Hellebore-Deer Proof Perennials
Colorful, with great features and modern appeal, hellebore are quickly becoming America's top favorite deer resistant plant for shade perennial gardening. This member of the ranunculus family is a very long-lived perennial that has proven to be 100% deer resistant across the entire US.
Hellebores are often considered the harbingers of spring. They begin blooming in late winter, and continue through the spring season, making them a most desirable garden plant! Once more, hellebores retain their charm for the rest of the garden season as flowers dry eloquently on the plant, and attractive green foliage retains its great looks. The large leaves remain evergreen in most parts of the country. (Remove spent flowers to prevent unwanted seedlings).
Hellebores are shade loving perennials that are preferential to any reasonably good soil that is not too dry, or waterlogged. They grow 20" tall and 24" wide, are hardy in Zones 4-8, and are troubled by few pests or diseases.
How to plant/Grow hellebore
Hellebores have deeply divided evergreen leaves that are grown from thick rootstock. Flowers are usually nodding, and last for weeks. They can be grown in part shade to full shade, are generally quite happy in slightly neutral to acidic soils, and prefer well-drained soil where organic matter has been added, such as compost, rotted manure, composted leaves, or peat moss. Once established, they are amazingly drought tolerant. Because they remain evergreen in most areas of the country, any unsightly or tattered leaves can be pruned off in the spring to make way for fresh growth.
The best time to divide Hellebores is in late summer or fall. When planting, make sure the crown is just covered by the soil. If planted too deeply, it will inhibit their flower production. Water in well, but do not over water.
New and improved strains - a must have!
Winter ThrillerTMhellebores is a variety of hellebore known its color range, plant vigor, and excellent garden plant performance. This strain was developed by Chris Hansen, who has spent well over 20 years breeding this shade plant for both beauty, and vigor. His goal has always been the production of dependably vigorous plants with giant 3-4" perfectly rounded flowers in pure color strains. Chris began his hellebore breeding program while living in hot & humid South Carolina. He has ruthlessly culled any plants which lack vigor, or "flower power", thus creating the strong and exceptionally colorful Winter ThrillerTM hellebore series!
"Fluffy Ruffles" boasts large, 3" fully double flowers. This vigorous, double flowering strain comes in a multitude of colors, and is sure to dazzle your winter garden design.
Over 10 weeks of giant 3-4" flowers
Every pure color strain was bred for an abundance of giant flowers, which often reach 3-4" in diameter. Hellebores begin their flower show in late winter/early spring and continue blooming over an 8 -10 week period. A little known fact is that they make superb cut flowers, and create a colorful centerpiece floating on water.
Best deer-proof shade plant ever!
Chris can personally attest to the extreme deer-resistance of hellebores. Every year, while living in South Carolina, Chris's gardens would be visited by dozens of deer. They would browse thru his entire garden eating everything in sight, including Hostas and Hydrangeas. However, they never touched a single Hellebore plant during that ten year period!
Hellebore key benefits!
- True color strains of giant 3-4" flowers
- Over 150 blooms per mature plant
- Long flowering time of 8-10 weeks
- Extreme garden vigor
- America's #1 deer proof shade plant
- Thrive in heavy clay or sand
- Covers a broad hardiness zone from 4-8
- Evergreen foliage makes superb groundcover
Garden design with hellebore Use hellebore as a ground cover (plant in large groupings)
- Use Hellebores in combination with narrow foliage perennials such as carex or hakonechloa
- Use Hellebore as an underplanting beneath taller Shrubs
- Hellebore is a great ‘separator' placed between strong competing colors in the landscape