One look at the photo of Painted Strain and you'll know why this is such a popular variety with tremendous impulse appeal. Since it is from seed, each flower is a little different but like fireworks painted on a blank canvas, all have a light background speckled with bold shades of maroon, purple, and red. The effect is quite striking and the colors hold up well in the garden. Painted Strain produces large single flowers measuring 3-3+ inches across. This one is a vigorous grower. Hellebores are the harbingers of spring, blooming for six weeks or more beginning in late winter. This is the perfect plant for naturalizing in moist, woodland areas where its extensive root system will spread as far as it is allowed.
Hellebores are enjoyable to grow because they are low-maintenance and disease/pest-free. Simply trim back last year's foliage in the spring. They can adapt to almost any growing conditions. Though they prefer rich, moist, organic soil, they will also grow in sandy or clay soil. They can even tolerate short periods of drought. The soil pH can range anywhere from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. Hellebores are shade plants that need to be protected from the hot afternoon sun. They will grow in full shade under large deciduous trees as long as they receive full sun from winter to spring before the trees get their leaves. To increase the number of hellebores in your garden, mulch them heavily in the fall. The new seedlings will grow in this mulch come spring and can then be transplanted elsewhere in the garden.
Maroons, purples, and reds
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart-Fern leaved), Astilbe Younique Lilac (Astilbe), Aquilegia 'Cardinal'
(Columbine) Hosta 'Halcyon', Pulmonaria saccharata 'Mrs. Moon' (Lungwort)
Cut flower or foliage
Easy to grow
Late winter/Early spring
Deer and rabbit resistant
Full to part shade
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