HOLD ON NOW – NOT SO FAST – THIS BLOG IS ABOUT THE LENTEN ROSE
Gertrude Stein used “a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” in 1913 in one of her poems. It means “something is beautiful for what it is” and “beauty has many different ways to display itself in life.” I don’t think Ms. Stein was thinking of the Lenten rose when writing her poem as much as she was referring to our traditional rose bush. However, I think her line is very fitting in writing about the Lenten Rose today.
HOW TO GROW A LENTEN ROSE
Writing about the Lenten rose is very timely here in mid-November. These beautiful, evergreen perennials are just about ready to show off in the landscape—and in containers—for the next few months. Simply put, Lenten roses are a cool season winter bloomer.
The Lenten Rose is not a rose at all, but the blooms may resemble rose blossoms. It is Helleborus Orientalis, a perennial flowering plant and a hellebore species in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, which is native to Greece and Turkey. The word Helleborus is taken from the Greek words helein, which means “to injure,” and bora, “food,” and refers to the bitter-tasting leaves and roots which are poisonous when eaten. So, here is one point of interest that I want to stress—all Hellebores are deer and vole tolerant. I know that so many of you are very frustrated with dealing with deer and voles. Well, here is one plant to consider adding to your landscape.
CHARACTERISTICS OF LENTON ROSE
Here is a quick list of characteristics of the Hellebore:
- It’s evergreen so the dark, glossy leaves are attractive all year round
- It’s hardy from Zones 4 to 9 (we live in Zone 7)
- Because of how hardy Hellebores are in this area, they do make great container plants. I have one in a large, glazed container that it shares with some ivy and winter pansies.
- Blooms from early winter through spring
- Deer and Vole tolerant
- Needs to be planted in part to full shade (under a canopy of trees is ideal)
- Blooms can vary in color from purple to pink, to creamy white, and variegated
PLANTING LENTON ROSE
Here are some planting directions:
- Dig a hole twice the width of the root system.
- Use your native soil but amend this soil with some good, organic compost to provide well draining soil.
- Set the root system into the hole, placing the top even with ground level. Also, at the time of planting we recommend adding ESPOMA BIO-TONE. Bio-tone is a root stimulator.
- Fill in around the root system with the soil mix.
- Water as you plant to help settle the soil mix.
- Add an inch of mulch to help conserve moisture.
There are so many wonderful varieties. And, we carry over 20 different varieties of Hellebores. They are a sight to see. I do have a personal favorite . I love ‘IVORY PRINCE’. Ivory Prince has beautiful blue-green foliage with pink buds that open to large, upward facing, ivory colored flowers.
PLANT A LITTLE HAPPINESS!!!!