Plant of the Month: December

Hellebore

Garsons Plant of the Month is the hellebore, also known as the Christmas rose. This winter winner is coming into bud now, ready to flower from late winter through to spring. It thrives in shade or partial shade and is often evergreen with foliage that adds interest all year. 

Choose from the beautiful white Helleborus niger or the gorgeous shades of Helleborus orientalis. The Oriental varieties tend to be hardier. As a woodland plant, the hellebore prefers a shady spot in which to thrive during the chillier months in the garden. 

Despite the recent frosty nights, the ground is still warm enough for planting. You can plant your hellebore this time of year, so long as the soil isn’t waterlogged or frozen. Choose a shady spot, perhaps under a tree or large shrub. Leave enough space for the leaves to spread out. It dislikes sitting in water, so mix horticultural grit with compost in the planting hole to help with drainage. Once planted, add a layer of mulch and water during dry spells. 

You can also grow hellebore in a raised bed or container. A raised position gives you a better view of the nodding flowers. Create a festive winter planter by filling a container with hellebore and other woodland plants such as hardy cyclamen and snowdrops along with trailing variegated ivy.   

The hellebore is low maintenance and once established is fairly drought tolerant. You can deadhead flowers to encourage more blooms and cut back old foliage when the new growth starts to show through. 

Come and choose a hellebore while they’re 20% off in December. 

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