Posted by Val T. on Apr 22nd 2024

Helleborus (Lenten Rose)

Casting colorful blooms in early spring, Helleborus x , commonly called Lenten Rose or Hellebore, heralding spring with their 3-4”, rose-like, cupped, nodding flowers in pinks, purples, whites, yellows, and reds. Helleborus is a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.


Hellebores thrive in rich, humic, well-drained soil, but can adapt to almost any growing condition in part or full shade making them an excellent choice for a woodland border. They are an easy to grow plant that reaches a mature height and width of 18-24”. They are drought tolerant, have no serious insect or disease problems. Hellebore will benefit from an annual application of compost or worm castings around the base of the plant to keep the soil live and healthy.


Native to Europe and Asia, the genus name comes from the Greek words bora meaning “food” and helein meaning “injures or destroys” due to its toxic plants, leaves, and stems making it resistant to deer and rabbits.


With its glossy green foliage, Hellebore is considered an evergreen though in Minnesota it is usually flattened in the winter by snow and ice. Typically, their large flowers emerge in late April announcing the return of spring and another season of gardening providing at least six weeks of bloom.

This plant is an exceptional addition to a shade garden or naturalized in a wooded area. They also make an excellent cut flower.  Tonkadale will be carrying several colorful varieties of zone 4 and 5 Hellebores including ‘Honeymoon Spanish Flare’,  ‘Honeymoon Rome in Red’,  and ‘Royal Heritage’.


Happy planting and see you at Tonkadale.