Hellebores are very hardy. They are generally called the Christmas or Lenten rose, what is more true for the niger species. They are from the rare plants which bloom in the heart of the winter.
They belong to the family of renonculaceae. They are long-lived plants and bloom from December to May. The colour of tépales (false petals) of the hellebores declines in tints of whites, green, pink, purple or cream yellow . Their foliage is dark green and tough. We use hellebores in the garden in the beds, the borders or as ground cover. They are also used in tubs or in cut flower arrangments, even if their life is not still very long. Most of the types tolerate the full sun if their water requirements are filled, but they quite need to be sheltered because in winter the too aggressive wind decreases the period of bloom. H. orientalis is one of the most tolerant sorts but need fresh summer conditions and not a too wet winter.
How to plant Hellebores?
Hellebores must be planted at the beginning of the spring or in autumn in a rich and fresh ground, in a sheltered and shady place of the garden. Dig a hole of 20 to 30 cms, incorporate some compost if your earth(ground) is poor and place the plant there. Re-fill with the earth mixed in the compost.Don't put the base to deep in soil to avoid the roots to rot. Plant your hellebores in small groups at the base of your trees and shrubs , it should highlight them in winter.
Cares to maintain healthy plants
The key to keep healthy hellebores during the rigorous winters is to insure a good watering and a thick coat of mulch. The mulch (of dead leaves, for example) feeds them and protects them in a uniform way from the summer heat as well as from the cold winters. For wet winters it is necessary to insure first of all a good drainage.
The estabished plants easily sow them spontaneously. The young plants can be easily moved. If you opt for the managed sowing, the attention on the freshness of seeds is capital! They owe beings sowed from the harvest for a better rate of germination. The division can be made if it is carefully undertaken, by maintaining a sufficient volume of roots and by insuring a net cutting, for example with a sharp knife.