I garden on a budget so my first purchase of Hellebores were two root-bound pots marked down to $2 at the end of the season sale.  They were droopy from poor care and the blooms were dried up so I wasn’t even sure what color they were .  I planted them in a partially shaded area and kept them watered.  They survived our Zone 5 winter and in the early spring they produced  a number of green blossums.




Eventually I grew to really like them.  After the blooms dried out they dropped numerous seeds and soon small hellebores popped up.  The area I had them became too sunny due to the loss of one of our red buds, so I moved them all the following year.  It is best to not move them once they are nature plants, because they develop deep roots that make digging them out quite labor intensive and, if there are tree roots the digging could be a little destructive to your trees.  I move them the first year after they grow from seeds because the roots are still small and (like most plants) they adapt to the changes better with less top growth to support.  If you have the strength to dig them though,  and you don’t have tree roots to consider, you can divide them a lot like a hosta.  Get a sharp knife and cut the roots apart leaving at least a couple of leaves at the top, then plant them in the soil and water them well.   They do best when given moist soil but I have discovered that they withstand very dry conditions once they are established.  They have turned out to be the perfect plant to grow beneath a tree.

The plants stay green well into winter here.  They do die back but usually not till February. By March they are starting to put out new growth.


Hellebores can be purchased in various colors and some bloom as doubles.  However, if you are patient, you will  get different colors over time.  The plants I purchased originally looked like the first photo above, but  I now have more plants and they bloom in shades of purple, green, and white.


daffodils, grape hyacinths, hellebores 2014-04-16 002

daffodils, grape hyacinths, hellebores 2014-04-16 003




About Adnelg

Retired ... taking it slow and enjoying the simple things in life
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2 Responses to Hellebores

  1. Sheila Carskadon says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love your blog so am glad you are writing again. I know you only get in the mood once in awhile, but I am patient. I like your story about the hellebores. I’ve never planted any but think I might want to try them at some point. Will talk to you more about them when we get together again.

  2. A landscaper suggested hellebores for our cottage. We planted two and have watched them multiply under the shade of 30 year old oak trees. They are in sandy soil on the Eastern shore of Lake Huron. The purple and white blooms are a delight every spring! After reading your post, I am hoping that more colours will emerge.

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