Helleborus × hybridus

Lenten rose

  • © Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This hellebore features gently nodding mid-winter flowers that may be white, purple, yellow, green, or pink. The handsome palmate, leathery, green foliage is great in combination with ferns and hostas in the woodland garden. One of the classic winter-blooming plants, it looks especially good planted under winter- and early spring-flowering deciduous shrubs like witch hazels, Viburnum x bodnentense 'Dawn', Cornus mas, or any of the colored twig dogwoods. Also interplant with Cyclamen coum and early flowering minor bulbs like snowdrops, crocuses, scilla, and eranthus. Cut foliage to the ground in December so that flowers are displayed unobstructed. Lenten rose will spread by seeding and exceptional plants can be divided in November. Hellebore breeders are constantly improving this hellebore, so buy them in flower so that you can choose the brightest and most clear colors. Double-flowering types are quickly making their way into the marketplace as well. This adaptable, satisfying plant is a must for every garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 10

Flower Color: green, pink, purple, white, yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering during dry weather

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, yellow, burgundy

Great Color Partners: dark green, silver, white

Culture Notes
Lenten rose grows best in full sun to light or open shade. It prefers a rich well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy or clay soil if the drainage is adequate. It is a heavy feeder and appreciates regular fertilizing and regular watering during dry weather. The leaves are evergreen, but should be cut to the ground in December or early January to allow the best viewing of the flowers. Faded flowers can be cut back in late April. They will reseed, but often seedlings are not as nice as the parent plant. As the seedlings develop and bloom, it pays to be ruthless and only allow the best and prettiest seedlings to remain.