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Help my hellebores

Barbara Asked

I planted two hellebores at the end of summer. I’m afraid this past week of frigid temperatures has killed them. Their leaves are brown and laying on the ground. I tried to place them in a protected spot close to the house. Is there any hope they may revive this spring once warmer weather returns?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Barbara: Hellebores also known as Lenten Rose are a great addition to any shade-loving perennial garden in Kentucky. We experienced extreme low temperatures recently and even though plants don’t feel wind chill, the negative temperatures certainly caused some winter damage. This is especially true for evergreen plants. Since the hellebores in your garden are newly planted and had little time to get settled and establish roots, it is hard to say if the roots were damaged or not. It could very well be that the foliage was damaged, but the roots are still alive. Hopefully they went into the winter months with sufficient moisture and have a layer of mulch to protect the roots. I wish that I could give you a more definitive answer, but the good news is that these perennials are hardy to zone 4 which has average lows ranging from -30 to -20 degrees F and you have planted them close to the house. Hopefully new growth will emerge later this winter/early spring.

Angie Oakley

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