They are among the most marvelous garden plants. Carolyn, any idea how far south the hybrid varieties of these grow? Hellebores are not troubled by frost or snow. Nothing could be further from the truth: they are easy to grow and propagate by division. Growing these plants in total shade, means less leaf growth. I will look into adding them to my garden, but I fear I do not have conditions to meet their needs. Thanks again, Best regards and THANK YOU for sharing your expertise. For information about the best areas in Australia to grow Hellebores, the best position in the garden to plant them and generally getting the best out of your Hellebores, click on the buttons above. Hybrid hellebores are an ideal plant with their large flowers, which are ornamental in the mid-Atlantic from February (and sometimes earlier) to May, substantial wintergreen leaves, and resistance to deer. What's more, if you plant a few plants now, they'll reward you with wonderful flowers over many, many years. Your hellebores will be big soon enough. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. You need to do it now while it is still cold out. I often read in gardening books that you should cut off a portion of the plant while it’s still in the ground and wonder if the writer has ever tried that method. thank you, Carolyn, For photographs of the full range of their colors, please read my article, Hybrid hellebores are expensive relative to other perennials because it takes three to five years for them to bloom. Carolyn. Although plants may be slow to settle in, once they do, they rarely need division and may resent it. Recommended Reading: Lessons from Linden Hill: Design Tips. I never think to divide hellebores as there are so many volunteers, but as you say, the expense of certain hybrid plants makes it worth the effort. I divide them when they bloom in the spring. Hi from HZ5b, Champaign, IL, USA, planet earth. How to divide Hellebores. With sandy soil it's important to add mulch and compost. They are beautiful, give colour and flowers in the cold and wet, are so easy to grow, and you can do so much with them. Carol, Hey, it was my tiny moment in the spotlight so I have to milk it for all it’s worth. Thank you. The method outlined below can also be applied to all species hellebores except Majorcan hellebore (, Since writing this, I discovered that none other than the famous Gertrude Jekyll and I agree on this point. Dear Carolyn, I am taking reservations for my March 18 & 19 Hellebore Seminars. Susanne, I think I am having problems with the same pant in my woodland gardens and that it is some form of very invasive pinellia, possibly P. perdisecta. I am a fan of dividing perennials – it is such a good way of creating lots more new, vigorous plants. Carolyn. Reproduced below is my step-by-step guide to dividing a hybrid hellebore. Dennie, Dennie, All hellebores form clumps over time so I am unclear on your distinction between clumps and individual plants. I love all your hellebores especially the double layered ones. I am in zone 7 of N. Alabama and have felt like I had black thumbs since moving here from So Cal ten years ago. Your hellebores are amazing! So I divided it into 14 sections some with leaves others with tiny buds beginning …. With their winter flowering and fascinating range of flower and foliage forms, Hellebores are deservedly popular. I’m hoping they do well this time but in case they don’t the baby hellebores are doing great. But in my garden in England I have the two hellebores that don’t divide easily, and so have increased them by collecting the delightful little seedlings that appear all around the parents – hellebores are one of the few plants in my view that simply cannot produce too many seedlings! Hybrid hellebores are expensive relative to other perennials because it takes three to five years for them to bloom. For the brochure and registration information, click here. Since I can’t grow them here, I shall just continue to admire that collage a little while more. Thanks, Marguerite. I just realized that I didn’t answer your question in this post. Knew you were an expert but am impressed at how famous you are too. These  are some of the hybrid hellebores that I think are so special that I would consider dividing them. ), just click here. Another special is a H. orientalis cultivar - with its white star shaped big bloom and a little green at the base of the petal. They do well in an open garden, but need mulching and like a more acidic soil. I live in the Boston area. Hellebores are not difficult to grow in the cooler temperate areas of Australia. Clearly blogging rather than writing for magazines is better for you – you have your own deadline and a readership that is growing by the day. Let me know how it works when you try it. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc. In 1898, in, Snowdrops and Other Winter Interest Plants Seminar, March GBBD: The Philadelphia International Flower Show. B-a-g, You obviously were exactly right to do what you did and adventurous to take the risk of ignoring what you read. I think it is best to transplant small plants unless they are grown in a pot. Oh, my, you have me coveting some of those wonderful hybrids. Hellebores require some NPK fertiliser in late autumn to ensure good flowering. Hellebores can be grown permanently in pots and placed in a prominent position once they are in bloom. Carolyn. Carolyn, Dear Carolyn, Another very informative posting in your hellebores series. Hellebores: A Comprehensive … Trim back the edges of root mass? I deadhead mine because I don’t want seedlings. Carolyn. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. To maintain the plant, remove the old leaves when new growth appears during mid or late autumn. Purchase on Amazon. If so, what are those reasons? Carolyn. By the way, what happens if you do try to divide foetidus or lividus? The seeds came from Chantilly in France, In the future, Ted is keen to breed a double gold round Hellebore but he says that takes time - many, many years. The root system is extensive, try to remove as much root, and as much soil, as possible. It is easiest to dig the entire plant and shake or wash off the soil, so you can see where the buds are on the crown. Any seedlings would be more easily visible and accessible at this time of cutting back foliage. His look like mine, like they are individual plants, not clumps. Back when I was writing for gardening magazines, I authored an article for Horticulture on dividing hybrid hellebores. Jess, My Longwood Gardens course book says zone 8. It comes up small with three leaflets but develops more if left to mature. Make sure you wash your hands after handling these plants as Hellebores … ( Log Out /  Finally, we’re often encouraged to divide our hardy perennials every three years and to replant the healthiest pieces in improved soil. Since it seems like a lot of trouble I would reconsider dividing the hellebore. Summer heat is not a problem as long as conditions are not too humid and they are in shade. Seed germination and emergence of new plants occurs just this one time during the year? However hellebores, like hostas, are best left to … Hellebores are so easy-care that it takes a concerted effort to kill them. It has moved spots in the garden several times, and spent 3 years in a pot whilst we we building a new home. Carolyn, i was just gifted with a huge box of corsican hellebores which had been dug and divided. Carolyn. They don’t need to be divided. I have 2 that are ok, not great, but flowering. H.foetidus is quite handsome, with its tall divided leaves and flowers that stand up well above the foliage. Public Holidays) 10am – 2pm Saturday, excluding public holiday weekends Insert your spade in a circle all the way around the plant and pry it out of the ground as shown in the photos for steps 1 and 2. I’m thinking that, as you suggest, the plants themselves do quite well undivided, which is true in my own garden. Carolyn. Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. ( Log Out /  Carolyn, your Hellebore posts (all of them) are marvelous and so informative. I don’t water them during summer either. Hellebores. For your first experience with dividing a hellebore, select a plant with between five and ten flowers, older plants are too woody. I bought 3 hellebores last spring and I have blooms now! I have been growing hellebores for many, many years now. I pushed the soil back up to the edges of the remaining half, and placed the other in a new hole. One of the dinky little three-leafed plants I got from you last spring is already in bloom!! Thanks, Carolyn, Hi Carolyn, I’ve just discovered your blog and know it will be fun to return often. Hellebores grow mainly in dappled shade. Timing of seed germination around mother plants in the ground seems to be late-winter. This is also a good way to get more of the three species that I mentioned that can’t be divided. Since what we grow are hellebore plants, that's often what I plant. It is the only hellebore that likes somewhat moist conditions. I haven’t attempted dividing hellebores as the ones I had never got big enough but it’s good to know for when I purchase any hellebores in the future. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. I grow mine up in zone 6 in full sun and they are very big. But what i appreciate more is your writing. ; Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots. Choose a pot at least twice the size as the selected plant. Have been dividing every year chop large clump off healthy large plant, then just divide leaving dirt on, never have had any die. I didn’t know they come in that many colors and designs. For photographs of the full range of their colors, please read my article An Ode to Seed Strain Hellebores by clicking here. Carolyn. Hellebores are best divided in early spring or autumn. It's not usually necessary for the health of the plant; but if you wish to divide them, this is best done in fall. Please let me know in a comment/reply about your experiences with dividing hybrid hellebores. HI Carolyn, I didn’t know you wrote for a garden magazine. I love the early color they give the garden and I will definitely be adding more. I love it when they form large clumps, and I think I get more of a buzz seeing what new ones appear amongst the seedlings. Your comments suggest that corsicans are not likely to survive dividing. It’s important to be careful while pruning, however, as the sap of the plant can irritate the skin. I read web-sites which said that you should wait till after hellebores flower before dividing them. I have just ordered more and have a mix of types…including argutifolius, foetidus ‘just because’ I wanted to;-) I love them…picking out a favorite is way to hard for me! Carolyn. Rebecca, I identified you hellebore as a hybrid, Helleborus x hybridus. Hellebores are typically long-lived plants. Is it simply that they don’t thrive? Make your cuts where you see natural divisions in the root system as shown in the photo for step 4, including some roots, woody rhizome, and flower stems in each division. Hellebores can be divided, allowing you to create new plants for free. Jan, Hybrid hellebores are late this year so maybe yours are still coming. It is very much like ornimental grasses, they are very hardy, to bad they don’t self seed, A neighbor who just bought his house … gave me a patch 6″x6″ of his plant. Water them well one or two days before you plan to divide them. They do not like to be moist but prefer well-drained conditions. Now I have quite a few, most are the orientalis variety and hybrids. An economical way to increase your supply is to divide your own desirable plants. I am trying to gather information on the southern range of hellebores. It is completely unrelated to hybrid hellebores, but is a cross containing Christmas rose, Majorcan hellebore, and Corsican hellebore in various proportions. Woohoo I’m hooked on hellebores! When weather or poor memory delay division, how does a “late-divided” Hellebore respond? Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) is best divided in the spring and Helleborus x hybrids, the lenten rose and the orientalis varieties, are best divided in the late summer or autumn. Though I will be getting a Christmas Rose, I have the perfect spot…, Janet, Good, don’t divide them and let them get huge. I love hellebores for many reasons. Carolyn. I thought I read your article carefully but maybe I missed this. We don’t grow hellebores here in Austin but you never know what the future holds! Carolyn. The plants were not labeled and I have no idea what variety they are… If you have time, please visit my post on Wed-March 9 and identify my mystery hellebore!! The regular mulching helps keep them healthy and free-flowering. Most have been interbred, producing countless hybrid Hellebores in a rich array of colors and forms. We are slowly transforming our garden into a woodland garden and the lawn area gets progressively smaller We have a pesky invader and I don’t know what it is: it has 3 leaves at the top of a stem like a Trillium and an elongated green flower. Lots of mistakes are made, and the author has no control over them but his or her name is on the article. Before you attempt any cuts, please make sure you have a heavy duty knife that is very sharp, preferably with serrations on some portion of the blade. I have spent an extensive time here on your blog this morning and have learned a great deal about shade plants in general. Carolyn, I apologize for my tardy comment on this outstanding post. I have gotten rid of it by very carefully digging up (not pulling) the plant with a trowel making sure to get all the little nodules. I’m on a 1/2 acre woodland lot in Portland Or and would dearly love for them to settle in. If the hellebore stems develop a “cooked” looking cut end after a week or so, simply pull them from the water and cut that portion of the stem off. gil, Gail, ‘Ivory Prince’ is such a beautiful hellebore with its rose blushed ivory blooms and silvery foliage with red highlights. They are four feet across and have hundreds of flowers. Excellent article and gorgeous hybrid hellebores, Carolyn … the huge undivided drifts must be a stunning sight to behold. Maybe next autumn I will be ready for the experience. Carolyn, I divided my hellebores a while ago. They will flower in almost full-sun, but prefer semi-shaded positions, particularly in summer. Now that I’ve ordered more I doubt I’ll need to. They don’t need dividing or staking or fertilizing, they just do their thing without much gardener intervention. H. orientalis is a shorter growing variety, with a beautiful flower. Water well, particularly during summer. They are really beautiful. ( I better mention I live in southern Australia – south is our shady side!) Hellebores are tough garden plants, well suited to the climate of south eastern Australia. While dividing and transplanting hellebores is usually done in early fall or late winter, sometimes circumstances require us to do so at an inopportune time. I had no idea you could do this and do like the method. If you planted plants they should theoretically bloom this year or at the latest next year. I always divide my hellebores as they are coming into bloom because each flower represents a potential division. They all have huge 24″ flower stalks. And I did it by digging directly into it, while in the ground, cutting it in half. Root seems to be exactly on top of half of plant. This year there aren’t many at all, although there are a lot of seedlings surrounding one of the plants. This entry was posted on March 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm and is filed under hellebores, How to, Shade Perennials with tags dviding hybrid hellebores, Helleborus x hybridus, hybrid hellebores. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. You may apply a slow-release all-purpose … The roots are single and long with a nodule. Betty Ranicar’ that I love. Carolyn. I suggested the topic because so many gardeners think hybrid hellebores are difficult to grow and wouldn’t think of dividing them. They are both very unusual and lovely. Watch out for the gold coloured Hellebores. To keep soils moist incorporate plenty of compost when planting and mulch well. They are very good at producing seedlings, and the new plants look exactly like the parents unlike hybrid hellebores. I’ve actually never seen a hellebore in person – I’m hoping mine will live. They usually grow best in a position with shade for most of the day. Hellebores have very extensive, woody root systems and dividing them with an inadequate tool can be dangerous. I divided the one a couple of years ago because it was the only one I owned at the time! Hellebores. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I know of someone who grows them in GA so hopefully you have tried them and have had success. Be sure the container drains well and you keep the soil evenly moist, but not oversaturated. Hellebore is the common spelling for Helleborus spp., a genus of flowering perennials that grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, depending on species.Ideally, transplant hellebores during their dormant period in fall.The popular variety lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, adapts most readily to transplanting. and informative, thank you! Joey, The huge plants are amazing, and I keep adding more hellebores because so many appear that I can’t bear to sell. I now have over 50 different plants. How to grow hellebores in a pot. To keep soils moist incorporate plenty of compost when planting and mulch well. If you want to learn more about the fascinating world of hellebores, you’ll need these guides next: How to Propagate Hellebores; How to Divide and Transplant Hellebores Orchids to you are what hellebores are to me so I know you can appreciate how much I love them. , I would transplant the seedlings and leave the older plant to get bigger and produce more and more flowers. The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hellebores. Climatically Hellebores will grow best if they experience some cold in winter. One of your replies mentions using “a hatchet and rock hammer to divide some really large hellebore clumps.” Have you ever tried a sawzall? This is the method I use to divide almost all plants, not just hellebores. … My favorite part though is the underlying prompting to resist the urge, and let them be. Planting guide for Winter Roses (Hellebores) Making Your Hellebore Selection. Add perennial hellebores to your garden beds and borders, and beautify your property with charming plants that are sure to nod their heads in approval. I always dig up hostas and daylilies too, If anything they are easier to divide than big hellebores. Your replies to posts recommend that gardeners divide hellebores as they are coming into bloom, ideally before the flowers are all the way out. I am doing an article on this soon. What are they and what can be done to eliminate them chemical free? There are 17 Hellebore species. Hellebores are so easy-care that it takes a concerted effort to kill them. Donna, All they need where you live is good drainage, but I am not sure about the zone–is that what you mean? They are native to central and south Europe … Hellebores can be propagated by division. 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