Q&As/Bulbs and Tubers/Growing Hellebores

Question

Each year, my Hellebores do not seem to flower as well as they should, having short stems and small flowers. They are growing in a damp, shady spot and some of the plants have not flowered for years. I have not broken them up for several years, could this be the problem?

Answer

Hellebores add lovely colour to a winter garden and are often referred to as the ‘winter rose’. There could be two reasons why you are experiencing the problems you describe with your Hellebores. You mention the plants are in a damp shady spot - it may be that the ground is too wet which will prevent the full development of the plant and impact its free flowering nature. Although a hardy perennial, they do prefer a well drained soil. 

For best results Hellebores do need to be lifted and divided every 3-4 years. At this time some of the older plants should be discarded. New plants should be divided and replanted in proximity to the mother plant (or areas you choose). This will ensure healthy free flowering plants. Hellebores thrive on organic matter so ensure you add plenty of compost to the soil where you will be transplanting or planting your young new plants.

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