It’s nearly hellebore time again. August is prime hellebore month and there are so many new varieties ready to spring into life in your garden and reward you with beautiful flowers.
If you think that hellebores are elegant and fragile, think again!
The Hellebore ‘Winter Royalty’ Collection is a relatively new series of hellebores sourced from a number of leading breeders around the world. They were specifically selected for Australian conditions and are great for their hardy nature. They are long flowering, quite dry tolerant and adaptable to a range of light conditions.
The genus Helleborus, is native to Europe where they are widely grown for their decorative appeal, both in vases and in the garden. Hellebores, commonly known as ‘winter roses’ are winter flowering perennials. They are shade lovers and look great as a carpet under tree canopies. Equally they perform well in containers in the shade of the house.
While shady spots are the usual claim to fame for hellebores, the ‘Winter Royalty’ Collection performs well in a wide range of conditions. Extensive trials have shown them to hold up exceptionally well in full sun locations. We also trialled them indoors last winter and found that pots could be enjoyed indoors for up to 6 weeks with no adverse effects to the flowers. This is great as you can buy one as a gift and it will look great for a good month or more indoors, before being added to the garden (they make a great present as they look so regal and special).
Hellebore breeding has come a long way in recent years and the flower colours now are simply stunning. This collection will be widely available come August and look out for rich creams, pinks and reds. Another great idea is to group a variety of them together in a large tub for fantastic effect.
Breeders of this collection have shared their special tips about care to really make the most of your hellebores. After flowering finishes trim the flowering stems back to ground level and at the same time feed with a slow release fertilizer. This will be towards the end of spring. It’s always difficult to trim plants back hard when they are still looking good but it’s worth it – don’t hesitate and you’ll be rewarded with another terrific display next season.