As we come out of the winter and begin seeing the spring light at the end of the tunnel, there are a few plants that start flowering now, as a sign of hope that indeed spring is on its way. One of those is our plant of the week – Helleborus, or commonly known as ‘Lenten Rose’.
This evergreen, shade loving, deer resistant perennial usually begins to bloom in late winter / early spring, right around the time of the Christian season of Lent, and can flower right on thru April. There are many colors of Lenten Rose available for today’s gardeners, including single and double flowers. Most of the selection’s flowers hang downward and can sometimes be hard to get the full effect. But cutting the flower off, bringing it indoors and floating them in a bowl of water is a wonderful way to bring some very early spring color indoors!
Unfortunately, the foliage of many of the Lenten Rose I’ve seen in our area have not faired well, even with all the snow cover, as the extremely low temps has scorched the foliage (turned brown and flat on the ground). They are very hardy, and should recover nicely from the roots, but will require removal of the dead foliage (do this as soon as you can), to allow new growth and flowers to come up, which may be later than usual.