Hellebores are here, and you won’t want to miss out on these varieties

We have raved about hellebores before.

But if any plant deserves extensive raving, it’s the hellebore (latin: helleborus).

What other cold-hearty perennial flowers early in March – a lot of times pushing their blooms through the snow and ice – has waxy, shiny, evergreen foliage that add texture to any garden, are deer resistant, self-seed quite readily, and have so many beautiful varieties to choose from?

Answer: none. Which is why every garden should feature this early spring bloomer.

Our favorites?


We also have more traditional varieties, like Helleborus ‘Royal Heritage’, which gets quite large when mature, and Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’ with its bluish-green foliage and red stems, which takes a little longer to reach full maturity. (The slower growing varieties tend to be the more expensive varieties, because it literally takes years longer for growers to raise them to a size suitable for retail nurseries.)

Also hellebores are the best deer resistant alternative to hosta. They thrive in the same conditions, they have beautiful, textured foliage and as a bonus they bloom in March! The flowers often dry green on the plants, and the ornamental papery blooms remain – sometimes as long as August.


Q&A Which annuals are deer candy? And are there any annuals the deer will leave alone?

Q: Dear Victoria,

The deer seem to eat my annual containers like candy! Are there any annuals the deer will leave alone?


A: There are quite a few options for deer resistant annuals, then there are some varieties that they mostly leave alone, but nibble on occasionally, and there are, as you say, “deer candy.”

Everyone has different anecdotal evidence for one variety being left alone while another is always eaten, but after more than 3 decades as a professional landscaper in Ulster county – these are my findings:

Deer candy:

(You can plant these if you are deer free, protected by a fence or if you are willing to spray deer repellant. We carry Deer Defeat, an all natural, locally produced deer spray.)

  • Sweet potato vine

  • Coleus

  • Oxalis

  • Impatients

  • Fuchsias


Annuals that deer mostly leave alone:

  • Zinneas

  • Marigolds

  • Angelonia

  • Snapdragons

  • Cosmos

  • Fragrant petunias

  • Persian shield

  • Geraniums



Deer resistant:

  • Annual Grasses

  • Mint

  • Salvia

  • Agastache

  • Verbena bonariensis

  • Cleome

  • Lantana

  • Euphorbia “Diamond frost”


We have a huge selection of annuals in stock, so come in this weekend and pick out some all-summer color for your containers and gardens.

If you battle the deer, don’t worry we’ve got you covered!

And if you have questions about many of the other varieties we carry, just ask one of the knowledgeable gardeners who work in the store -they can help you find the right combination for your planter: sun, shade, deer-resitant, drought-tolerant – we have the perfect annuals for you.

Happy planting!