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The potty gardener

my helebores were beautiful this year but should I now remove the old flowers?

I always remove old flowers, why can I not do it for hellebores?

Green Magpie

I think it's generally recommended to remove the old flowers, unless you want them to set seed, in which case leave them as they are. Removing the old leaves is a good idea and can't do any harm. I have removed the old foliage on mine but left most of the flowers, as they're still quite attractive, but I'll cut them back soon.


Unless you want the seed yes deadhead them.  If the flowers are left you will get lots of little hellebores popping up next year, the seeds don't travel far so all the seedlings are likely to be close to the parent plant and will compete so lift and pot up if you want them.



I tend to leave the flowers in mine because I like the way they fade. The double one seems to be sterile but the single one is setting seeds this year.


Forgive my quirky humoured previous reply. All of the above explains what I chose to omit, but personally, I would allow Hellebores to set seed if only because you cannot have enough of this elegant and garden worthy plant and I rarely say no to a free plant!

I do believe removing old leaves is useful because they can carry fungal diseases or hide emerging flowers and foliage in late winter, although I'm not sure what time of year this job is done.  

I'm a newbie with Hellebore and am still reaserching them

I cut off the old leaves on h.Niger and h.orientalis as the young shoots start to unfurl in late winter/ early spring, but not on h.argutifolius, the Corsican hellebore, which has a different habit. I cut the latter back hard when the flowers start looking tatty, and the flowers off the others in a rather haphazard way!
Green Magpie

I think the time to remove the older foliage is in the late winter as the flowers begin to show. Then you can take off a few more leaves during the spring as new ones grow to replace them.

I only discovered hellebores by accident a few years ago when I got a neglected tray of them from Focus for next to nothing, and decided to try them out. They're now very well established and I really love them.


Quite agree with Wintersong.  Let them seed and now if you lift the leaves and look underneath and you will probably see a mass of tiny seedlings.  Pot them up individually and put them somewhere out of the hot sun to bring them on and then pop them in the ground in the autumn and you'll have a mass of new plants for free.  Give some to friends too - always appreciated.  


The potty gardener

Thank you everyone for your varied opinions. As I only have pots to grow plants in I don't think I will need any more plants so will cut the old flowers off. Then cut back some old leaves in the winter.


need to move one of my hellebores what time of the year do you move them

Answered on your hellebore thread glenn 

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