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Talkback: Growing hellebores

I started off with one pink and two white Hellebores now I have dozens of white and still only one pink,and the rest of the garden covered w...

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I started off with one pink and two white Hellebores now I have dozens of white and still only one pink,and the rest of the garden covered with forget me knots.
Adam Pasco
Now that's what I love about gardening ... plants for free!

I started with one white and one a dusky pink. The pink one has produced more offspring.  I also have forget me nots everywhere... A testament to the fact that I hoe very little, and leave a lot of self setters when I know what they are.


I pull out just about every forgetmenot I can see at the end of the flowering season, which leaves me enough to be gorgeous but not totally overrun!!  

The darker reddish hellebores have started to push up buds, more than I expected i am happy to say, while the white ones have been open for a while - the pale one with the spotted inside is fully open, lots of flowers and beautiful.

Amazing how much flowering there is going on out there, tho' from indoors it doesn't look as if anything is happening at all except snowdrops and polyanthus - but it isn't so.  Little irises, the reticula group, and the first hepatica nobilis shining out at me from a patch of greenery where it must have self seeded - more power to it and long may it spread. 


Spring is 


I have 3 hellebores flowering and one nearly trying. That makes me a happy bunny. I'm scared all my new buds are going to get frosted if the weather turns ????


Don't worry Red - hellebore flowers withstand a good frost.  They may look a bit droopy first thing, but by midday they will be nodding away like nothing has happened.  Bit like daffodils


Fidget, how many have you got now? Lol  I think you have been sucked into the beauty of the helibore 


Well, not counting the ones I had before that seeded around, I got three versions of H. niger for the front, a double queen, Mrs Betty Ranicar, Shooting star, a harvington pink spotted, A kingston cardinal (double), and then from Ashwoods  i got a single yellow,a double yellow, two double pink speckled, 2 neon singles, a double picotee.....and 10 plugs of washfield doubles from T&M to grow on.   ..oh and a silver dollar with pretty silver leaves.   I guess I got Helleboritis,  but not as bad as Verdun.

 I've just got to build the stone wall around the new bed under the Oak.(about 3 ft high... the wall not the Oak)


Not to mention the new book on Hellebores.........

I should get some interesting offspring I hope.

Not a bad "itis" to have though, is it fidget?  


No garden passion is, everything is wonderful in its own right and time - wish I had more space for the collections I'd love to have, but as it is everything overgrows everything else - & more things will somehow get here and planted somewhere.  Do you think anyone would notice if thee  grassy area (can't call it a lawn under the trades description rules!), got a bit smaller?  Again!!!


Depends how subtle you are about digging it up.   Will OH mind?   Less to mow and trim.

I was out tidying my hellébores up yesterday.  Labels long gone but I have some luscious black flowered ones and some deep purple and deep red plus cream with spots and 2 out of the 3 clumps of the green flowered foetidus have been flattened by the doglets chasing rats.    Bah humbug.

No sign of babies to grow on so far but I have 3 more big clumps to trim back today so we'll see and I'll be collecting seeds when they ripen..

gardenning granny

some advice, then, please FB.  I have a beautiful double yellow hellebore which appeared to selfseed last year - of course I potted up the seedlings, but how long will they take to flower, and will they come true?

I also have a very beautiful double pink one....but I still love the "common or garden" pink ones which range from palest through to quite a deep pink, with speckled inner petals, and the white ones which also selfseed everywhere.



They take about three years to really get going with flowers. One piece of advice about them ...they absolutely hate having their roots exposed to the air. So, and this is just me, I tend to take a bucket of water with me when digging them up (Sept/Oct is the best time as that is when they begin to grow new roots.) I drop the dug up plants into the water to transport them to the potting shed.

H. niger will not grow here, try as I might and sadly neither will the x sternii hybrids which are being sold at present. Expensive things to plant and watch die.

Having said that we do have quite a few hundred of the orientalis hybrids of all colours except a beautiful peach coloured one which we have only ever seen once and did not buy.

We also have Hh. tibetanus. foetidus, lividus, purpurascens and some other species which have lost their labels.


I am certainly no expert on Hellebores. Lavished  with  wilful neglect, and the odd top dressing of compost, they just get  on with it.

I expect seedlings to take two or three years to get flowering. A 1 yr seedling I potted, and then positionedin a semi shaded place, produced a few flowers the 2nd year, and made a nice clump this year. Then I dug it up for kef.

I will be taking any seeds produced off the doubles, sowing in plug trays and then hoping for some lovely offspring.


For the first time ever I have Helleborus niger, still alive from last year, increased in size and lots of flowers. Previously I've bought them, flowered once, never seen again.


Adam Pasco

Hi nutcutlet. Exactly the same thing has happened to me before. I've thought that my Helleborus niger just got too dry in its shady site during summer, and didn't pull through. I've never got it to establish, unlike the Oriental hybrids and H. argutifolius that are far more reliable. Helleborus lividus has been good for me too.


My lividus didn't make it through last winter