Squak Talk Blog

Hellebores Care Tips

Late winter and early spring are prime time for hellebores. This easy care plant is a wonderful, hardy perennial ideal for the shady border. It is also striking in containers or in mass plantings in the woodland garden. Hellebores grow happily alongside daphne odora, hosta, ferns, and rhododendrons. They have evergreen foliage and are cold hardy and deer resistant.

Hellebores require some moisture to become established especially during their flowering period. However they will tolerate some summer dry spells once established.  A long-lived perennial, they rarely need dividing and sometimes sulk awhile when transplanted.  If need be, move or divide them in the early spring.

Different species require varied pruning techniques. Orientalis hybrids (or Lenten rose) benefit from cutting all the old leaves in January to February, before the buds pop out.  Fresh new leaves will soon follow.  The Christmas rose or Niger types rarely need to be pruned.  Just remove dead or tattered leaves as required. Argutifolius (Corscian Hellebore), foetidus (stinking hellebore), and sternii hellebores should only be trimmed after flowering if at all. These species also tolerate more sun.  If you wish to fertilize, our certified organic “Complete” blend would be a good choice.  A little lime to sweeten the soil can also be beneficial.


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