Hellebores: January Plant of the Month

Hellebores are delightful perennials to have in your garden and are nicknamed Christmas Rose, as they will add some color in the dull winter months. Most hellebores prefer moist but well-drained soil and tolerate freezing temperatures.

Flowers from Helleborus species and varieties

Flowers from Helleborus species and varieties

They are considered deer and rabbit resistant. You might call the hellebore's flowers shy, as they peer towards the ground. We recommend using hellebores in perennial borders near the edge in mass to complement a garden with a woodsy feel. Below you'll find some of our favorite varieties that you might like to add to your garden.

Double Ellen Purple Hellebore

Double Ellen Purple Hellebore

Helleborus 'Double Ellen Purple' adds a pop of burgundy in full to partially shaded gardens with its frilly, double-petaled flowers. The plant is 14" tall and wide, perfect to line or be mixed into perennial beds. The bloom period is from February to April, when charming cup-shaped flowers appear to be bowing. The moody burgundy adds a nice edginess when mixed in with romantic winter pinks and lilac tones.

Helleborus x ballardiae 'Cinnamon Snow' PPAF is topped with white flowers in February that face

Cinnamon Snow Hellebore

Cinnamon Snow Hellebore

outward and age to

a rosy pink. The flower stalks are red like the cinnamon they are named for. Dark green leaves reach 18" tall and wide.

Helleborus argutifolius is a quick-growing hellebore and larger than most of its relatives at 2-4' tall and wide. It hosts yellow-green clustered flowers from late fall through spring. Use this hellebore as an accent where you need some texture from large toothy leaves.

Helleborus argutifolius

Helleborus argutifolius

 

Arctostaphylos insularis, a white-pink flowering shrub, or Arctostaphylos edmunsii 'Carmel Sur', a related low-growing variety with dark green leaves would both be nice California native plants to pair with hellebores. Some other plants that would complement hellebores are Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus, Holodiscus discolor, Hyacinth orientalis 'Splendid Cornelia', and (if sun is nearby) Chamelaucium or Ozothamnus diosmifolius 'Pink'.

If you have a woodland garden that needs a pop of color for the upcoming El Niño, take advantage of these winter-blooming hellebores! We promise you'll be charmed.

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