good nursery. Only one had flowered but I understand it can take a few years sometimes for flowering to start. But I don't even have any signs of leaf growth.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Where are my hellebores?

Good Luck to you. I have a posting I just updated, I had the same problem. I am in New York, an hour above NYC, and my hellebores just started showing signs of life. I thought mine were gone. I thought they were evergreen and when I looked for the foliage a few months back there was none. Now I have about one inch of growth on one. It gives me hope, and I hope it does to you. You are a bit north of us here, so maybe yours are still sleeping. Any chance you are near Arundel? I'm thinking of visiting Green Mountain Transplants soon, and was curious if you've been there, or heard of them? Thanks, and good luck.

RE: Where are my hellebores?

Thanks for the reply. Maybe theres hope for mine still. each day I go out looking but still only see this one showing.
I'm mId coast Maine not near Arundel. I have heard of Green Mountain Transplants but haven't been there or purchased anything from them. I should go check them out though good idea! Its only a couple hours drive from me.

RE: Where are my hellebores?

Like I've said elsewhere, if you grow foetidus in situ from seedlings, you will get a much longer lived plant, usually I remove mine after about 10 years as they get a bit straggly and untidy round the base, but they're by no means dead. I suspect the above were pot grown, transplanted and suffered premature old age as a result.

I agree that Niger is problemmatic, but your 'Ivory Prince' is a selected Nigercors(Niger x Argutifolius) and most of the Niger hybrids form some of the most spectacular garden plants.

Niger still looks very good in a very shelered garden spot, the crystal white 3" flowers in January stand out like a beacon.

Cheers Greenmanplants

RE: Where are my hellebores?

Hi Maine gardener,
It would be helpful to know what kind of hellebores you purchased. There are some that would be problematic for your climate; others should give you no problems. There is another person in Maine zone 5 who posts here occasionally; he has great success with Helleborus x hybridus. And now, many of his are up and in full flower. Though "evergreen" here in my garden, his hybrids typically are completely without green leaves through winter. Hopefully, they will turn up for you. The main things that can adversely affect hellebore growth--other than potential but relatively rare pathogenic problems--are too much moisture and being planted too deeply. If you have really wet periods for example, you may want to make sure that they get proper drainage.

RE: Where are my hellebores?

I am also here in Maine and I am close to Arundel. Never heard of Green Mountain Transplants. I may look in the phone book after I post. I recently acquired some helebore via this website. They are seedlings and two year old plants. What should I know about them? What should I be doing with them? At present moment I have them in peat pots in a sunny window. They came up from down south so I thought I better not expose them to the elements right now. I will wait for spring and let them have the summer to settle in. Is this correct? Thanks. Kathleen

RE: Where are my hellebores?

The 4 that are still missing where Orientalis And the one that is just showing some signs of life was I believe Lenten Rose? Or Christmas Rose? I have the name on the tag outside but its dark now.

The 4 Orientalis are in their 3rd year and last fall all had nice growth. Only one had actually blossomed.
We haven't had that much rain so not too wet and they weren't planted to deeply. So I'm clueless and determined to get some type of hellebores to thrive and grow here.

RE: Where are my hellebores?

I am in NY also and out of 3 that I planted 2 years ago I had only 1 left last fall - until yesterday I thought that was dead too...but I saw the smallest little bud coming out of the ground (it's definately the hellebore) so I guess it survived this awful winter.

3 houses down from me, the Hellebores look beautiful - who knows.

There's hope yet!

RE: Where are my hellebores?

Green Mountain is on the Arundel Biddeford line just west of the Maine Pike at the Biddeford exit. They have just moved there from Vermont and were not open for business as of April 7th, having bought an Agway there and are in the process of moving from Vermont. I picked up a catalog and sent in my order - great place for small plants, annuals, perennials, veggies, herbs.... Very well rooted plants and far larger than the usual paks bought locally.

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