Home gardeners are not content with the traditional plants and want the latest and greatest. They can usually find new additions each year, including deer repellent plants. For 2011, there are three new hellebores in this category and each is beautiful. These vigorous plants feature three to four- inch rounded flowers in eye-catching colors.
Hybridizing has expanded the color range of the hellebores. Slate gray, deep purple, plum, yellow, pink, green, and white are all included. As the flower ages, it turns greener and individual flowers usually remain on the plant for at least one month. Picotee flowers feature sepals in pale colorings with narrow margins containing a darker color. These are highly sought, as are plants featuring dark nectaries that contrast outer sepals.
The brilliant flowers of these perennials bloom for ten weeks, beginning in late winter or early spring. This long blooming season allows the garden to look beautiful when the neighbors are still removing dead limbs and dried leaves. The flowers are lovely when cut and can be floated in water to create an attractive centerpiece. Color saturation is excellent and deer will refrain from taking a nibble.
The Grape Galaxy strain features over 125 grape-spotted flowers with plum-colored sepals and spots of dark purple. Green Gambler has flowers that are shamrock green in color, some of which have red glitter flecks and bright red picotee edges. Red Racer features huge 3.5-inch, ruby red flowers. These deer resistant plants will make even the smallest garden look lavish.
Each of these strains is included in the Winter Thriller series and mature plants get over 150 blooms. Hellebores prefer shade and do best in sand or heavy clay soil within hardiness zones four through nine. They feature evergreen foliage, which serves as a nice winter groundcover when the rest of the garden is bare.