How to Plant a Lenten Rose


The Lenten rose, also called helleborus, produces rose-like blooms in spring near the religious holiday it earns its common name from. This perennial flower has a long blooming period that begins in late winter and continues well into summer. Lenten roses do not bloom for their first three to four years and seed can take more than a year to germinate, so they are usually purchased from nurseries as mature plants. Plant Lenten roses outdoors in spring once all frost danger is past.

Step 1

Spread 2 to 3 inches of mature compost over a partially shaded bed. Choose a bed that is well-drained and not prone to standing water. Work the compost into the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil with a hoe or tiller.

Step 2

Dig the planting holes to the same depth as the nursery pot the Lenten rose is in and slightly wider. Space the holes 18 inches apart in all directions.

Step 3

Place your hand over the top of the pot with Lenten rose stem poking through your fingers. Turn the pot upside down and thump the sides to loosen it. Lift the pot off the plant, allowing the soil ball to rest in your hand.

Step 4

Set the Lenten rose in the planting hole, and adjust it until it sits at the same depth in the bed that it was at in its pot. Fill in around the plant with soil, and firm it lightly into place.

Step 5

Water the newly planted Lenten rose until the top 6 inches of soil feel moist. Spread a 1 to 2-inch layer of mulch around the plants to preserve water in the soil between waterings.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Hoe
  • Spade
  • Mulch


  • Yale University Extension: Lenten Rose
  • University of Vermont Extension: The Lovely Lenten Rose
Keywords: planting Lenten roses, growing helleborus, Lenten rose care

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.