A rose by any other name…

Pink Frost Hellebore
Credit: Billy_Fam/Getty Images

The Southern Living Garden Book describes hellebores as "distinctive, long-lived plants that add color to the garden for several months in winter and spring." And that's just one reason we love them. Hellebores, which are also known as Lenten roses, are popular plantings throughout the Southern states thanks to their cold-weather garden color and attractive evergreen foliage. Lately, we've been drawn to a creamy pink-blooming hellebore cultivar that adds a touch of rosy magic to the garden. It's ‘Pink Frost' Hellebore, or Helleborus x ballardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost', a hybrid with soft pink blooms that fade to a gorgeous deeper pink shade as they age.

About Pink Frost Hellebore

This hybrid is a heavy bloomer, and it's easy to grow. It produces lovely mounds of long-lasting pink and white flowers in the late winter and early spring months. It's also a great year-round addition to the garden—as an accent, groundcover, or border planting—thanks to its evergreen foliage that appears deep green and leathery, with a touch of shine across the surface of the leaves. The plants grow in clumps up to 1 foot tall and wide. These hellebores are not usually browsed by deer or other unwelcome garden visitors.

How to Plant Pink Frost Hellebore

To give these Lenten roses a healthy start, The Southern Living Garden Book recommends "plant[ing] in good, well-drained soil amended with plenty of organic matter. Plants prefer soil that is somewhat alkaline but will also grow well in neutral to slightly acid conditions. […] Feed once or twice a year. Don't disturb hellebores once planted; they resent moving and may take 2 or more years to re-establish." They thrive in full sun to partial shade but have been known to tolerate being planted in shade gardens.

Other Lenten Rose Species

If you want to learn about other hellebore species, look into the likes of H. argutifolius, H, foetidus, H. lividus, H. niger, H. orientalis, H. x sternii, and H. viridis. Helleborus hybrids including the Ballard Red Group, Purple Group, Pink Group, and Picotee Group. If you decide to plant hellebores in your garden, a warning: All parts of the helleborus species are poisonous if ingested, so keep them away from children and animals.

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Do you have any Lenten roses in your garden? What are your favorite types?