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20 messages
11/12/2013 at 11:37

I am just wondering when I cut back my Hellebores? I have two and one of them is showing new buds growing from the base of the plant.

I have heard you cut back the old foliage? Is this true and if so how much do I cut back and how do I know which is the old foliage?

11/12/2013 at 11:46

I would cut back all  the leaves at ground level right now, just as the new buds are showing.  

I only had two once upon a time ................. 

11/12/2013 at 11:52

Depends on the type. H. niger should only have dead leaves removed. H. x hybridus is the one where all the old leaves are removed. I do ours in February though, as I like old leaves to protect the crown over winter.

11/12/2013 at 11:56

Is there anyway to tell which I have?

11/12/2013 at 12:05

Post a picture is the easiest way.

11/12/2013 at 13:28

I have flower buds just emerging on some of my hellebores.  So, without their leaves they can easily be appreciated as they elongate.  

11/12/2013 at 15:29

I leave mine until spring as I like the flowers and the leaves.

11/12/2013 at 15:33

I do mine about mid winter. I've done a few. The leaves on mine don't look very pretty by the time the flowers come round but they never all get done.

11/12/2013 at 19:11

I tend to leave the old foliage until after the flowering stems have begun to form seed heads - this affords a certain amount of support/ shelter for the developing buds. If I spot any flower stems getting 'caught up' under the foliage, a bit of help flicking offending leaves out of the way generally does the trick.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/35081.jpg?width=512&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/35082.jpg?width=474&height=350&mode=max

 Two pics from late last winter (March - April 2013), prior to foliage trimming.

11/12/2013 at 23:16

I cut back any leaves that look unsightly in the shady border at the end of the garden under the Mahonia.  There is always a beautiful display in early Spring.

11/12/2013 at 23:25

I've heard that it depends if they are Christmas roses or Lenten roses that flower later. I have Lenten roses and I cut the leaves off in the winter which stops disease and untidy leaves getting in the way of the flowers. Then the plant grows fresh, new leaves in the spring which I leave on all summer.

12/12/2013 at 06:51
Turnipfarmer wrote (see)

I am just wondering when I cut back my Hellebores? I have two and one of them is showing new buds growing from the base of the plant.

I have heard you cut back the old foliage? Is this true and if so how much do I cut back and how do I know which is the old foliage?

Dovefromabove wrote (see)

I would cut back all  the leaves at ground level right now, just as the new buds are showing. ....

To clarify - I understood the question was about plants that have flower buds now -
I take all the fully formed leaves off the winter flowering varieties as the flower buds appear.

Later flowering varieties, I remove old  leaves when their flower buds are forming. 

12/12/2013 at 11:45

I honestly can't remember when my flowered exactly, but must have been around Feb/Mar this year.

Like Turnip, the fresh growth is visible coming through from the base. Leaves a bit straggly and not too pretty.

So Dove, ought we leave the old leaves in place until the New Year? I also thought that the old leaves di something to protect the newly-emerging leaves. Are they very prolific in your garden then? Oh no, I got 5 for a raised bed this year and am now having visions of them taking over the entire garden 

12/12/2013 at 11:53

They won't take over if you don't let them seed Jess. Their roots aren't invasive. 

12/12/2013 at 11:55

Thanks nut - I took the seed heads off most of them in the Summer, as was a bit concerned about an invasion!

12/12/2013 at 12:01

Good idea Jess, they make a lot of seed and are reliable germinators. They're everywhere here, along with the cyclamen. 

12/12/2013 at 12:21

I love them nut, but my garden's tiny so everything has to have its space and not invade. Ah, if I had a large garden like some of you lot, I'd let so many of my perennials go mad!

12/12/2013 at 15:05

I think its personal choice with most of them. Hellebores are pretty hardy but the flowers can be hit by frost. Personally I prefer leaves off but some customers want all left on and others like just the messy ones cut off. No hard and fast rules just do what you like the look of.

12/12/2013 at 15:50

Jess, the reason I'm accumulating hellebores is because I keep buying them - it's becoming an addiction   Most of mine are still in pots.  

In my last garden I had one which self seeded a few babies each year which I potted up and gave to friends and relatives - it's unlikely that you'll have to hack your way out of the garden because of hellebores 

12/12/2013 at 19:08

Jess, don't worry about hellebores seeding.  I have so many......mostly by purchase....that I prevent most from seeding.  As the flowers past their peak cut them off.  Problem solved

I remove leaves because I can see nothing but flowers then.  It also helps create a healthy disease free plant.  I really don't think there is any downside to removing all the leaves right now. (you can also easily see if there are seedlings too)

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