We’re on Long Island so our Hellebores bloom in late Feb. (through March and, often, April, but the ground is usually still pretty frozen). Always remove the old leaves from the garden after pruning. Since I am new to growing them in my garden I was not sure about trimming off the unsightly leaves. I cut back my hybrid hellebores around February 15. Anne, Glad to be able to share my accumulated hellebore knowledge with you. What's the best time of year to prune helleborus? They are fully hardy in all areas of the UK. Happy New Year to you! It is when there is no snow and low temperatures that there is a problem, and before the last two years that was a very common combination in southeastern PA where snow has been rare. Thanks for this Carolyn, I have been wondering what to do with the unsighly leaves (I’ve been removing them). Christmas roses have very clean and elegant, blue-green leaves. pot size guide This perennial is semi-evergreen so it can lose some of its leaves in winter. Amazing, as is your gardening knowledge! Now that my plants are older it does not seem to harm them. Hypothesis: I don’t see how this could be true because photosynthesis feeds plants (I think I read even in winter), and they can’t photosynthesize without leaves. Large clusters of 20 or more apple-green cupped flowers are held over handsome foliage, appearing from mid-winter well into spring. It could be something that happens occasionally in the UK with a specific weather combination. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. It actually is one of the more “sculptural” plants I can recall seeing. I have not found any seedlings elsewhere like mahonia spreads. One side says to prune off the old foliage to the very base just as the Hellebore is starting to flower. Carolyn. The US is so big that we have different considerations for each area of the country. So far they do not suffer from any diseases that would necessitate cutting off the leaves. Last Updated: February 16, 2020 The most commonly available hellebores are hybrid hellebores. Use a pair of sharp hand pruners to make pruning easy. Hybrid hellebores have attractive leaves that stay green all winter (wintergreen), adding interest to the winter garden, so I leave them on as long as they look nice. I don’t cut my leaves back since they stay green all winter long. That would be really a good thing because they bloom out there all by themselves. This genus of perennials with toothed, leathery leaves and distinctive blooms makes a happy addition to the spring garden. You can find pictures of the winter flowers on the hellebores on the 24th February 2011, just to compare. Learn how to propagate hellebores and which method might be best for you here. If there is a “common” hellebore, then the un-named hybrid hellebore above would be it. Great post, will be back for more here some other day , Helene, I looked at your blog posts about the hellebores. Christine, I can always tell when it is hellebore season because my customers start emailing about their hellebore leaves. Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade. Carolyn, Hello Carolyn, They are not evergreen though so the old leaves should be cut off when they become unsightly in late winter. For southeastern Pennsylvania, this could be as low as -5 degrees (-21C). Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Both hybrid hellebores and Christmas roses produce leaves and flowers on separate stems (botanists call them acaulescent) so cutting back the leaves has no affect on the flowers. Like Helleborus foetidus, the Corsican hellebore is caulescent (flowers are produced on the same stem as the foliage) so once the flowers begin to look tatty or you don’t want any more plants, remove this entire stem down to the ground, and any other stems that look rough after the winter. These stalks should still be surrounded by a ring of last year’s big leaves. Happy new year! In addition to winter interest, I also leave the old leaves on to protect the flower buds should we experience very cold weather in January and early February. They like lots of compost. why? Corsican Hellebore. However, Corsican hellebore leaves are easily damaged, and I often make the decision to sacrifice the flowers and cut the plants back to the ground rather than look at their unsightly leaves while they bloom. Hellebores are pretty tough. Your gardening conditions in the PNW probably preserve your leaves, but here in the mid-Atlantic with the wildly fluctuating temperatures and ice and snow, they often look awful by spring and really detract from the show. I feel as if I had stumbled across an old recipe that I had forgotten about in the fast pace of feeding my family. I want to come dig out babies…, I am glad to see someone else telling people to leave the plants alone, that stripping the leaves off doesn’t help and may in fact cause harm. These plants are generally the progeny of Christmas rose crossed with Corsican hellebore and/or Helleborus lividus (not hardy here) to produce elegant outward-facing flowers and silver-marbled leaves often with red highlights and stems. Then, cut any damaged or diseased leaves or stems away. i live in Bahama NC (N Durham) near Raleigh and it is planted under a HUGE oak tree in my yard. I bought it as a present for myself . Carolyn. Helleborus winter roses are hardy plants that you only need to prune a little. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. So glad you liked the calendar—it wouldn’t have turned out so beautifully with out your recommendations. The new ones in our garden planted in Autumn are coming along nicely new shoots are popping through the ground some with colour on the buds showing already. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. In harsher climates, try protecting your rose from the elements to keep it blooming throughout the winter. Perfectly illustrated article Carolyn. Thanks for the post and pics. The often very long-lasting (6 to 8 weeks) flowers are produced in very early spring and run the gamut from white, green, pink, … Holley, I recommend starting with some good-sized plants to insure success and flowers the first year of planting. Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. How to Prune Helleborus Winter Roses. Hopefully with your help, "New to plant cultivation. Adulting 101: Learn How to Raise Your Credit Score. I just couldn’t get out soon enough to prune the tree and I’ve paid for it. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Lula, It went down to 15 degrees (-9 C) here last night, and I put five gallon buckets over some of the hybrid hellebores that were blooming early. Pauline, I gathered from blog reading that it was the practice in the UK to cut back hellebores in November but didn’t know why. Carolyn. This improves flowering the following year and extends the life of the plant; it also minimises self-sowing, to which Corsican and stinking hellebores in particular are incontinently prone. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 44,944 times. Blooming heavily for weeks from late winter to early summer, these nodding beauties rise on sturdy, thick stems clad with large, spiny-toothed dark green leaves. So far, I only have the hybrids. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information. I used to leave the leaves on for protection and cut them back later. Photo 12/31/11. Will definitely be looking at expanding my collection thanks to your posts! Carolyn. Photo 3/21/11. If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. For some beautiful photos, check out my articles An Ode to Seed Strain Hellebores and Double Hellebores. Their leaves are one of their best features, and I cut them back only if they are unsightly. Glad you liked the post. It usually blooms in February. H. argutifolius resents division.. ProblemsSlugs, snails, aphids, black spot and leaf spot. The questions is when to cut. Photo 12/31/11, H. x ballardiae ‘Pink Frost’ displaying the pink color inherited from its parent H. lividus. Then they come back in September. Carolyn. Thanks for the clear and helpful (as always) information. "The Corsican hellebore is not a fussy plant. P. x, Pam, You know where to come to get more hellebores :-). My question is – since I no longer am in touch with my ex and can ask him, have you ever heard about hellebores that flowers twice a year, and that flowers with one colour in the summer and a different one in the winter, on the same plant?! I know they’re hardy, but I worry about them. Formerly known as Helleborus corsicus, this is certainly the toughest hellebore, originating from the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia. ( Log Out /  Larry, Larry, Thanks for your kind words. Then I read that Jess grows them, and wondered if it was just me, and not my area like I thought. Seeds may not be true to the parent and can take years to flower, but an interesting bloom may result and it is much less expensive. They do have leaves and flowers on the same stems so you cannot cut the stems back to the base if cutting is necessary. Will it ever snow? They are very easy to grow and vigorous. Blue-green leaves with slight purple undersides grow into shrubby mounds. Some flower late. Notice the leafy bracts surrounding the flowers. I figured that if they grew in an area they are such great plants that nurseries would sell them, but 20 years ago they weren’t available here. Hellebore ‘Ashwood Garden Hybrids’ – regarded as some of the best hellebore hybrids, there are many cultivars to choose from – all are healthy and robust plants, and produce flowers in a variety of colours and forms Helleborus argutifolius – the Corsican hellebore has bright green flowers and spiny, evergreen foliage.The flowers appear in winter, and remain on the plants for a long time. Pruning hellebores. If you plant them on a slope or above a wall you can look up into them. Botanists call these species caulescent because the flowers are not separate but are on the end of the leaf stem. Carolyn, Yes, I’m on #4 and already excited about spring! Happy New Year. This entry was posted on January 4, 2012 at 9:44 am and is filed under evergreen, hellebores, Shade Perennials, winter interest with tags beardfoot hellebore, Carolyn's Shade Gardens, Christmas rose, Corsican hellebore, cutting back hellebores, Helleborus argutifolius, Helleborus foetidus, Helleborus niger 'Jacob', Helleborus x ballardiae 'Pink Frost', Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Silvermoon', Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Winter's Song', Helleborus x hybridus 'Pink Tea Cup', Helleborus x nigercors 'Green Corsican'. I actually love walking around the garden flipping them up and exclaiming how beautiful they are. My own hellebores are just beginning to show a few buds here and there.Our winters are always mild, so I am not surprised to see signs of spring already. Internet research may give some guidance. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/f1\/Prune-Helleborus-Winter-Roses-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Prune-Helleborus-Winter-Roses-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/f1\/Prune-Helleborus-Winter-Roses-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid5108414-v4-728px-Prune-Helleborus-Winter-Roses-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Let me know if they recover. I’m in the UK and as we speak have some beautiful dark maroon hellebores which I’ve grown in pots outside our front door. Mine have been blooming since late November (crazy weather patterns has everything coming up early!). Thanks for all the invaluable information. How to Propagate. An update on when to cut back those unsightly leaves on my Hellebores is just what I needed Carolyn. Sounds like we are ahead of you because I have hybrids in full bloom. has a single bloom, but I’m not sure how much longer it will last. It is easiest to do this when the flower buds are still at the soil level and the old leaf stems and new flower stems are not yet intermingled. You are probably wondering what I will do this year when the hellebores are blooming early. I think I might have the “common” hellebore – never mind. Most perennials do not hold their leaves through the winter, and this is an advantage of hellebores, but they are not evergreen like a rhododendron so eventually they die back. It is 25% off through January 6, 2012, with the code ONEMORETHING at checkout. But I won’t pull away the mulch or clip the green leaves until late March. These plants are generally the progeny of Christmas rose crossed with Corsican hellebore and/or, If you would like to look at my photos all year round, please consider buying my 2012 calendar, available worldwide, . Hellebore flowers may change color from white or pink to green. Carolyn. Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog. Is there any truth in this ? Hellebores are renowned for their tolerance of drought and neglect, although they truly thrive when grown in a moist, but well-drained soil. Hellebores are very healthy in my climate, which is very different from yours. ADD add to wishlist. Maybe you are cutting off the old flowers or the ground around the plant is too filled in. The flowers bloom in pink, red, white or yellow. Carolyn. Our weather this year is really a bit worrying and I hope plants don’t get damaged by the up and down temps. My worries are for the plants but also for the Earth. However, the plants are generally short, 12 to 15″, and produce such an abundance of flowers that cutting off individual leaves from the main stem does not leave an ugly stalk. I reckon that gardeners are going to have to be much more flexible with timings in the future to cope with the atypical seasons that seem to be occuring more often throughout the so called temperate zones. I’m devasted! Prune old stems that bloomed to the ground in June, to make room for new foliage. Maybe I am too used to the availability of hellebores around here. So, now I guess I’m just back to being sad that I can’t grow these beauties!