It is also called Christmas Rose, because the hellebore blooms between December and February, as soon as warm days occur during the winter. In reality it is not a rose, but a genus that has about 25-30 species of perennials, some with evergreen leaves. The foliage is vigorous, consisting of large palmate leaves, composed of oval segments, dark green in color; during the late winter months it produces thin fleshy stems that bear single or clustered flowers, very large, reminiscent of the flowers of the dog rose; the colors of the hellebore are generally white and purple, but there are varieties to bloom delicately pink, green, cream.
These plants are easily found even in nature, often on the edge of hilly woods, in partially shady and fairly humid areas, often on the banks of small seasonal streams; they can be successfully grown in the garden provided they follow their needs.
The hellebores they are partial shade or full shade plants in the warmer areas of the peninsula and during the summer; in general they tend to be planted in a place where the foot of the plant is sheltered, while the aerial part is exposed to the sun; in this way the root system does not suffer from summer drought and enjoys a soil that is almost always fresh and often humid.
The watering must be regular, so that the soil is always quite humid, therefore water is regularly supplied from March until October, then thinning the frequency of the watering during the cold and rainy months; in any case, it is good to ensure that the soil never remains excessively dry for prolonged periods of time, given that the soil hellebores they develop mainly during the autumn and winter months. In any case, spring and summer watering is also important, because even if not in bloom during the warm months, hellebores produce a lot of foliage, forming small decorative bushes.
They are grown in the common garden soil, lightened with pumice stone and enriched with manure or granular fertilizer; to improve the mixture of the soil and make it soft, before planting a hellebore, remember to work the substrate well by mixing also with universal potting soil. Generally a couple of interventions a year with slow release granular fertilizer can provide all the mineral substances necessary for the development of the plant.