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How to grow hellebores

Hellebore plants are very tough plants that will thrive in most places. However they are happiest in rich soil in semi-shade. Please be aware they will form fairly large clumps and will need space to develop.


Light to partial shade. An ideal position would be under deciduous trees. Don’t plant too closely together - about a metre apart.


Well-drained rich soil. Add plenty of organic matter and compost before planting.


If the plant is very dry, stand the pot in water for a few hours before planting. You may need to cut the plant out of the pot if it is too root-bound. Untangle the roots or chop the bottom of the root-ball with a clean, sharp knife if necessary, to encourage growth. Do not bury the crown in the soil, leave it at the same level as in its pot. Water in well.

General care

Cut off all the old leaves before the new flowers emerge in the spring to avoid black spot. (Do not compost the old leaves, burn or take to the tip). Watch out for aphids., especially as the new leaves emerge. Mulch regularly.


Freely self-seeding, please note that the seedlings are quite difficult to move once established and can crowd the mother plant. Either cut the seed heads before the seeds spread everywhere or move the seedlings fairly quickly to a more suitable spot. It is also possible to divide mature plants in autumn though this is quite tough to do. You will need a very shard spade. They can also take a while to re-establish.

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