Grow A Lenten Rose For Lent: Indoor Hellebore Care During Lent

(Image credit: Olga Seifutdinova)

Hellebore is a woodland perennial that is known for its attractive evergreen foliage and early bloom season. Its more common name, Lenten rose, was so attributed in regard to its flowering period which often occurs during the religious observance of Lent. This plant’s beauty in addition to its ease of growth, make it an ideal outdoor container plant and species for growing indoors during the winter months. 

Learning more about Lenten rose care and requirements for indoor hellebore growth will reward gardeners with masses of long-lived blooms.

Growing Indoor Hellebores

Reaching just 20 inches (50 cm.) tall at maturity, Lenten roses produce flourishes of large blooms. Ranging in color, growers can expect intricately patterned flowers in shades of green, white, pink, and purple. Though each flower delicately nods downwards, their bright bursts of color are a welcome sign that spring is on the way. 

For well-established plants, the Lenten rose bloom season occurs in late winter to early spring. In many cases, the plants may even begin to flower while there is still snow on the ground. Growing Lenten rose in winter indoors will often produce the same results. However, there will need to be some consideration taken in regard to specific Lenten rose care. 

Special Indoor Needs

Ornamental gardeners are likely to find plant starts of Lenten rose in winter at reputable nurseries. Hellebore care indoors requires special attention to temperature, moisture, and light. Since the flowers thrive under cool conditions, indoor gardeners should place pots away from potential heat sources like vents or space heaters. Yellowing foliage may be among the first signs that conditions are too warm and plants should be moved. 

While hellebore plants require consistent moisture, you should make certain that their containers drain well, as root rot may become an issue. Indoor hellebore plants will grow best when situated near a window that receives bright, yet indirect, sunlight. 

As spring arrives, most experts suggest that hellebore plants be hardened off and moved outdoors. Hardy specimens can be planted directly into the garden when the time is right. Even with the best of care, most Lenten roses will not survive full-time indoor culture. 

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel