Helleborus Care: How To Grow Hellebores
The following are some of the things you need to know about growing hellebores. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them in the comments section below! You will find answers there or in our FAQ page.
In order to grow hellebores successfully, it is essential that they receive adequate water during their growth cycle. They require at least 1 gallon per week. Hellebore care requires regular watering.
Hellebore care does not include overwatering, which can cause death. Watering is best done once a day, but may be less if the soil is very dry or sandy. Do not over water! Hellebores prefer moist soil conditions and do better in slightly wetter soils than those with too much clay content (such as many desert areas).
Hellebore care includes feeding them regularly. Feeding is best done every other month. Hellebores will eat almost anything and will happily accept dead leaves, twigs, grass clippings, etc.
Feeding can be done using liquid food such as fish emulsion or pellets. Feeding with live foods such as crickets or mealworms is recommended only in winter months when the plants are dormant due to cold weather conditions.
Hellebores need a winter rest, which is usually from about mid-September through mid-May (depending upon the weather in your area). During this time they should be kept dry. They can either have their leaves removed or be potted up depending upon how wet the soil is.
Hellebores should not be fed during their dormant period.
Hellebores require excellent drainage. They will rot and die if left in wet soil for too long. The best hellebore care involves planting them in soil that is well draining.
Hellebores cannot be planted in garden centres. They need a soil that is free draining and can be a loose, gravelly soil or one containing large chunks of bark. The best hellebore care involves planting in pots that have drainage holes and are at least 15cm deep.
Hellebores are available throughout the year so you can enjoy their flowers for most of the year.
Hellebores need full sun to light shade.
Hellebores need protection from strong wind, which can tear their delicate petals and cause the flower to die earlier than normal.
Hellebore care involves planting them in soil that is free draining.
Hellebores require regular feeding using a balanced fertiliser.
Hellebores require deadheading during the growing season (usually late spring through summer) to encourage more blooms.
Hellebores can be propagated easily by division in spring or summer, or by seed sown during the spring.
Hellebore care requires that they are planted in a container that has drainage holes and is at least 15cm deep.
Hellebores can be grown from seed. Germination usually takes place within one to six weeks. The seeds should be planted 1.5cm deep and have a temperature of 15-20°C.
The light requirement for the seedlings is mininal but normal household lighting is fine. Transplant them as soon as possible even if they have not yet sprouted. Transplant them into a pot with drainage holes and at least 15cm deep.
Hellebores can be propagated by division in the spring and summer.
Hellebores can be grown from cuttings between September and February. The cutting should be placed on its side to permit root development before being transplanted into a pot with drainage holes and at least 15cm deep.
Hellebores flowers can be used in a variety of ways including the following:
The flowers can be laid upon a dining table for decoration.
The petals can be scattered over beds and sofas to perfume the room.
The petals can be used in pot-pourri.
The petals can be used to make wine or liquor. The petals need to be dried first and then stored in a dark, airtight container.
The petals can be placed in a muslin bag and used to make stockes.
Sources & references used in this article:
In vitro polyploidisation of Helleborus species by E Dhooghe, W Grunewald, L Leus, MC Van Labeke – Euphytica, 2009 – Springer
Flower development and effects of a cold treatment and a supplemental gibberellic acid application on flowering of Helleborus niger and Helleborus x ericsmithii by A Christiaens, E Dhooghe, D Pinxteren… – Scientia horticulturae, 2012 – Elsevier
Pollinator foraging modifies nectar sugar composition in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae):An experimental test by A Canto, CM Herrera, M Medrano… – American Journal of …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
Geographical variation in autonomous self‐pollination levels unrelated to pollinator service in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae) by CM Herrera, AM Sánchez‐Lafuente… – American Journal of …, 2001 – Wiley Online Library
Effects of a phytopreparation from Helleborus niger on immunocompetent cells in vitro by A Büssing, K Schweizer – Journal of ethnopharmacology, 1998 – Elsevier
Antiseizure potential of the ancient Greek medicinal plant Helleborus odorus subsp. cyclophyllus and identification of its main active principles by T Brillatz, M Jacmin, K Vougogiannopoulou… – Journal of …, 2020 – Elsevier
Micropropagation of Helleborus through Axillary Budding by M Beruto, S Viglione, A Bisignano – … -important horticultural plants, 2012 – Springer
Within‐plant heterogeneity in fecundity and herbivory induced by localized DNA hypomethylation in the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus by CM Herrera, M Medrano, R Pérez… – American Journal of …, 2019 – Wiley Online Library