Sometimes known as the Christmas or Lenten rose, hellebores are perennial garden plants with elegant flowers. Fully hardy and low maintenance, they’re ideal for brightening up shady areas of your garden in late winter and early spring and some species have striking evergreen architectural foliage.
Top tips for growing Hellebores:
- Plant hellebores in early spring.
- Hellebores flower from late January to mid-March.
- They tend to grow to a height of between 30cm and 1.2m and spread by around 45 to 95cm.
- Plant hellebores in a north or east facing position.
- They prefer rich, well-drained soil in dappled shade.
- Avoid planting hellebores in very dry or waterlogged soil and shelter them from strong, cold winds.
- Water hellebores during dry spells.
- Mulch them in the autumn with leaf mould, chipped bark or other organic matter.
- After they’ve flowered, cut off the flowered stems of stinking hellebore plants at ground level. For other hellebores, deadhead the spent flowers only.
- Divide large clumps of hellebores in early spring.
- Remove old leaves in late winter or early spring so flowers show clearly. This is particularly important for diseased foliage that can harbour hellebore leaf spot – an unsightly fungal disease.