Helleborus × hybridus Harvington double pink
Lenten rose hellebore
- Position: partial shade
- Soil: any moist, neutral to alkaline soil, including heavy soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: February to April
- Other features: all parts of the plant cause severe discomfort if ingested; the sap may cause skin irritation; dark greyish-green leaves give off an unpleasant odour when crushed
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Showy, nodding or outward-facing, saucer-shaped, pink double flowers appear from late winter to early spring. The handsome evergreen foliage is leathery, deeply cut and dark green. This lenten rose is grown from seed, so colour variations may occur, and some are speckled inside. It looks best planted in groups at the front of a partially shady mixed border, or under shrubs among spring-flowering bulbs. In former times, hellebores were planted close to cottage doors to prevent evil spirits crossing the threshold.
- Garden care: Add lots of well-rotted leaf mould or organic matter to the planting hole. Cut the old leaves back down to the ground in January or February as this will show off the new emerging flowers to best effect. It will also help to get rid of foliar diseases such as Hellebore leaf spot. Apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant in autumn and provide a top-dressing of general fertiliser each spring.
- Harmful if eaten/skin irritant