Hellebore Growing Guide
Hellebores come from the Ranunculaceae family that includes the popular aquilegia, buttercup, clematis and anemone. There are about 20 species that are native to various parts of Europe and Asia.
They are mostly woodland plants and make wonderful displays planted en masse under deciduous trees. As they spread over time, they act as living mulch, preventing weeds from taking hold. The ‘stemmed’ species have a well-developed stem that holds leaves and flowers. The ‘unstemmed’ species have separate leaves and flower stems.
- Hellebores are suited to cool to temperate climates. They grow during the cooler months – hence one of their common names being Winter Rose.
- Hellebores grow well in pots. Use a quality potting mix and feed them a couple of times a year with controlled release pellets in winter to early spring. It’s imperative to keep the roots cool of container grown hellebores, so ensure they don’t receive too much sun.
- Hellebores come from a range of habitats, but most do best in the shade. They will however cope with some sun in cool, high-altitude regions.
- Water hellebores when it’s dry – especially during the warmer months.
- Apart from removing dead flowers and leaves, no pruning is required.
- Hellebores require moist, well-drained soil with plenty of added compost and/or leaf mould (well composted leaves from deciduous trees).
- Feed hellebores in late winter to spring with well-composted animal manure, covered with a layer of mulch.
- Apply Seasol and Powerfeed regularly to keep plants healthy and performing at their best.
- Hellebores aren’t susceptible to many pests or diseases.