It is also called Christmas Rose, because the hellebore blossoms between December and February, as soon as warm days occur during the winter. In reality it is not a rose, but a genus that counts about 25-30 species of perennials, some with an evergreen leaf. The foliage is vigorous, consisting of large palmate leaves, composed of oval segments, dark green; during the late winter months it produces thin, fleshy stems that carry single or cluster flowers, very large, which resemble the flowers of the dog rose; the colors of hellebore are generally white and purple, but there are varieties of flowers that are delicately pink, green, cream.
They are plants that can be easily found even in nature, often on the edges of hilly forests, in partially shady and quite humid areas, often on the bed of small seasonal waterways; they can be successfully grown in the garden as long as you follow their needs.
The hellebores they are half-shade plants, or complete shade in the hottest areas of the peninsula and during the summer; in general we tend to place them in a place where the foot of the plant is sheltered, while the aerial part is exposed to the sun; in this way the root system does not suffer the summer drought and enjoys almost always fresh and often moist soil.
Watering must be regular, so that the soil is always quite humid, so water is supplied regularly from March to October, then the frequency of watering is reduced during the cold and rainy months; It is however good to watch out that the ground never remains excessively dry for prolonged periods of time, given that the hellebores they develop especially during the autumn and winter months. In any case, even spring and summer watering are important, because even if not in bloom during the warm months the hellebores produce a lot of foliage, forming small decorative bushes.
They are grown in the common garden soil, lightened with pumice stone and enriched with manure or granular fertilizer; to improve the mixture of the soil and make it soft, before planting a hellebore, let's remember to work the substratum well, mixing also universal soil. Generally a couple of interventions a year with slow release granular fertilizer can supply all the mineral substances necessary for the development of the plant.
Hellebores are absolutely simple plants to grow. They are mostly tolerant to a wide range of soils and conditions and are also considered long-lived perennials. This is why they are becoming very popular in the gardens of our country. Until a few years ago the only known and widespread variety was the hickeborus niger (also called "Christmas rose"). Finally, even in our country, various types of hybrids are spreading, characterized by new colors, sizes and growth habit. The flowering period, whose characteristic is the precociousness of the vintage, is lengthened and consequently all the genre is more and more appreciated and inserted in the green spaces more frequently.
Clearly, as regards resistance and adaptability, there may be differences between species and species: some of these modern hybrids (in particular the most sought after and particular ones) may require more attention. However, they can absolutely be considered herbaceous very satisfying from all points of view.
The hellebore calendar
|Niger flowering, early varieties and forced plants|
|New leaves in oriental hybrids|
|Distribution cupboards||Beginning of oriental hybrid flowering|
|irrigation||Fine flowering oriental hybrids|
May to October
|Distribution of copper and irrigation||Vegetative phase without flowering, seeds ripening|
|Plant cleaning, fertilization, mulching||Beginning of production of buds and new leaves|