Lifestyles: Winter Gardening With Hellebores

By on December 19, 2016

By Heather Freund. Just when the garden looks like there is nothing growing an interesting plant starts to appear out of the soil.


This plant likes cold, wet even snowy weather and its bloom time is mid January right through the rest of winter into spring and it only stops blooming when it gets hot.

The plant is the HELLEBORE,or sometimes known as the Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose but they are not in the rose family. Their name comes fromthe time of year, Christmas, when the first start to appear out of the ground and Lenten Rose because they bloom around the time of Lent.

Hellebores are in the family Ranunculaceae. These plants are hardy and frost resistant and they have deep green, leather-like foliage. Though hellebores will grow in a great variety of soil conditions they grow best in soil that has lots of organic matter and good drainage. People often think it’s the cold weather that kills off their plants but in most cases its rot from being water-logged in poor draining soil.

When getting a spot in the garden ready to plant a Hellebore, dig the hole fairly deep to allow the plants extensive root system room to spread, if the plant is happy you could have decades of growth! Once established Hellebores are very drought-tolerant and they can still grow in less than ideal conditions.

The range of plants suited for grouping with hellebores is tremendous,they can grow with shade plants like hostas, part-shade plants and full sun plants depending on your growing conditions and plant preferences. Their blooms look amazing beside spring blooming bulbs. I really can’t say enough about this great plant!

Heather Freund from the Maple Ridge Garden Society

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