Hellebores are a fantastic way to bring some large clumps of colour to your borders at this time of year. They come in a brilliant range of colours and flower forms, from pure single whites & greens to semi double pinks, to rich double red or almost blacks and many have interesting spotted markings.
They are a woodland plant by nature, so thrive in dappled shade in soil which is rich in humus, giving moist, but well drained conditions. Because they love a shady spot below trees and shrubs they are a useful plant for brightening an otherwise gloomy area in your garden.
Many are grown for their colourful flowers such as the Helleborus niger & H. orientalis types, but there are also varieties that are often grown for their architectural, evergreen foliage, such as Helleborus foetidus.
Here are our top tips for growing Hellebores:
- Choose a spot with the right conditions – dappled shade is ideal, such as under a deciduous tree, shrub, hedge or in a herbaceous border. They can grow in sunnier positions as long as the soil is kept moist.
To keep them in top condition, give them a mulch in the autumn. If they need a little more help, apply a general purpose fertilizer such as blood, fish & bone in the growing season.
- The flowers of many hellebores are often hidden by the large leaves, so ensure they can be seen clearly by removing the old leaves on stemless types in late winter or early spring as the flower buds emerge. This also helps to prevent the spread of any disease.
- After flowering, deadhead the dead flowers on H. oreintalis and H. niger types and whole flowering stem of H. foetidus and H. argutifolius
- They look great in a border with other spring flowers such as Primroses, Pulmonaria, Snowdrops & Cyclamen Coum
If you need any help or advice about any of the plants above then pop into see the girls at Little Groves Nursery and they can show you what to do or what to plant! Little Groves Nursery is on Tunnel Road on the A3066 just outside of Beaminster. Tel: 01308 862030 email: email@example.com