These nodding flowering beauties have become more widely grown in many gardens across the globe and for a good reason too. Hellebore are a fantastic shade plant which can be grown successfully under taller canopy trees, in container garden or as a forest floor perennial.
They are loved for their nodding flowers which provide colour in winter right through to spring. New hybrid varieties are being released every year and can flower for longer periods of time and are slightly more sun tolerant. If you are not too fond of their flowers hanging downwards, these newer forms tend to have flowers that sit upward to the sun.
Almost all Hellebore plants like to be grown in a shaded position which is protected from the hot summer sun. A humus rich soil is preferable, if your soil is slightly sandy add a bag, or a few, to the soil to improve the overall texture and structure.
Hellebore’s are pretty low maintenance plants and do not require too much attention. But at the start of the growing season, spring, remove any old leaves and give them a feed with a all purpose fertiliser. This will give them the best head start to the season. Adding a layer of sugar cane mulch around the Hellebore’s will help retain moisture at the root zone which is beneficial during the hotter periods of the year.
Helleborus can be propagated by division in late spring or they can be sown from seed. Old varieties will produce fertile seed, unfortunately most new hybrid forms are sterile and will not reproduce from seed germination.
Pest and Diseases:
For most of the time Hellebore is a very tough plant in the garden. But they can suffer from aphid and white fly attacks in late winter when the weather begins to warm. If plants are affected, using organic sprays such as pest oil will be a sufficient enough as a treatment. Foliage can be subjected to black spot fungal disease, but is a rarity. If affected, remove any of the diseased foliage and dispose of it.