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Growing hellebores in Colorado?

Posted by stoddarj 5 (My Page) on
Wed, May 20, 09 at 13:52

So I have been thinking of trying to grow some hellebores here on the front range of Colorado, and I am wondering if anyone has had any luck doing so. It is pretty darn dry here throughout the year with strong sun and wind. Will hellebores make it? I have ammended my native clay soil into fairly decent shape, and have have just about every type of exposure available somewhere in my yard, except northern. I can provide them with any amount of drip irrigation necessary. Yesterday at the Denver Botanic Gardens I saw a nice looking X hybridus 'white red spots' and a multifidus hercegovinus planted in moderate shade. Is shade where hellebores should be planted here? How about strong morning sun? Are there certain cultivars that are particularly well suited for suny, dry climates like Colorado? Thanks for any advice!

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RE: Growing hellebores in Colorado?

Helleborus require moist, but well drained soil.
Avoid overwatering. Apply irrigation when the top 3-4" of soil feels dry to the touch. Once established, they are fairly drought tolerant. They will benefit from some sun exposure and produce more flowers. I would avoid placing them where they are in direct sunlight from noon until 4-5 PM. They also do well in dappled shade or under deciduous trees with a high canopy, that permit bright reflected light to reach the plants.
If you are interested in trying H. hercegovinus, I would speak with the personnel at the Denver Botanic Garden, that actually tends the plants, to determine any special requirements that are required. It can be a difficult plant to cultivate in a home garden.

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