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Helleborus for sun

Posted by jeanerz13 6a (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 29, 13 at 10:52

I have a flower bed that I want to re-do. I'd like to have some color at other times than just a week or 2 in june/july when the daylilies bloom. I was thinking Helleborus would be good because it has evergreen foliage and blooms in late winter. My problem is that section of the bed where I would want to plant it is on the east side of my house and gets sun until about 2:00 or 2:30 pm. Are there any varieties that will take that much sun?

Also, on a more general note, would you consider that "full sun"?

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RE: Helleborus for sun

You bet!! It is a bit of a gardening myth that hellebores are shade lovers or prefer to be in shade. They are only shade tolerant - most are native to areas of open meadows or woodland verges and they receive considerable sun under those conditions. Corsican hellebores, Helleborus argutifolius, are native to Sardinia and Corsica and grow in full-on sun on hot, rocky cliffs.

Obviously that would be an excellent choice for a sunny location but it is not as cold hardy and zone 6 would be borderline. But pretty much any of the hellebore hybrids can take morning sun with shade in late afternoon. My choice would be one of the sternii, ballardiaea or ericsmithii hybrids (Ivory Prince, Pink Frost, Merlin, Cinnamon Snow, etc.), as these tend to have more robust parentage and sturdier foliage than the xhybridus (orientalis hybrids) forms but with a much narrower flower color choice.

6 or more hours a day in summer is considered full sun but it makes a BIG difference when that sun is received. Midday or late afternoon sun is a much harsher situation that early morning sun and more shade tolerant plants will be happiest under that earlier condition.

RE: Helleborus for sun

That's good to hear :) I was thinking of either Candy Love or Pink Frost. I want something that doesn't have droopy heads.

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