How to plant hellebores

Also known as Christmas roses, hellebores announce the start of a new year with their beautiful saucer-shaped single or double flowers. Available in a range of colours, these beautiful hardy perennials will bring much needed colour and life to the winter garden. Try mixing with other perennials such as pulmonarias or spring bulbs like snowdrops, scillas, puschkinias, dwarf irises and crocuses.

Although they will tolerate a range of soils, hellebores prefer neutral to alkaline soil. Plant in dappled shade and provide leaf mould or compost when planting. They dislike dry or waterlogged soils and need shelter from strong cold winds.

Hellebores are supplied in 9 cm pots. Always unpack on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant. Take care! Their sap can cause skin irritation.

Potential problems, pests and diseases:

  • Aphids: these sap-eating insects can weaken plants and spread viruses. Whenever possible, pick off by hand using gloves.

  • Leaf spots: these bacterial/fungal diseases can usually be seen as sooty growths or spots on the leaves ⁠— these will progressively turn brown with a yellow margin before eventually dying. Remove and dispose of any infected leaves.

  • Hellebore black death: this disease most likely spread by aphids can cause new growth/plant to stunt. Black stripes may start appearing on the flowers, leaves and stems. Dig up and destroy any infected plants.
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