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Bought some Hellibores yesterday - three pots, quite large plants, do they spread easily/quickly, or do they keep themselves together? Just trying to work out how best to locate/plant them (ie, in a solid group, or spaced a bit further apart).

They'll get bigger but they don't have invasive roots. Seed like mad though

flowering rose

They do seed and I have had a few come up but they are not invasive .


I have a forest of them but they're not hard to remove. Problem is I let them all grow on to see if there are any good ones in there. You do get some but there is a tendency to seed back to the dirty pinks.

I had saved some hellebore plants in pots on my allotment whilst my garden was a building site. hen I fetched them back I found the large plants split quite easily into several small ones. At this time of year the big leaves should be removed so the flowers can be seen more easily. Leaves will soon replace themselves in the growing season.



I'd allow quite a bit of room between plants as the leaves flop/sprawl as the season continues.

They will self-seed. I leave some, but move a lot as they are usually too close to the parent. I have some pots of babies from my Ashwood plants doing nicely. The seedlings flower themselves after 4-5yrs, but yes, do tend to be the mucky pink/burgundy unless you are very lucky! J.

Try the doubles. They do not seed. I have been lucky with a couple of seedlings that have been respectively good and excellent. I grow a group of 20 or so with space between for other perennials....I.e. dicentras, astilbes, Astrantias, aconitums. Agastaches, perennial salvias, Acteas, etc. ......and bulbs like daffodils and lilies. I guess I allow 3 or 4 feet apart. Floweriing clumps are quite big but when the spent flowers are removed in late spring they form nice evergreen mounds to offset other plants. Quite a low maintenance system too. But, what a glorious show hellebore orientalis provide.

Well worth the space. I love them. I'm watching them building up for it now. Just need to get all those mankey leaves off first

Hiya nutcutlet. I remove all leaves in early autumn. It seems some experts claim this weakens hellebores but I find it keeps them healthy, vigorous and allows me to see the emerging flower buds. I have several clumps already in full flower, albeit at half- height at mo but the rest are showing their buds at ground level. Exciting, int it?

I think that's a good idea Verdun. If only because most years I'd be walking on dry soil not the squelch I've got now. It's very exciting at this time. Always something out there. Bulbs appearing, so what if they slow up when the real winter comes. catkins on hazel, alder. garryea. The little cyclamen coum, arum italicum, flowering shrubs. absolutely wonderful.

You're inspiring me nutcutlet, but you're right..gardens are coming alive

The leaf removal only applies to H, orientalis and its hybrids, you should only remove dead or dying leaves from the other types, especially H. niger and the evergreen ones.


I've just bought a niger (third try). Never had one live long enough to remove the leaves.   Any idea where I might be going wrong there?

I have the native ones, they seed themselves about and the leaves look nasty after a while. I treat them as biennials, or perhaps the three year equivalent, then dump them and keep the younger ones. Otherwise I only have the orientalis hybrids and they do very well indeed.


H foetidus is the native one and I do the same. H. argutifolius is another one where I pull out the older plants after they have seeded around.

Cannot hwelp with niger, it refuses to grow for us too. I did get seed from one a few years back and grew dozens of babies. I tried them all over the garden, none survived.


I'd forgotten argutifolius. That would be splendid if it didn't flop everywhere. Foetidus flops about as well but not quite so much. I shall try and get some going amongst the trees round the meadow. It seems the right place for them. 


Niger is a prob.....I had some success, esp with Potters Wheel managing to keep it for 4 years. Was tempted yesterday to try again but they are expensive if they last just one season. Corsicus grows well for me though and never gets any leaf disease. I simply remove old flowered stems in spring. I think Niger grows best in pots with gravel at the base, fed well during summer, in John innis number 3 and in partial shade but its disinclined to be a true perennial for me.
....meant to say with gravel over the top of the rootball because rain spoils the flowers if grown in soil.
Bunny ...
Interesting about Niger mine struggling at the moment , maybe I should try it in a pot . It is in gravel area now though.

Hellebore heaven. Sounds good Dove.