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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. It has to be my favourite plant in the garden, but I don't have the space for it to expand forever. The leaves appear to be evergreen, they don't die down. Would you divide it, and if so when? Thanks!

Morning bookmonster

i think it's a bit early to divide a 2 year plant.  Does it flower well?  How much space of your available area does it take up?  As it is your favourite plant in the garden I would leave it for a couple of years before dividing.

i divide anytime.....done it in autumn and spring.  Even in winter. however, I think late summer....early September is prob best.  I dig up the clumps....they are large things with a heavy deep root system.  I use a sharp bread knife or saw to cut in half.  Then I wash off with a hose to see clearly how the root system is and look where I can then pull apart.  this requires a little strength, patience and should feel/sense where the clump will separate. I pot up into good size pots using a mixture of mpc and a little dried manure or mushroom compost.


Papi Jo


"mpc" what is it?

Multi purpose compost


Papi Jo

Thanks, Topbird. I expect this abbreviation is well-known by British gardeners, but I'd never come across it.

Thanks for the tips! If you say September is best Verdun, would you leave it 'til this coming one or give it another year? I'm not desperate to do it, just starting to think. It's obviously in an ideal location, it's several times its original size. As you can see it's a substantial plant, I'm guessing it was a few years old when I bought it. It won't be that long before its size is causing issuies.

I would leave it for another year.  There are some experts here though who grow loads of hellebores.  I grow about 30 varieties I guess but that's nothing in comparison.  Hopefully they will add their comments too. 

Hi Verdun, mine have got pretty large and like them that way, will it do harm if I never divide them?


Everything Verdun has advised is exactly as I have done. I had to move my three yr old hellebore so decided to chop it up at the same time. They are now springing into growth apart from one unlucky piece knocked by big feet and eaten by slugs 

As I understand it, the most delicate part of,a hellebore is around the main stem.  Recall a few years ago being told that so its something I've been aware of.  

I had one much smaller than that and I chopped it in half with a spade (not knowing what it was I confess) late last spring. Both parts have thrived and flowered this year.

hellebores would be more than happy never to be divided I think.  

Thanks for all the advice! The main things I divide are geraniums and ice plant, which we have like weeds.


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