The hellebore flower is a perennial herbaceous plant. It comes from the territories of the Mediterranean. There hellebore was originally used only as a medicinal raw material. In folk medicine around the world, it is used to treat skin diseases, epilepsy and even paralysis. This plant can be seen today in many gardens. It is very beautiful during the flowering period, but even after it it retains its decorative effect due to the rich and unusual color of the leaves.
Description of hellebore
The flower is valued by gardeners for its unpretentious care and good resistance to frost. Perhaps this is where the name of the plant came from. It is also called the rose of Christ and helleborus (killing food). It should be noted that hellebore is poisonous. Therefore, for treatment, it is used only as an external remedy.
This plant is evergreen, so it can decorate any corner. The plant is surprising in that it does not have stems. From longpetioles grow hard large leaves. The flowers are also quite large, in diameter can reach fifteen centimeters. They appear right on the snow as soon as the plant gains strength to overcome the ice layer. Flowers can be of various colors - from pure white to dark crimson. There are plenty to choose from for your area. Here is a hellebore flower according to the description. The photo below shows what the plant looks like.
The flower is very decorative, so breeders have bred several dozen species and hybrids. It is worth considering only the most interesting of them.
Some types of hellebore
Black hellebore. Under natural conditions, this species grows in southern and central Europe. Flowering occurs from December to February. In Russian conditions, this process begins around April, when the snow melts. The flowers are snow-white, reach eight centimeters. There are also larger specimens with pale pink buds that bloom in November.
Caucasian hellebore. It is found only in the mountains of the Caucasus. This species has unusual foliage and beautiful flowers. It retains its decorative effect not only in summer, but also in winter. Provided there was little snow.
Smelly hellebore. The name itself says that this species smells unpleasant. But it boasts very beautiful, almost exotic leathery leaves. Also, this hellebore grows many flowers of an unusual pale green hue. The bush is compact, reaching a height of no more than half a meter.Pay attention to the photo: the stinky hellebore flower is presented in all its glory.
Eastern hellebore. Its flowering begins in mid-March-April. It looks like a very showy plant. Buds can be from pale pink to bright purple color. There are varieties with a cap on the flowers.
Choosing a seat
Hellebore is completely undemanding to the composition of the soil. But it is still recommended to plant this plant in a nutritious, fairly loose, neutral or slightly alkaline soil. If the land on the site is characterized by high acidity, then it is necessary to carry out liming. Hellebore is a flower that grows well on deciduous humus. Therefore, it is better to plant it near shrubs or large trees.
Stagnation of water in the ground is fatal for this plant. Therefore, hellebore should not be planted in flooded areas or near groundwater. When planting in the soil, it is imperative to make a drainage layer of expanded clay, pebbles or pieces of red brick.
It is also worth noting that the plant loves partial shade. But it will also grow well in a sunny location. In general, even a beginner can master the care and planting of a hellebore flower.
Planting a plant
If you plan to plant hellebore in open ground, it is best to do this in April or closer to autumn, in September.
Choose a site and location based on the above recommendations. Dig the earth deep and level it. Make landing holes. Their depth and diametershould be about 30 centimeters. The same distance should be between dug holes.
Put compost at the bottom of the holes so that the seedling takes root faster and begins to grow actively. After that, lower the hellebore into the hole, holding it with one hand, and cover the ground with the other. Tamp the soil around and water generously. Keep in mind that during the three weeks the plant will often need a lot of water. As you can see, it is not difficult to land and care. The photo of hellebore flowers above shows what seedlings might look like.
The plant reproduces well by seeds and division. It is worth considering both ways in more detail.
Herebird seeds do not retain their germination capacity well. Therefore, they should be used immediately after collection, and not stored. Sow in nutritious, very loose soil to a depth of about one to two centimeters. Sprouts will be visible in about a month. But hellebore will bloom only after three years.
When a few true leaves appear on the seedlings, they need to be picked. An excellent place would be partial shade (for example, under a sprawling tree). Hellebore can be transplanted into a permanent flower bed after two to three years. The best time to do this is September.
Reproduction by division
Hellebore is a plant that is easiest to propagate by dividing the bush. When it blooms in spring, it needs to be dug up. After a sharp tool, the rhizome is divided so that the shoots are on each part. They can already be transplanted to a permanent place. Firstmonth care should be thorough with frequent watering and mulching the soil around the roots.
It is worth noting that for certain types of hellebore, one method of reproduction is suitable. So, the Christmas rose is propagated in the spring by dividing the bush. For the eastern hellebore, the same method is suitable. But its reproduction is recommended in the fall. But the smelly hellebore does not tolerate division at all. It reproduces itself very well by self-sowing. To do this, it is enough to leave wilted buds on the bushes after flowering.
Features of hellebore care
Adult plant does not like transplants. It can perfectly develop in one place for up to ten years. During this time, all care comes down to watering, weeding, rare top dressing. If necessary, carry out pest control.
The hellebore flower needs watering only in severe drought. To minimize this procedure, it is advisable to do mulching. It will not only retain moisture in the soil, but also stop the growth of weeds. As a mulch, leaf humus and compost are usually taken in equal proportions.
Fertilizing hellebore is recommended in spring and early summer. More often than not, this is not necessary. A good top dressing will be ash and bone meal in a ratio of one to one. If you use mulch, it will rot over time and also become an excellent fertilizer.
When the hellebore blooms, it can please with flowers for several months. After the buds fall, seed pods begin to ripen. Usuallythe process lasts all summer. After that, the boxes just burst. In order not to have to collect scattered seeds on the ground, gardeners use a little trick. They just put gauze bags on unripe fruits. In them, the crumbled seeds will turn out. After they are dried in a room with low humidity and good ventilation. You can store seeds for a short time in a paper bag.
As already mentioned, the plant is a cold-resistant perennial. But in snowless frosty winters, it can suffer. Therefore, for reinsurance, a flowerbed with hellebore can be covered with spruce branches or dry foliage.
Diseases of hellebore
In general, hellebore is resistant to diseases, and it is almost never affected by pests.
- Most often, leaves are damaged after winter frosts. They must be cut off with the onset of spring.
- If yellowish spots appear on the foliage, then this is a signal of the appearance of pests. In this case, the course of the drug Oxyhom or Skor will help.
If there are black spots on the leaves, then the soil is overly acidic. Then you need to carry out liming
Flowers of hellebore no plant can replace either summer or winter. They look great in all compositions. You can make wonderful borders with primroses from hellebore - delicate crocuses, early tulips, daffodils or snowdrops. Excellent partners for the flower will be hosta and bergenia bushes. They also welcome partial shade. Very decorative compositionastilbe and geranium. Hellebore also looks amazing on an emerald green lawn, surrounded by cereals and ferns.
You can decorate the terrace with a flowering plant for Christmas. To do this, you need to dig a bush before frost and transplant it into a spacious pot. After that, bring it into a closed veranda or greenhouse. They need to maintain a temperature of + 5 degrees. Under such conditions, beautiful buds will appear and bloom by the holidays.
The article reviewed a photo and description of the hellebore flower. When this plant blooms, how to plant it and how to care for it - now you all know this. Use the above recommendations in practice, and then you can show off a picturesque garden all year round. Even a beginner can handle the care and cultivation!