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Hi. Got these 3 Hellebores as plug plants in the spring, planted them up in the sized pots I was told to by the supplier. I have watered them every time I watered the garden (most days) and they have been by the back wall of the house, not in sun. They don't look very happy 

 Anyone able to let me know if I can rescue them or if they are past it? 

Pic 1 is Double Purple

Pic 2 is Single Shades of Night

Pic 3 is Single White Speckled

They are all "Harrington Hellebores" from Twelve Nunns website (if that helps) 

Thanks in advance




Simply been over watered. ,those small plants can't cope with all that  watering and now the temp is dropping the sogginess is emphasised.  I'm sure those pots are quite heavy.

Cut back on the watering.  What made you think they needed to be watered so much?


Thanks Verdun. Am feeling ashamed now  The soil in the pots looked dry so I watered them. Do you think, if I leave them alone for a bit they will get better?


if you plant them out they'll be even better. Except for the bottom one maybe

The brown one in pic 3 has had it, I'm afraid. You've a remote chance with the other 2 in that pot, so leave them in there on the off-chance they'll pull through.

The ones in pic 1 & 2 have a good chance of making it though if you look after them properly.


Maybe 4thpanda.  One looks worse than the rest, doesn't it?  I would have them more in the open now too...the light levels now being less.  Hellebores will start to make growth in the new year.  (dont expect flowers though)


Thanks everyone. I really love these plants so am gutted that I have over watered them. I thought they were too small for flowers for this coming Spring, but I was hoping they were an investment for the future. If they survive they'll have lovely flowers eventually 


Wonder why you were told to use such big pots?  I usually put plug plants into a 9cm pot to grow on. That gives you just enough compost in the bottom for roots to grow and a little room round the sides. Little chance of overwatering then.


They said 2 litres.  I did wonder, but as a novice I did what they told me which was more than Suttons did - they didn't even tell me what my plants were!


i've always had more success with hellebores in deep pots rather than shallow ones


i had tall pots too. Never though about using them. Will bear that in mind if I buy hellebore plugs again 

Those plants were small plugs weren't they 4thpanda?  Think you prob read care instructions over quickly.  As said, they should have been in 9cm pots then moved on to 1 litre in mid summer.  No. Would not plant them out in the garden until spring.  However, at that time, if they are growing well, I would pot on again into 2 or 3 litre pots.  Tall pots a big no no too, I'm afraid, for those plugs.  Small pots first, always.  Friend of mine bought some of those plugs.....from ashwood....and I potted into  9cm pots then Imto 1 litres in August, I think.   They will remain in those pots outside until the spring.  They are very healthy and vigorous.  


I think I'm learning that the general rule is only pot on a bit at a time.  An Acer lady told me that at Hampton Court a couple of years ago.  She gave me strict instructions about potting on a size at a time, and always before the end of July.  Otherwise the plants exhaust themselves trying to grow roots to fill the pot.  Not sure what they do when they get put in the ground, as they have a lot of space to fill there??

However, it seems to work, and also seems to be applicable to all plants, not just acers.


It is chicky. I only pot on when plants are well and truly established in pots and then just up enough to give then a little more growing space.

 The problem is the compost. Multi purpose is just too water retentive and most people overwater. In the ground water disperses a rule, always an exception like clay tho....There are stones and other bits of debris in the ground too which help with drainage. Multi purpose actually isn't in my opinion. Far better to use John Innes which has soil in it and doesn't act like a sponge!

Addict, tend to agree with you.  Some composts, however, dry out too quickly too.  Trouble is its difficult to anticipate just how each brand of mpc will perform.  John innes,,yes, is a much better option.  Currently I have 2 brands of mpc and they are totally different. I use one as a mulch around newly planted stuff and the other as potting medium but neither is ideal.  As a mulch I improve it by mixing in dried manure.   As for potting on I regard the plant's requirements .... what conditions it prefers, etc., ......and assess individually.



I've struggled a lot with potting-on compost being either too dry or too water-retentive.  This year I ended up mixing my own 'recipe' and its worked a lot better for me with far better growth and stronger roots.  My 'recipe' is 40% sieved multi-purpose, 40% John Innes No 2, 10% Perlite and 10% Vermiculite.  I don't know why it works but it does. I previously was losing plants to mildew (particularly lavender and begonia) or, when I used the John Innes alone, was struggling with the soil drying out too quickly.  I've also been using narrower, taller pots to encourage longer roots.

Sounds lot better than the usual mpc. MACAVITYTHECAT.  I have used my own sieved soil, sieved mpc, and perlite for containers.  One bonus reason for the mixture.....was a lack of vine weevils.  ESP with top dressing of gravel

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