The Flowers Of Winter
WORDS:: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
IMAGES:: LISA ATKINSON
Known as the flower of winter, Hellebores are in full flight at the moment and they are glorious!
My winter table really came to life with the inclusion of potful of hellebores, and I loved the idea of just pulling them out of the pot and plonking them on the table. What a fun way to include flowers to your table? A little mud on the dining table never hurt anyone.
Hellebores are well known to tolerate drought and neglect, although they thrive when grown in a moist, but well-drained soil. ... While naturally a full sun plant, Hellebores make the perfect plant for the light dappled garden. Growing them in pots is a good way to bring the outside in, but just make sure you re-pot them a few times a year as they have a crazy root system that just needs to grow! The more light - the more leaves, the more organic the soil - the happier the hellebore!
Quick Tips for a Happy Hellebore
- Do not fertilise your hellebore, simply add a layer of compost (known as top dressing) once a year
- Hellebores look their best when their soil is soaked, they will keep blooming for years of they are planted in an area where their roots can sprawl
- Be careful with Hellebores and your pets. The entire plant, roots and all, can cause a toxic reaction if a dog, cat or horse eats it.
- Don't plant your hellebores too deeply, as this can affect your plants flowering. Bury your pot slightly beneath the soil so it can get fed easily.
Bringing Your Hellebores Indoors
- Prune the outer leaves of your plant midwinter, the healthier blooms have grown from the centre, so prune the old right down to the base. If you notice any discolouration on leaves or flowers - get rid of it. Hellebores are tough and can withstand a good prune!
- Cut your hellebores to the stem, strip leaves off the bottom two-thirds of a stem.
- Cut the bottom of each stem at an angle to make it easier for flowers to drink water. Leave your vase of flowers in a cool, dark place.