PLANTING AND GROWING HELLEBORES
Brighten up your garden with Hellebores by following our step-by-step guide to this fantastic plant.
Hellebores, also known as Helleborus,
are ideal for winter planting. The Niger varieties known as the Christmas Rose are excellent plants to cheer up a dark pocket in your garden. They have a flowering period from November until March, sometimes further. They go well with snowdrops, cyclamen coum (which flower in February), along with narcissi and woodland anemones. Planting the hybridus types in November to February will mean your plants are ready to come into flower in late February until May and beyond.
CHOOSE YOUR HELLEBORES
The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting your Hellebores is to know what you are purchasing as there are different types of Hellebore flowers at different times of the year. More information will be indicated on the plant information label.
Hellebores flourish in free-draining, rich soil. They do like plenty of leaf mould as a mulch in the spring. A sheltered spot can benefit taller varieties like Helleborus x argutifolius. They do like to have light in the early spring to aid flowering, but will cope with shade the rest of the year, which is why some varieties are found growing in woodlands.
Plan and measure where you would like to plant your Hellebores. To get a good effect, plant about 18 inches apart or 2 feet.
Dig a hole twice the width and depth of the pot so you can add plenty of extra planting compost.
Mix compost, potash and mulch of manure with the top soil and add to the bottom of the hole. Place Hellebore on top of the mixed soils and continue to add the mixed soil till the hole is covered and the Hellebore is firmly in place. Why is the potash ideal? When added during planting the potash will be taken up quickly and helps the plants to form strong flower stems.
Make sure the Hellebore is firmly in the soil and plant the rest of your Hellebores in the same way.
GROWING AND CARING FOR YOUR HELLEBORES
Check foliage for aphids which can become a problem during winter and again in the spring.
Remove any dead stems down to the ground.
Remove all leaves of Helleborous x hybridus varieties In November. This will take away any affected leaves, which can spread on to flowering stems.
Feed established plants in December and January with a general fertiliser and Sulphate of Potash.
Add a good layer of farmyard manure around the same time.
Water plants during the summer if there is a dry spell to avoid plants getting dried out.
With tall varieties stake to avoid them falling over.
Group with other plants to provide interest in the border later on in the year and to provide cover for the leaves.
We hope your Hellebores flourish and that this guide was helpful. For anything else, you can contact us by telephone or email.