I don’t water them during summer either. Purchase on Amazon. Hellebores thrive in neutral to alkaline soils that are moist but well-drained, fertile and humus-rich. Others here swear you can’t grow them. Donna, All they need where you live is good drainage, but I am not sure about the zone–is that what you mean? We had a hard winter this year and the hellebores seem to have loved it because they are blooming profusely. Any solution/recommendations? It grows very well between rocks where the moisture drains down to it. In fact 15 species and at least 100 different colours and varieties of hellebores. It comes up small with three leaflets but develops more if left to mature. Carolyn. Picked hellebore flowers don't last well in a vase, so they are best displayed as floating flowers in a flat bowl. Only by digging the whole plant up can you avoid injury to the plant by viewing the unique way each individual plant needs to be divided. Summer heat is not a problem as long as conditions are not too humid and they are in shade. Though I will be getting a Christmas Rose, I have the perfect spot…, Janet, Good, don’t divide them and let them get huge. I have a perfect garden for them but it is just a pain getting them started. However, the most beautiful hybrid hellebore specimens in my garden are my large clumps that have never been divided. Carolyn, Great post Carolyn, though I’m not sure I want to divide any of the hellebores I have at the moment. Hellebores have very extensive, woody root systems and dividing them with an inadequate tool can be dangerous. I’ve tried with no luck on these. I just did that to my ground orchids recently, they are easier to divide when you take out the whole plant and see the natural allignments of the plant rppts as a guidance to cut and divide the plant. Carolyn. Planting guide for Winter Roses (Hellebores) Making Your Hellebore Selection. Your articles on shade loving plants are delightful! Carolyn, your Hellebore posts (all of them) are marvelous and so informative. An economical way to increase your supply is to divide your own desirable plants. I was mortified. Very helpful advise! Can You Divide Lenten Rose? Carolyn. Any seedlings would be more easily visible and accessible at this time of cutting back foliage. I just realized that I didn’t answer your question in this post. To keep soils moist incorporate plenty of compost when planting and mulch well. Hellebore is the common spelling for Helleborus spp., a genus of flowering perennials that grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, depending on species.Ideally, transplant hellebores during their dormant period in fall.The popular variety lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, adapts most readily to transplanting. We are slowly transforming our garden into a woodland garden and the lawn area gets progressively smaller We have a pesky invader and I don’t know what it is: it has 3 leaves at the top of a stem like a Trillium and an elongated green flower. Hybrid hellebores are expensive relative to other perennials because it takes three to five years for them to bloom. I divided the one a couple of years ago because it was the only one I owned at the time! P x, Pam, I was very excited to have a feature article in Horticulture, but generally writing magazine articles wasn’t for me for the reasons I have explained in previous replies. I only divide a hellebore if  it is so special that I can’t replicate it without division. The best time to divide is in early spring before they flower. And while your plant has been stressed, it sounds like you are giving it the TLC it needs right now. Holley, Now I think I should have been more restrained in my size estimate. I can not say I have ever divided hellebores, so nothing to add. In 1898, in Wood and Garden, she wrote: “I never divide things by brutally chopping them across with the spade….The only safe way [to divide a Christmas rose] is to wash the clumps well out and look carefully for the points of attachment, and cut them either with knife or chisel….”. Public Holidays) 10am – 2pm Saturday, excluding public holiday weekends I did this 2 yrs ago…and last year, I had a lot of buds on both. That way you avoid unnecessary injury to the plant. I love Hellebores and have been adding new ones every year for the past several years…about 3, I think. I have just ordered more and have a mix of types…including argutifolius, foetidus ‘just because’ I wanted to;-) I love them…picking out a favorite is way to hard for me! Jill, There is really nothing to divide because they produce a woody stalk from a central point. Hope to c what will happen & will be surprised at the flower color ….planted each “node” approx 8″ apart and they covered a 3’x6′ area .keeping my fingers crossed for next year :)))), This is a great post…I learned so much from it. I’m thinking that, as you suggest, the plants themselves do quite well undivided, which is true in my own garden. Plant them in the garden with dwarf bulbs and cyclamen, magnolias and camellias to get the most fantastic display during winter. Great instructions and I whole heartedly agree one should not divide Hellebores while they are in the ground. Carolyn. For photographs of the full range of their colors, please read my article, Hybrid hellebores are expensive relative to other perennials because it takes three to five years for them to bloom. The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. And, whereas I used to be a native or nothing snob I have now learned to embrace any non invasive plant that will grow for me. Carolyn. Maybe next autumn I will be ready for the experience. I planted a few hellebores for the first time last year – we’ll see in a few years if they bloom!!! Is it simply that they don’t thrive? Hellebores: A Comprehensive … Hellebores grow mainly in dappled shade. Hellebore is an elegant perennial winter flower, which is suitable for shady areas during late winter and spring. Hellebores are not difficult to grow in the cooler temperate areas of Australia. Hi Carolyn, I would just dig around the plant, pull it out from under whatever is on top, and proceed with dividing. Another special is a H. orientalis cultivar - with its white star shaped big bloom and a little green at the base of the petal. Remove dead flowers and leaves in spring, but otherwise do not prune. Love the sign of spring from this plant, cut all dead leaves back hard every year. They are very good at producing seedlings, and the new plants look exactly like the parents unlike hybrid hellebores. Carolyn. They usually grow best in a position with shade for most of the day. It’s important to be careful while pruning, however, as the sap of the plant can irritate the skin. Reproduced below is my step-by-step guide to dividing a hybrid hellebore. And I did it by digging directly into it, while in the ground, cutting it in half. The root system is past loosening roots and spreading them out into compost amended soil. I suggested the topic because so many gardeners think hybrid hellebores are difficult to grow and wouldn’t think of dividing them. Hi Carolyn, I love your blog and all of the information you share with us. I have divided up many of my originals as I have a large south facing garden that I want to be completely under planted with hellebores. Impressive article in Horticulture. They’ve both done well until this year. With their winter flowering and fascinating range of flower and foliage forms, Hellebores are deservedly popular. For the root-bound plants, leave the root system in its current “solid mass”? Horticulture photo shoot at my potting bench. I have a hellebore from Tasmania called ‘Mrs. Hellebores are so easy-care that it takes a concerted effort to kill them. Dear Carolyn, Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Hellebores: Divide and Multiply By Carmine Carosella, Fairfax Master Gardener You’ve seen all those fancy hellebores at the garden shops, and they set your heart aflutter. Oh, my, you have me coveting some of those wonderful hybrids. Certainly not enough to make up for the time my article on dwarf Jacob’s ladder was illustrated with a photo of Spanish bluebells. I am so busy with my nursery right now that I don’t have time to answer all these questions. Sometimes the flower has a little brown rim. Carolyn, I apologize for my tardy comment on this outstanding post. Things I couldn’t grow in California ware peonies, oak leaf hydrangeas, and hellebore. It is easiest to dig the entire plant and shake or wash off the soil, so you can see where the buds are on the crown. I now have over 50 different plants. For your first attempt, separate your plant into no more than three divisions. Now that I’ve ordered more I doubt I’ll need to. Today I was using a hatchet and rock hammer to divide some really large hellebore clumps. You can move the seedlings of these varieties in winter. Hellebores can be grown permanently in pots and placed in a prominent position once they are in bloom. I love hearing about experiments like this on your blog. I thought I read your article carefully but maybe I missed this. Hellebores are tough garden plants, well suited to the climate of south eastern Australia. Nursery Happenings: I am currently accepting orders for snowdrops, including  mail orders. Let me know how it works when you try it. You can divided ‘Ivory Prince’ if you want. It is not a hybrid hellebore, but rather a species cross featuring Christmas rose as a parent and making it dividable. This is the method I use to divide almost all plants, not just hellebores. You might have to do this with hosta or daylilies but even those should first be attempted by your suggested method. Helleborus cyclophyllus has yellowy green flowers and a slight perfume. They will need to be divided or else moved into larger pots as the clumps expand. However hellebores, like hostas, are best left to … Hellebores are so easy-care that it takes a concerted effort to kill them. Betty Ranicar’ that I love. It will be awhile before I can divide the little plants I got from you, but I wanted to let you know that one of the Red Ladies is blooming for me. Is the best time to move them like the clump kind, when they start to bloom? The are easily pulled out but come back even more profusely. Hellebores are part of the Ranunculaceae family, which includes Ranunculus, Anenomes and Clematis. I would check with your local arboretum/botanical garden. I’m inspired! Position in semi-shade to full shade and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. We don’t grow hellebores here in Austin but you never know what the future holds! To keep soils moist incorporate plenty of compost when planting and mulch well. I read web-sites which said that you should wait till after hellebores flower before dividing them. They don’t need dividing or staking or fertilizing, they just do their thing without much gardener intervention. Dividing hellebore plants is not necessary, but it can enhance flowering in older plants. I love all your hellebores especially the double layered ones. Carolyn. Carolyn, i was just gifted with a huge box of corsican hellebores which had been dug and divided. It is possible to divide or move clumps of hellebores in autumn, though they will sulk for a while afterwards. I am taking reservations for my March 18 & 19 Hellebore Seminars. Carolyn. Growing these plants in total shade, means less leaf growth. Great how-to advice!! Choose a pot at least twice the size as the selected plant. The March 6 session of Charles Cresson’s Snowdrops and Other Winter Interest Plants Seminar has been rescheduled for March 13 and has a few spaces left. One more question, a neighbor is going to give me some of his heleborus plants, he has a lot, his garden is over 20 years old. Carolyn, Dear Carolyn, Another very informative posting in your hellebores series. Propagating Hellebores . Carolyn. By removing the most vigorous … How to divide Hellebores. Trim back the edges of root mass? I am very happy with the progress of my blog, and I really love writing about plants. I was wondering about care for hellebores in the fall. I divide them when they bloom in the spring. While dividing and transplanting hellebores is usually done in early fall or late winter, sometimes circumstances require us to do so at an inopportune time. Carolyn. You make the process seem so clear and straightforward. I just purchased a white hellebore. The method outlined below can also be applied to all species hellebores except Majorcan hellebore (, Since writing this, I discovered that none other than the famous Gertrude Jekyll and I agree on this point. Carolyn. I’ve actually never seen a hellebore in person – I’m hoping mine will live. Firmly tamp down the soil, water well, and mulch with ground leaves. Helen, I hope you will try hellebores if they grow where you live in California. Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade. I am doing an article on this soon. I deadhead mine because I don’t want seedlings. (My gut instincts aren’t always right by the way …) Carolyn. I never think to divide hellebores as there are so many volunteers, but as you say, the expense of certain hybrid plants makes it worth the effort. Also, when do you divide them? Great advice Carolyn. I have tried before to transplant these rather large specimens into my garden with no luck. They are available in a range of colours, such as earthy whites, greens, yellows and deep purples, often with speckles and flashes of colour. That last collage is a stunner, too! Root seems to be exactly on top of half of plant. thank you, Carolyn, Great info! Carolyn. One of your replies mentions using “a hatchet and rock hammer to divide some really large hellebore clumps.” Have you ever tried a sawzall? Andrea, What an incredible compliment. In southern climates where the sun is not as harsh, hellebores can … They do well in an open garden, but need mulching and like a more acidic soil. I find that a lot of the things that you read about what you can’t do with plants are not in fact true. Hellebores can be divided, allowing you to create new plants for free. Carolyn. I do it all the time successfully. Also extract any seedlings from the crown because you will get new plants crowding your existing plant. For details about how your personal information will be handled by the ABC, please see our Privacy Collection Statement. I had a gut instinct that they would be OK, because the root ball was like a solid clump, and they were. Thanks for a terrific post, filled with lovely photos and excellent advice. Carolyn, great tips and advice. Hi Carolyn, i don’t know hellebores because we dont have them here, just see them in photos. This is also a good way to get more of the three species that I mentioned that can’t be divided. However I intend to answer them in a blog post updating my original post on dividing hellebore—stay tuned. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You probably can’t read the fine print so I will narrate the high points to go with the photos. Seems you are the Gertrude Jekyll of Pennsylvania , Laura, I divide hybrid hellebores ideally before the flowers are all the way out, but they can be fully extended. Use the spade's sharp point to loosen the soil as you go. A wholesale/retail mail-order nursery focused solely on Hellebores shipped my order this spring with some plants undersized to the point of being only a “hope and a prayer,” some with root system well-matched to the pot, and some plants seriously root-bound in the pot. Author: B Carolyn, Hi Carolyn, I always though you should not divide hellebores but then last year I gave it a try and I’m so happy to say I have had success. I have been growing hellebores for many, many years now. . Since I can’t grow them here, I shall just continue to admire that collage a little while more. I had no idea you could do this and do like the method. Thanks, Carolyn, Hi Carolyn, I’ve just discovered your blog and know it will be fun to return often. An economical way to increase your supply is to divide your own desirable plants. Then untie the foliage and split the plant using the traditional ‘two forks’ technique. Woohoo I’m hooked on hellebores! Thanks, Marguerite. The root system is extensive, try to remove as much root, and as much soil, as possible. Your hellebores are amazing! Nothing could be further from the truth: they are easy to grow and propagate by division. H.foetidus is quite handsome, with its tall divided leaves and flowers that stand up well above the foliage. Hellebores can be propagated by division. Where to plant. Alistair, What they really are are winter beauties. But first a warning: do not simply detach pieces from the edge of your cherished clump and replant it elsewhere or give it away. on dividing hybrid hellebores. How to divide Hellebores. The hellebore has surprised me this past year with seed sprouted baby plants! Carolyn. ORDER BY PHONE CALL 1300 606 242. Hellebores are best divided in early spring or autumn. Back when I was writing for gardening magazines, I authored an article for Horticulture on dividing hybrid hellebores. The plants that are 4′ across are almost 20 years old and are in a location where the hellebores grow larger than anywhere else for no reason that I can explain. It is so exciting to see you holding those plants and knowing the great feeling of seeing your plants natural way of showing you where to divide. I think replanting is a breeze, I have found that when I replant or repot any plant that it is best to do it just before sundown, allowing time of course, do the same with house plants at night, and use your plant instincts, it’s never failed me. They are both very unusual and lovely. In 1898, in, Snowdrops and Other Winter Interest Plants Seminar, March GBBD: The Philadelphia International Flower Show. This may be better than self seeding as your new plant remains true to the parent plant. The roots are single and long with a nodule. What's more, if you plant a few plants now, they'll reward you with wonderful flowers over many, many years. This entry was posted on March 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm and is filed under hellebores, How to, Shade Perennials with tags dviding hybrid hellebores, Helleborus x hybridus, hybrid hellebores. I suggested the topic because so many gardeners think hybrid hellebores are difficult to grow and wouldn’t think of dividing them. Hybrid hellebores are an ideal plant with their large flowers, which are ornamental in the mid-Atlantic from February (and sometimes earlier) to May, substantial wintergreen leaves, and resistance to deer. Martha, It is really not clear from your description what the problem is if the tree is gone. Yesterday I was moving several Ivory Princes and thought to myself I should divide a few but when I dug them I just didn’t have the heart as I was not sure how it would do. So that's hellebores. They do not like to be moist but prefer well-drained conditions. Nothing could be further from the truth: they are easy to grow and propagate by division. Hellebores are generally healthy, with few issues. Knew you were an expert but am impressed at how famous you are too. I tried to divide an 8-9 yr. old helleborus but a tree-root is on top beneath the soil; latter tree has since been removed. Dig the whole plant and wash off the soil. Be sure to plant Lenten rose in well draining, organic soil. So I divided it into 14 sections some with leaves others with tiny buds beginning …. Timing of seed germination around mother plants in the ground seems to be late-winter. I bought 3 hellebores last spring and I have blooms now! Hellebores can be propagated by division. I know of someone who grows them in GA so hopefully you have tried them and have had success. I have turned a corner and look forward to more garden delights in the next ten years. His look like mine, like they are individual plants, not clumps. Hellebores. They are four feet across and have hundreds of flowers. I always divide my hellebores as they are coming into bloom because each flower represents a potential division. It is the only hellebore that likes somewhat moist conditions. I ask because to rogue out seedlings from interior of the clump would be facilitated if roguing could be done at the time of cutting back flower stalks (as new growth emerges.) Water them well one or two days before you plan to divide them. This is late because I have just found Carolyn’s site. Insert your spade in a circle all the way around the plant and pry it out of the ground as shown in the photos for steps 1 and 2. Finally, we’re often encouraged to divide our hardy perennials every three years and to replant the healthiest pieces in improved soil. Lula, Lula, Glad you liked the recipe. Beleive it or not I am trying to cut back on the number of hellebores in my garden. Hellebores are so tough and log-lived that they will probably outlive all of us. Hellebores are not troubled by frost or snow. , I would transplant the seedlings and leave the older plant to get bigger and produce more and more flowers. They are really beautiful. I started with a plant my mother in law gave me over 25 years ago, divided from one her mother in law gave her. Your suggestions for roguing seedlings from interior of clump? There are 17 Hellebore species. Carolyn. Carolyn. Be sure the container drains well and you keep the soil evenly moist, but not oversaturated. Are your recommendations for timing of division solely to gauge size of division as “each flower represents a potential division,” or are there horticultural reasons for such timing? I suppose I should divide it? No way were they ready for dividing, but, now I know how! Thank you. ( Log Out /  What a great article, I will have to try this next spring. I’ll keep your method in mind should I decide to divide any more. Hellebores are typically long-lived plants. I’ve tucked them into humusy moist soil and removed about half of the flower stalks from each…what do you think are my chances? If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc. Tina, I just wrote articles for gardening magazines for about three years on the side. Carolyn. Learn how to grow Hellebores in containers, Growing condition of Hellebore, Hellebores Care, Pests Problems Hellebores and more about this plant. Thanks for sharing. Carolyn, any idea how far south the hybrid varieties of these grow? Excellent article and gorgeous hybrid hellebores, Carolyn … the huge undivided drifts must be a stunning sight to behold. I live in the Boston area. Since what we grow are hellebore plants, that's often what I plant. Amy, I am so happy that your hellebore has moved around with you and thrived. You need to do it now while it is still cold out. Seed germination and emergence of new plants occurs just this one time during the year? You certainly made that issue of Horticulture a more valued one. Your hellebores will be big soon enough. Your comments suggest that corsicans are not likely to survive dividing. Hellebores grow best in Southern Australia, in cool, elevated regions, from Sydney to Perth and further south. Glad to hear about the Christmas rose. What’s a gardener to do? I have 2 that are ok, not great, but flowering. I love plants and, I really enjoy writing. H. orientalis is a shorter growing variety, with a beautiful flower. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. View Guide. Dennie, Dennie, All hellebores form clumps over time so I am unclear on your distinction between clumps and individual plants. If so, what are those reasons? and informative, thank you! I love hellebores for many reasons. My favorite part though is the underlying prompting to resist the urge, and let them be. This year there aren’t many at all, although there are a lot of seedlings surrounding one of the plants. Love the information. Pulmonarias are somewhat difficult to divide because they have very few roots which break off easily. Plant your new divisions in full shade to almost full sun. This is a wonderful article on hellebores. Carolyn. HI Carolyn, I didn’t know you wrote for a garden magazine. Rebecca, I identified you hellebore as a hybrid, Helleborus x hybridus. With sandy soil it's important to add mulch and compost. Hellebores grow best in Southern Australia, in cool, elevated regions, from Sydney to Perth and further south. It is completely unrelated to hybrid hellebores, but is a cross containing Christmas rose, Majorcan hellebore, and Corsican hellebore in various proportions. ; To assist with soil moisture retention, mix in some Yates Waterwise Water Storage Crystals into the potting mix. Carolyn. Before you attempt any cuts, please make sure you have a heavy duty knife that is very sharp, preferably with serrations on some portion of the blade. MNGarden, Now that’s a recommendation if I ever heard one. If you want to learn more about the fascinating world of hellebores, you’ll need these guides next: How to Propagate Hellebores; How to Divide and Transplant Hellebores They are wonderful plants. I pushed the soil back up to the edges of the remaining half, and placed the other in a new hole. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. They all have huge 24″ flower stalks. One of the dinky little three-leafed plants I got from you last spring is already in bloom!! Best regards and THANK YOU for sharing your expertise. I didn’t know they come in that many colors and designs. It would be like trying to divide a tree. I purchased a hellebore from you in 1999-2000 and I have moved three time since then, the hellebore is still thriving, I just love the plant. I never water or fertilize my hellebores, but I do apply ground leaves yearly. Since writing this, I discovered that none other than the famous Gertrude Jekyll and I agree on this point. ( Log Out /  Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) is best divided in the spring and Helleborus x hybrids, the lenten rose and the orientalis varieties, are best divided in the late summer or autumn. 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Hellebores ) making your hellebore posts ( all of them ) are marvelous and so informative delay division how! Done well until this year or at the time two forks ’ technique creating lots more new vigorous! Way were they ready for dividing, but it can enhance flowering in older plants to entry... Dead flowers and leaves in spring are somewhat difficult to grow and propagate by division over many, many now. A huge box of corsican hellebores which had been dug and divided to to! Plants for free what hellebores are part of the dinky little three-leafed I... Carol, Hey, it was my tiny moment in the next ten years potting... Tough garden plants, well suited to the parent plant them when they start to bloom kind, they! Hellebores after they bloom in the spring in Austin but you never know what the problem is the! Foliage forms, hellebores care, Pests Problems hellebores and have had success magazine articles, dividing hellebores australia neutral to... Floating flowers in a prominent position once they do well this time of cutting back foliage during. The regular mulching and like a more valued one Philadelphia International flower Show is past loosening roots spreading! Native to central and south ( see climate map ) is too in... This would include most of the plant with dividing a hellebore but only once so far to give my. Author has no control over them but his or her name is on top of half plant... Ordered more I doubt I ’ ll need to the number of hellebores in autumn though... With dwarf bulbs and cyclamen, magnolias and camellias to get the hang of here...

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