12 hellebore varieties to grow in your early spring garden

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Hellebore flowers are attractive flowering plants to add to your garden as they bloom before most other perennials. What’s more, there are hundreds of specialty varieties and cultivars to choose from!

Here are some of my favorite hellebore varieties for the garden.

Ivory prince hellebore - april in the garden

1. Ivory Prince

The Ivory Prince Hellebore is a spectacular flower. Its bright pink buds bloom into white flowers that face outward from the plant. This hellebore is a cool-season bloomer and is a beautiful addition to shaded garden beds. The plants are evergreen but bloom in early spring. They offer wonderful ground cover beneath larger plants and add color wherever you may need it.

Make sure to also check out this article on planting tips for Hellebore varieties!

2. Onyx Odyssey hellebore

The Onyx Odyssey is one of the darker varieties of hellebore. The double blooms are intensely deep purple, almost the point of being black. These hellebore varieties make excellent ground covers and are conveniently deer resistant. The outward-facing blooms are a lovely sight to be seen. Place them in your garden to offer extra ground cover where other plants can’t reach.

3. Royal Heritage

If you want to add color in your flower garden, the Royal Heritage Hellebore is the variety to choose. These cup-shaped flowers come in an arrangement of colors from white to purple to red. They are attractive because they look as if they have been spotted with paint in contrasting colors. Plant them under deciduous trees or near green shrubbery to cover more ground in your garden.

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4. Pink Frost

These beautiful hellebore plants look exactly like they sound. The flowers are bright pink and look like they have been covered in a silver frosting. They have a lovely ombre effect with white, pink, and deep rose tones. This lovely plant is rabbit and deer resistant and a great choice if you need something for shady borders in the garden. The borders they provide in your garden are spectacular.

Here is an article on creating beautiful borders with Hellebore flowers!


5. Merlin

This hellebore variety has dark green leaves and was bred in Germany by Josef Heuger. The large single flowers bloom early and last quite a long time. These perennials are easy to grow and are extremely low maintenance. Some people like to float hellebores of this variety in a clear bowl to form an elegant centerpiece. I prefer them growing in shaded garden beds, but as their petals start to fall, they look nice decorating the home.

6. Penny’s Pink hellebore

This early spring perennial has hot pink flowers with purple petioles. The flowers deepen in color as they mature. The blooms last a very long time and take tolerate full sun in milder climates, especially if the roots are kept cool. These flowers look great against evergreen foliage. They also pair excellently with tulips. Make sure to plant them to add a pop of color in the cooler months or when spring hits.

For more in-depth articles about plant pairings and other Hellebore companion plants, check out our other posts!

7. Anna’s Red hellebore

This hellebore variety features single red-purple blossoms with creamy yellow stamens. Like many hellebores, the flowers face outward, attracting onlookers. These flowers bloom from late winter to mid-spring. Their sturdy red stems look amazing in any shade garden and are fantastic winter jewels for the cooler months.

8. Jacob hellebore

The Jacob Hellebore is the Christmas rose of hellebores. It produces a wide array of breathtaking single-white flowers in your cool garden. These flowers do best in a fully shaded garden and prosper in November and into the winter. Like many other hellebore varieties, the Jacob Hellebore Christmas Rose is deer and rabbit resistant. They will prosper in your shaded garden all year long.

9. New York Night

The New York Night is another dark hellebore wonderful for those cooler months. The flower petals are deep purple-black in color but have creamy yellow stamens in the centers. They are simple to grow and low-maintenance. Hellebores make wonderful plants for first-time gardeners. This is another elegant flower that looks lovely floating in a clear bowl as a centerpiece. As the petals begin to fall, collect them to put on display in your home.

10. Dark and Handsome

The Dark and Handsome is a beautiful lenten rose variety. The flowers are a silky black-purple color with lime-green stamens in the center. They feature double rows of richly colored flower petals. Their unique colouring adds a witchy energy to any garden they are planted into. Read some tips on planting witchy hellebores here!

They bloom in early to late spring and prefer mostly shade when planted. Not to mention, they are long-blooming perennials that you can enjoy for years to come. This lenten rose is also deer resistant, so they’re safe from predators in your garden.

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11. Cotton Candy

These cotton candy-colored hellebores are a bright spot of color in any garden. They really do remind me of sweet cotton candy. They look fantastic against evergreen foliage and are lovely fragrant hellebore varieties. The stamens in the center are yellowish green, and they are often speckled with dark pink. These are hand pollinated, large in size, and double-flowered, making them wonderful for flower arrangements and cut flowers. This hellebore variety is another lenten rose you’re sure to love as it blooms.

12. Cherry Blossom

These hellebore species have to be some of the most beautiful. The flowers have semi-double blooms in rick pink or purple colors with cherry red centers. They are the perfect addition to shady garden beds and do wonders as borders. They do best in well-drained soil and prefer partial sun or full shade. These showy flowers bloom in late winter and early spring with dark green foliage. These lenten roses are sure to brighten your day.

For more lovely hellebores, check out the stinking hellebore varieties and the Corsican hellebore with light green leaves and pale green flowers. For more information on growing hellebores, check out this post as well.

The bell-shaped flowers of these lovely hellebore varieties are sure to bring color to your garden beds. Mix and match other hellebore species and other flowers for beautiful blooms in late winter to early spring. No matter which lenten rose or Christmas rose you choose, your garden is sure to be full of color and life with these hellebores.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also a professional engineer, certified permaculture garden designer, and master gardener in training. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.

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