The early hellebores are late

Even the early hellebores are late this year. Occasionally, there will be a few scattered blooms before the new year in this garden, and often there will be handfuls flowering late in January. This year, there was a single hellebore with a few flowers in early February, but no more until the past week or so.

Sorry, I can’t say how many different hellebores are in the garden. Not that it’s a secret. There are a bunch, but I’ve carelessly lost track, and now I can’t put a name to many fine varieties. In a belated attempt to change my ways, I’ve placed tags to mark a few after it occurred that others might like to know names of ones that are most successful. The root of the problem is that I hate markers in the garden, and I’ve long ago forgotten the names of most. Also, a good number of the garden’s hellebores are seedlings that have been moved around, and with many, I haven’t a clue if they’re seedlings or ones I bought.

Really, it doesn’t matter to me, and in fact, I enjoy the thought that a fine flower resulted from the crossed paths of hellebores that I planted. I don’t care at all that these are worthless in commerce, and that they’ll never be named cultivars. No doubt, most seedlings are not up to the standards of newer introductions with long stems and upward facing flowers. Flowers of most seedlings must be propped up to be seen, and of course I’m easily pleased, and happy to have them all in the garden.

Anna’s Red is one of the excellent newer introductions with long, upright stems.

Most of the fancy, double flowers come on a bit later, so I expect many more blooms in the next few weeks now that it appears that the worst cold of winter is past.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. James says:

    Dave….I have exactly the same experience with my helebores here in N. Virginia. I thought I’d done something wrong, although I rarely do anything to these plants as they’re scattered here and there among the leaves and trees in my little forest. I did not even know that some varieties had upright stems and some didn’t. Now you’ve given me something else to worry about, or just ignore. I do read all your posts, and find that most apply to us here just a few counties east of you. Now you’ve inspired me to go outside, check the brown leaves, prop up the stems, and prune where necessary. Yep, I do have some blooms, though they’re late, like yours.

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve had to rein in my hellebore purchases in recent years. While many newer introductions are splendid, they can be difficult for the amateur hellbore evaluator to distinguish between. My negligence with new planting, and particularly with pot sizes under four inches, makes me hesitant to pay steep prices for newer ones. I have enough on hand that I can wait for the best to reach one gallon sizes that are more dependable for me.

  2. Linus says:

    Any of these from Pine Knot Farms?

    I thought mine were just late since they are on the north side of my house. My Tibetan hellebore started blooming last week (but they are on the east side)

    1. Dave says:

      A few hellebores were purchased directly from Pine Knot, and others are old “Pine Knot strains” from the time that nearly identical seedlings were sold without a cultivar name. All the photos were taken in the past week, so there are a bunch of blooms and more opening each day.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    When we grew hellebores, there were those that we divided as cultivars, but the majority were their seedlings. They tossed so many seed that we could not let the seedlings go to waste. Clients took as many as we could can and grow. I never liked them much, but the clients certainly do.

  4. They’re beautiful! Lent and Easter are on the late side this year, so the hellebores are just being true to their common name. I’m further south than you, so mine have been blooming heavily for a couple of weeks now.

    1. Dave says:

      This evening several of the double flowers have opened. There are a few stragglers, but only a few that are at peak bloom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s