Hellebores thrive in neutral to alkaline soils that are moist but well-drained, fertile and humus-rich. Jill, There is really nothing to divide because they produce a woody stalk from a central point. Thanks so much! And while your plant has been stressed, it sounds like you are giving it the TLC it needs right now. 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. There is plenty of stuff going on in the garden in spring: it’s winter I have been concentrating for for the last 20 years. Last week a friend let me dig tons of the stinking hellebore (love LOVE them) and I probably could’ve divided them but didn’t. I didn’t realize the plants were that large. Purchase on Amazon. Although plants may be slow to settle in, once they do, they rarely need division and may resent it. For photographs of the full range of their colors, please read my article An Ode to Seed Strain Hellebores by clicking here. Divide the hellebores in cool weather, preferably with rain the forecast. Carolyn. I love plants and, I really enjoy writing. By the way, what happens if you do try to divide foetidus or lividus? I deadhead mine because I don’t want seedlings. It has moved spots in the garden several times, and spent 3 years in a pot whilst we we building a new home. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Summer heat is not a problem as long as conditions are not too humid and they are in shade. Shake it to remove excess soil and then wash away the remaining soil to reveal the extensive root system as shown in step 3. I am trying to gather information on the southern range of hellebores. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The method outlined below can also be applied to all species hellebores except Majorcan hellebore (Helleborus lividus), Corsican hellebore (H. argutifolius), and bearsfoot hellebore (H. foetidus). Finally, we’re often encouraged to divide our hardy perennials every three years and to replant the healthiest pieces in improved soil. thank you, Carolyn, I had no idea what they even were until I began blogging! Hellebores grow best in Southern Australia, in cool, elevated regions, from Sydney to Perth and further south. This is part of a series of articles on hellebores, one of the specialties of my nursery. I started with a plant my mother in law gave me over 25 years ago, divided from one her mother in law gave her. Orchids to you are what hellebores are to me so I know you can appreciate how much I love them. Hellebores. I ask because to rogue out seedlings from interior of the clump would be facilitated if roguing could be done at the time of cutting back flower stalks (as new growth emerges.) Woohoo I’m hooked on hellebores! H.foetidus is quite handsome, with its tall divided leaves and flowers that stand up well above the foliage. Carolyn. They are invading mostly sunny areas. I didn’t know they come in that many colors and designs. Find the four Hellebore varieties that are the most popular and easiest to grow. Carolyn. Others here swear you can’t grow them. For the brochure and registration information, click here. You can divided ‘Ivory Prince’ if you want. Carolyn. I’m on a 1/2 acre woodland lot in Portland Or and would dearly love for them to settle in. Water well, particularly during summer. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 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 am doing an article on this soon. Excellent article and gorgeous hybrid hellebores, Carolyn … the huge undivided drifts must be a stunning sight to behold. Remove dead flowers and leaves in spring, but otherwise do not prune. I have divided up many of my originals as I have a large south facing garden that I want to be completely under planted with hellebores. These are some of the hybrid hellebores that I think are so special that I would consider dividing them. Dear Carolyn, This year there aren’t many at all, although there are a lot of seedlings surrounding one of the plants. I love all your hellebores especially the double layered ones. If not, I am assuming it is too hot in Austin for hellebores. Dividing hellebores It is both straightforward, and practical, to divide most species, hybrids and cultivars. Hellebores are so easy-care that it takes a concerted effort to kill them. I'm not sure I can post a photo from my phone, but I have a large and thriving hybrid hellebore that I've had for just over two years. I never water or fertilize my hellebores, but I do apply ground leaves yearly. This may be better than self seeding as your new plant remains true to the parent plant. I suggested the topic because so many gardeners think hybrid hellebores are difficult to grow and wouldn’t think of dividing them. The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hellebores. You may apply a slow-release all-purpose … 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. So they are not just shade plants. Hellebores grow mainly in dappled shade. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc. 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. Helen, I hope you will try hellebores if they grow where you live in California. Dividing is best accomplished by digging the whole plant, washing the crown free of soil in order to make it easier to see what you are doing, and then cutting between the growth buds with a sharp knife. Position in semi-shade to full shade and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. The youngest and most vigorous growth is always at the edge of the clump, while the tired, woody and unproductive growth is at the centre. Any seedlings would be more easily visible and accessible at this time of cutting back foliage. They are native to western and southern Europe, including the Mediterranean and individual plants can live for up to 40 years. Then untie the foliage and split the plant using the traditional ‘two forks’ technique. I am so busy with my nursery right now that I don’t have time to answer all these questions. Back when I was writing for gardening magazines, I authored an article for Horticulture on dividing hybrid hellebores. I have been growing hellebores for many, many years now. They are wonderful plants. And your mature hellebores are enormous! They are both very unusual and lovely. I tried to divide an 8-9 yr. old helleborus but a tree-root is on top beneath the soil; latter tree has since been removed. For your first experience with dividing a hellebore, select a plant with between five and ten flowers, older plants are too woody. Corsican hellebores grow on fairly sunny rocky hillsides in Corsica, although I have grown them in full shade. 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. Learn how your comment data is processed. Carolyn. I’m thinking that, as you suggest, the plants themselves do quite well undivided, which is true in my own garden. Impressive article in Horticulture. 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. Carolyn. I have spent an extensive time here on your blog this morning and have learned a great deal about shade plants in general. It's not usually necessary for the health of the plant; but if you wish to divide them, this is best done in fall. 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. This might be the nicest comment I have gotten to date—the Gertrude Jekyll of PA!?! Hellebores take three to five years from seed. So that's hellebores. I would check with your local arboretum/botanical garden. Carolyn, your Hellebore posts (all of them) are marvelous and so informative. Your hellebores will be big soon enough. View Guide. Have been dividing every year chop large clump off healthy large plant, then just divide leaving dirt on, never have had any die. A decade ago, Peter Leigh began creating his own Hellebores, and now he's one of Australia's foremost breeders. on dividing hybrid hellebores. Hellebores can be divided, allowing you to create new plants for free. Carolyn, I apologize for my tardy comment on this outstanding post. I don’t water them during summer either. I have a perfect garden for them but it is just a pain getting them started. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. … What are they and what can be done to eliminate them chemical free? Visit our store in Monbulk, Victoria Open: 8:0am – 3:30pm Monday to Friday (excl. 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. I have a hellebore from Tasmania called ‘Mrs. Since what we grow are hellebore plants, that's often what I plant. Great advice Carolyn. I find that a lot of the things that you read about what you can’t do with plants are not in fact true. Dig an 8-inch-deep circle around the hellebore plant, 6 inches from its outermost leaves. It grows very well between rocks where the moisture drains down to it. However hellebores, like hostas, are best left to … Hellebores are so easy-care that it takes a concerted effort to kill them. Carolyn, I divided my hellebores a while ago. Watch out for the gold coloured Hellebores. Carolyn. They do not like to be moist but prefer well-drained conditions. I cut them back when I see new growth in the spring. Jan, H. argutifolius or Corsican hellebore and H. foetidus or bearsfoot hellebore are two of the types that can’t be divided the way I described. 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. I will look into adding them to my garden, but I fear I do not have conditions to meet their needs. I’ll keep your method in mind should I decide to divide any more. Hellebores require some NPK fertiliser in late autumn to ensure good flowering. Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. Seems you are the Gertrude Jekyll of Pennsylvania , Laura, I divide hybrid hellebores ideally before the flowers are all the way out, but they can be fully extended. I thought I read your article carefully but maybe I missed this. I suppose I should divide it? The roots are single and long with a nodule. The March 6 session of Charles Cresson’s Snowdrops and Other Winter Interest Plants Seminar has been rescheduled for March 13 and has a few spaces left. Since writing this, I discovered that none other than the famous Gertrude Jekyll and I agree on this point. Is it simply that they don’t thrive? In southern climates where the sun is not as harsh, hellebores can … What a great article, I will have to try this next spring. The American hellebore book written by Tyler and Burrell seems to discuss only cold hardiness. An economical way to increase your supply is to divide your own desirable plants. Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog. Carolyn. And planted in a shady area . Public Holidays) 10am – 2pm Saturday, excluding public holiday weekends Today I was using a hatchet and rock hammer to divide some really large hellebore clumps. You can lift and divide hellebores in autumn or early spring, but you need to get quite a mass of root out of the ground for success. A wholesale/retail mail-order nursery focused solely on Hellebores shipped my order this spring with some plants undersized to the point of being only a “hope and a prayer,” some with root system well-matched to the pot, and some plants seriously root-bound in the pot. I love Hellebores and have been adding new ones every year for the past several years…about 3, I think. Your articles on shade loving plants are delightful! Carolyn. The regular mulching helps keep them healthy and free-flowering. I didn’t break it up to small chunks though, more like just cutting it in half. How to grow hellebores in a pot. I am glad you agree because I envision all these gardeners hacking away at their plants based on what I consider erroneous advice in many gardening books. Propagating Hellebores . Please let me know in a comment/reply about your experiences with dividing hybrid hellebores.