Pine Knot Farms
of Hellebores Grown at Pine Knot
to Pine Knot Farms
and Judith's Presentations
New at PFK
Dick and Cole Burrell and I are
very proud that our book on hellebores won the AHS Book of the Year.
Click on the Amazon link below for information.
The second link
is to a great new book by our daughter
Helen Kraus and Ann Spafford.
Gruesome threesome at work
Helleborus, a quick look
very hardy and although most species will grow and thrive in Zones 4
through 9, we are not sure how well they would tolerate Zone 3 or Zone
10. We have customers who are growing our plants in 49 of the 50
states, everywhere but Hawaii! While many of the hellebore species have
been grown in the US for a number of years the interspecies and
intraspecies are fairly new to the gardening public and have not been
thoroughly tested. These plants were very rare and available only to a
select few ten years ago but are now sold in the millions
thanks to micropropagation. While some vendors list H. x
ericsmithii and H.
x balardiae clones as hardy to zone 4 we are inclined to
err on the side of caution listing them as zone 6.
I'd rather a
customer be surprised that a plant lives and thrives than disappointed
that it died.
tolerant of sunlignt, most hellebores prefer to grow in summer shade or
partial shade in the warmer parts of the country, and do well on
hillsides or sloping areas. When planting outside we recommend
preparing the area beforehand if possible and improving drainage if
needed. The plants also grow and display their flowers well in raised
beds as long as the beds are deep enough to allow for at least eighteen
inches (18”) of soil for rooting area for Lenten Roses. The
interspecies hybrids H.
foetidus and H. niger
have shorter root systems and will grow quite well in containers.
H. x hybridus,
the Lenten Rose will also grow well but they must have large containers
with lots of root space.
Helleborus x hybridus, true H.
x nigercors, H.
x ericsmithii, and H.
foetidus, are evergreen,
x sternii are evergreen
in warmer climates, but foliage can die back to ground level in colder
multifidus, H. purpurascens, H.
torquatus and H.
croaticus are considered
deciduous, although in some garden situations these may retain some
atrorubens is the first
species to begin to go dormant in our garden, followed by H.
thibetanus. In some areas
(our Zone 7 garden among them) H.
purpurascens and some
strains of H.
multifidus begin going
dormant in August or September. Since buds are formed in
summer, stress such as withholding food and water can reduce blooms in
winter. When the nights begin to cool off a bit, in late
August or early September, H.
x hybridus plants begin to put on new leaves and seem to
experience a growth spurt. We recommend cutting off flowers after
seeds have ripened, and cutting back the
old leaves of the evergreen species just before the flowers
appear in winter
appreciate the beautiful blooms.
For a detailed study online visit Joseph Woodards wonderful
combine beautifully with other plants to create a shady garden of great
beauty through the seasons.