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Upper Midwest Gardening: Hellebores in zone 5 - anyone have any awake?

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KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2011
6:17 AM

Post #8470726

I would have expected my hellebores to be showing signs of life by now. When we had a few warm days in mid-March I did see some new shoots, but now it looks as though they've decided NOT to proceed with growing and blooming. What are everyone else's hellebores doing now? Am I just being paranoid? I hope I didn't lose them. :(
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

April 4, 2011
7:19 AM

Post #8470841

Mine are up with a few flowers showing. Well, I should say that the flowers are up but the new leaves are still emerging. I do have a couple of flowers - wine colored - on some 'Sunshine Selections' I got back in '08. First year blooming for them. It does seem that my old ('94) established clump of H. orientalis (variety unknown) seems to lose a little vigor every year and doesn't flower as well. Might be too much root competition from a nearby barberry. It does seem like they're a little late this year though.
Goldenberry
Northeast, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2011
8:17 AM

Post #8473458

I have four, of which two have flower heads and leaves emerging. The other two are juuuuust beginning to wake up. And they all live in the shade of the same pine tree, so why the difference, I know not!
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 5, 2011
10:13 AM

Post #8473685

Checking on mine today I see just the teeniest bit of new green growth on one. I guess I won't fret for now. :)
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 6, 2011
9:24 PM

Post #8477467

Glanced out today and saw some flower heads. I better get out to get old leaves and other debris out of the way.
Keeping toes crossed for more sun..really need the Vitamin D
Goldenberry
Northeast, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2011
6:49 AM

Post #8478029

Yes, the cloudy weather and continuing temps in the 40s don't encourage anything to bloom, even hellebores. In general it seems my garden is at least a week behind last year. Hurry up and wait, sigh!
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 7, 2011
12:12 PM

Post #8478593

I was looking at photos of last year on this exact date and I have shots of pulmonaria starting to bloom and daffodils already blooming. This year, the pulmonaria look pretty ragged. Just a few days ago when I checked there were no buds. The daffs do have flower scapes and buds, but I think it's still going to be a bit before they bloom. I'd say I'm at least 2 weeks behind last year.

Warmer temps and rain this week and early next should help things along, though. And Sunday it's supposed to be in the 70s here. It just takes that one really warm day for things to really start popping. I'm looking forward to it!
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2011
5:28 PM

Post #8479216

I put a hellebore in last autumn, mulched it, and haven't seen hide nor hair of it so far. Maybe they're just not ready yet?
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

April 8, 2011
7:45 AM

Post #8480321

Forecasting 80 on Sunday! Stuff will really sprout then. Pulmonarias have buds, Hepaticas are blooming as are hellebores. Took a photo of my first 'Sunshine Selections' flower but now have to remember how to load the silly photo onto my pc. I can't really tell if we're behind schedule or running even since Easter was early last year and late this year. That's usually my time reference as inaccurate as can be.
sherri - could the mulch be preventing the ground from warming up as quickly?
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 8, 2011
4:59 PM

Post #8481365

Cindy, I took the mulch off a few weeks ago and I can't remember if I cut the leaves then or if they just died back over winter. You're right - Sat and Sun should bring about lots of "wake ups" from many plants! Also, we're going to have T-Storms - terrible if we want to work in the garden, but WONDERFUL for plants! Something about the electricity creating nitrogen . . . can't remember, but it's great for plants!
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2011
7:18 PM

Post #8481695

My dad (a farmer) always told me that thunderstorms add nitrogen to the soil. I had to Google it for the science of it all. I found the answer here:

[quote]Q: Does rainfall bring any nitrogen (fertilizer) to plants and lawns?

A: Yes, lightning that accompanies thunderstorms can act to add nitrogen to the soil. Gaseous nitrogen (which makes up about 78 percent of the atmosphere) is unusable by higher plants because of its chemical composition. Nitrogen is transformed to a plant-usable form (nitrogen fixation) by the electrical discharges that can occur within thunderstorms.

The usable nitrogen is added to the soil as a component of precipitation. While this process is beneficial to plants, the vast majority of nitrogen fixation is accomplished by microorganisms in the soil.[/quote]

Source: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/44463677.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUvckD_V_jEyhD:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

He also said that thunderstorms help to crack the frost layer (which I assume is gone by now, but we did have thunder early in the season here.) I'm not going to Google that, but I'd bet he's right. :)
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 9, 2011
7:58 AM

Post #8482543

Amazing how much old time wisdom can be scientifically proven now, isn't it? My grandma had such beautiful gardens and I really don't think she put any store bought garden stuff in the beds. I can't remember, but I think she just raked leaves on the beds every fall and tilled them in in the spring. Now that I think of it, maybe that's why I firmly believe in doing that!
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 9, 2011
9:24 AM

Post #8482727

Neat info about thunderstorms.
We have warnings about bad storms tomorrow, so will cover tonight. Had chickpea size hail about a week ago..got off easy..just a few miles away got Golfball size..lordy.

the river birch is raining :) releasing drops from branches and trunks.,..how cool is that??
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 9, 2011
11:57 AM

Post #8483059

It's supposed to get nasty, Marcia. I'm one of those "trained amateur spotters" you hear about when the weather folks are reporting tornado and funnel cloud spottings. We've been warned and activated tonight through tomorrow night. That's not all that unusual. But we were also told that our local NOAA bureau expects that the Storm Prediction Center will upgrade our area to High Risk, which actually doesn't happen here very often at all. Not that I'm trying to be an alarmist, but it's a good idea to keep an eye on the skies for the next couple of days. The potential is there for things to get ugly, and even if it ends up that it doesn't get bad, it makes sense to be prepared.
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 9, 2011
4:26 PM

Post #8483525

You girls be careful!!!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

April 9, 2011
5:09 PM

Post #8483613

Oh my - what a beautiful day today (even with the threat of bad storms tomorrow). It actually smelled like wet soil today - heaven.
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
11:25 AM

Post #8485172

rained last night..but I didn't hear it. Sunny and unusually warm today..will keep eye open.
Finally uncovered the potted plants that I had been wintering over. Lost quite a few. Will try to plant everything this season. If we find that elusive easy care home..will just get them dug up. did find a lovely little mouse nest in one of the pots. Munched on the leaves during the winter I imagine. :(

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
3:29 PM

Post #8485651

Kayly this is what I have of mine. Front yard...

Thumbnail by cececoogan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
3:30 PM

Post #8485655

and the one in the back...

Thumbnail by cececoogan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
3:30 PM

Post #8485658

not blooming but they are trying...
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 10, 2011
7:03 PM

Post #8486272

Cece, that's what mine looks like! I guess it's waking up normally, then.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
7:17 PM

Post #8486312

They will be in their own time I guess. some may get them now, us a little later but look what we have to look forward to. Pictures of others, and then out own. I'm not too upset about it.
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
8:15 PM

Post #8486454

My hellebores look about like that, too. I feel much better now. They're alive!

I noticed today that my dicentras are coming on strong, too--both spectabilis and eximia. And my trilliums are really getting busy! They've multiplied a bit this year, too, which is great. More trillium = happy me!

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
8:29 PM

Post #8486488

Trillium I planted 3 years ago have never returned :( Haven't seen any signs of dicentra eximina but my spectablis is up and running, so to speak. The pink one any way, Alba got covered with junk last fall. Rather I think she's under there somewhere.

Raining here now, good too, lightening, thunder. I'm okay. Yeah right, dh is still home but not for long, only the Fox6 weather guy said no warnings, no watches. I'm good. If that wind comes up faster than what it is now, I may just go to work with Ed and sit there with him all night. No, couldn't do that. I'm such a baby, and at my age. My granddaughter 5 yo LOVES storms.
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
9:03 PM

Post #8486556

My dicentra eximia is definitely smaller than the spectabilis. I have D. spectabilis 'Gold Heart' in the front yard and wasn't sure how vigorous it was (last year was its first year). Looks to be doing just fine, though. I swear, spectabilis can put on two inches of growth in the spring while your back is turned.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
9:28 PM

Post #8486598

You're right there, My red got so big the past couple of years. My Mom always had them at home, they NEVER got that big. She even remarked on it one year. Said I am doing a whole lot of something right. Made me feel good... ya know?
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 11, 2011
8:26 AM

Post #8487459

Here's what my hellebores looked like after the warm weekend. What a difference a few warm days make!

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 11, 2011
8:27 AM

Post #8487460

And the dicentra eximia...

Thumbnail by KaylyRed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 11, 2011
1:03 PM

Post #8488025

I found small traces of my D. eximia. So it is on its way back. Maybe I'll actually see more of it before the cold comes back.
l6blue
Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4b)

April 15, 2011
1:24 PM

Post #8498050

I'm in Zone 4, and I have Hellebores blooming.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 15, 2011
2:20 PM

Post #8498172

Mine were too, till yesterday.:(

Thumbnail by cececoogan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

April 16, 2011
10:35 AM

Post #8499941

My bleeding hearts have self-sown! Yippee! Of course I don't know which one it is but uncovered some seedlings earlier in the week. The two possible parents are pretty vigorous plants and have literally sprung up in the past week. Haven't unfurled the flowers yet and neither have the Dutchman's breeches. Now those tend to roam around a bit.
Getting showers here today which is a good thing but hope those up north and to the west haven't gotten any more severe weather.
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 16, 2011
10:38 AM

Post #8499948

Cool, Cindy! I've never had bleeding hearts self-sow here. I would always make room for more in my garden, though--I love them.

My Dutchmen's breeches never did come back for some reason. Maybe it's because they were planted too close to my soul-sucking (or at least moisture sucking) maple.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

April 16, 2011
10:44 AM

Post #8499962

The "breeches" were planted years ago in some pretty crummy soil. They never get very big but then they don't stick around long either. I like the reference to the maple.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 16, 2011
1:03 PM

Post #8500179

norwegian Maple. I bet my life on it. Do you get a lot of mini seedlings from the helicpters? I have TWO of them. :(
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 16, 2011
1:49 PM

Post #8500244

I get quite a few, yes. If I recall correctly, this one buds out reddish but then turns green, unlike the red maple which starts deep red (burgundy, I guess you'd call it) and stays that way.

If it's Norwegian, you'd think it would like me--I'm half Norwegian. :P
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 16, 2011
8:39 PM

Post #8500983

Cindy..I have a white and a red self sown..side by side. the white has yellowish green foliage now..the red has darker, almost maroon foliage.

My hellebores are in full bloom. If the wind dies down in that part of the garden, I will try for a photo.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 17, 2011
7:04 AM

Post #8501525

Actually I forgot the one so I have 3 two out front and one in back. Constantly battling trees growing in my gardens. Drives me nuts.

My helleborus is open out front but so darn windy I can't get a good pic of it. By the time I get a good focus on it it is blown the other direction.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

April 17, 2011
8:29 AM

Post #8501733

Marcia - do you mean Dicentra? How cool is that? My sister gave me some years ago - both white and red - and they're planted together but I've only gotten a couple of seedlings from them over the years. They fight for space next to the wintercreeper ground cover.
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 17, 2011
10:21 AM

Post #8501881

I was So pleased. They are literally on the fenceline..roots under the wood planks, so no crowding problem. The seedlings in the regular beds take a bit longer..but have no groundcover problem (dog feet Whole nother issue). I have ripped out all the vinca that I put in years ago..it seemed to just leave where I wanted it and moved to the beds..took a couple of seasons..but found good new homes.
Wind up again today..but sunny..no outdoor photos..but may pull a weed or two when get back from open house.

crazy4brugs

crazy4brugs
Kansasville, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 25, 2011
12:26 PM

Post #8519486

Is this trash or treasure? Will the color change? Hopefully lighten up some.

Thumbnail by crazy4brugs
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 25, 2011
1:40 PM

Post #8519618

Interesting! I've seen green hellebores, but always a lighter shade. I have no clue whether it will lighten, though...I've never had green blooms, myself.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 25, 2011
3:32 PM

Post #8519907

Me either. Interesting.

crazy4brugs

crazy4brugs
Kansasville, WI
(Zone 5a)

April 26, 2011
2:59 AM

Post #8520904

They were just plugs last year, this is the first blooms on them. I'll watch to see if
they lighten up.

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