All about the Lenten Rose
This plant only resembles a rose and is actually of a completely different genus.
Its name is Hellebore and it looks very like a small rose.
Lenten Rose flowers around the Lenten season, which explains the first part of its name.
It has been carefully bred, and many new varieties have been developed over the years.
There are now about fifteen varieties of hellebore available in nurseries almost everywhere, though many of these can be relatively rare, and only four varieties are reliably available.
Some varieties that bloom earlier are called the Christmas rose, though this early blooming is more an effect of the climate of milder countries than it is through any genetic propensity.
For example, the mild climates of England have this effect on the Lenten Rose, causing it to bloom early.
There is an interesting legend, unreliable and hopelessly romantic, but still very charming.
It is of a little peasant girl who visited the Christ child in his manger, and was saddened that she had no gift to give him. Whereupon the angels pity her and cause the Christmas rose to grow up out of the ground, which she can then present to the Christ child.
Of course, like most legends this one is misleading, the hellebore is actually extremely poisonous and not an ideal gift for a child. Great care must be taken not to ingest parts of Lenten Rose.
Grow Lenten Rose Plant
These species are not really that resistant or hardy, and are especially susceptible to cold, preferring the climates of more temperate countries and lands.
As with all woodland plants they do best in shade, or at least partial shade, simulating the growing conditions in their native environments. Do not under any conditions plant them in the direct sun, as they will not survive this.
In much colder climates where the sun is extremely mild Helleborus Lenten Rose could probably stand the full sun, though a colder climate causes other problems in successfully growing this plant.
The soil must be well drained, yet moist, like the soil of a forest floor that cannot really dry out completely as the sun never truly affects it. Nevertheless remember that we said moist, not marshy – do not rot the roots with too much water.
Lenten Rose Plant, also known as Christmas Rose, is a Hellebore. Hellebores are one of the greatest perennials for gardeners.
Earliest to awaken in late winter to early spring, with blooms that last two to three months.
They come in green, pink, purple, red, white and yellow, and they are evergreen plants.
They range from 6 to 14 inches tall and spread 12 to 18 inches.
Partial to full shade will keep these shade tolerant flowers looking their best.
Rich, moist soil with plenty humus is required. The PH should be on the alkaline side.
Space your plants 1 to 2 feet apart. It’s a good idea to mulch in the spring and fall.
Propagate by division in early summer after the bloom has faded, be gentle with the roots. When dividing, make sure each division has several eyes. Bury the eyes about an inch in the soil. It will also self sow.
As for the Christmas rose; 2 to 4 inch white flowers with beautiful yellow stamens. The leaves are glossy dark green.
These flowers for shade should not be fertilized; the nitrogen will harm the roots.
Keep the soil moist but not wet.
Helleborus Lenten Rose make excellent cut flowers.