Lenten Rose – long lasting colour

posted in: Gardening | 12
The Lenten Rose Helleborus x hybridus is in flower with its ‘profusion of perfect plum petals.  It’s taking advantage of the exceptional mild November weather we’re having at the moment. In fact it has certainly pulled off an early winter flower display which will last now until Spring.
All the text books will tell you that these herbaceous perennials are in flower from late winter to late spring. Well this particular unknown variety of  Helleborus x hybridus seems to break all the rules.  It’s never without buds around ground level at this time of year. But never has tall stems and curvy open petals like this at this time of year.  It grows in soil that is shaded by the midday and afternoon sun. Along with growing in a soil that is full of decomposed leaves. Well I’ve never claimed to be a tidy gardener! 

The Lenten Rose

lenten rose - Perfect Profusion of Plum Petals
Fully hardy Lenten Rose – Perfect Profusion of Plum Petals


I always cut away the old leaves before the plant starts to flower. Not only does it make it easier to photograph the flowers. It also gets rid of old leaves that are always susceptible to Hellebore leaf spot. Then in early spring I give it a nitrogen rich feed to encourage a new crop of leaves. If you don’t want seedlings then cut the old flower stems off. The seedlings will never be ‘true to type’ unless you self pollinate them yourself.


Long Lasting Colour

So if you’re looking for long lasting colour in the garden until Spring  I can thoroughly recommend this hardy tough perennial. It grows well with Euphorbia, Pulmonaria, Bergenia and Epimedium. Plus it shouldn’t end up as an early morning breakfast treat as the deer and rabbits avoid it like the plague! It also doesn’t mind a heavy clay soil.


Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. She also writes and shares her nature images on www.irelandbirdphotography.com

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12 Responses

  1. Ellie

    Lots of lovely flower head there. I'll have to remember that plant.
    I'm learning so much about plants from you so thank you. :))

  2. FlowerLady

    These flowers are so beautiful. They always bring delight when I see them posted about in blogs. Unfortunately, they will not grow down here where we are, so I will have to enjoy them via pictures from all of you who grow these.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Larry

    Amazing! You must have the award for the first hellebore post of the season… or would it be the last! Lassry

  4. Gatsbys Gardens

    I am pretty sure I put this one in last spring from a mailorder company. It did not bloom last spring so I can't wait until next year to see if this is the same one.


  5. Anna

    Now she has arrived extremely early at the party Rosie but you still must be delighted to see her 🙂 Is she planted in a particularly sunny spot? No signs yet of flowers on my hellebores but the leaves of one of my early flowering snowdrops are showing green.

  6. Andrea

    Hello Rosie, they look very very fresh, seem not affected yet with the cold. Lovely photos as usual.

  7. HolleyGarden

    I just love the look of these flowers. I don't think they grow here, but I planted some bulbs last year anyway. I had to move them, so it would be a real surprise if any ever bloomed! I'll just have to enjoy looking at yours!

  8. Curbstone Valley Farm

    Very enchanting little blooms. I've never grown it, although I often covet it when I see it on other's blogs! So lovely she's blooming now as most of the gardens are winding down for the season.

  9. Wife, Mother, Gardener

    That seems so unusual… What a lift for the month!

    My perennial foxgloves are still hanging in there with a few flowers, even after our first frost and snow. Our fall has been beautiful and very sunny.

  10. Melanie

    How pretty. I've always wanted to grow a Helleborus but zone 4 is pushing it for me. Helleborus niger is the hardiest species although I have yet to find one at my local nursery. I'm still looking.

  11. Andrea

    Hello Rosie, you've been away for quite a while, i wonder what is taking you out from posting, haha! Take care.