How to look after a Hellebore


Hellebores are hungry plants!
Use compost or well rooted manure when planting and as a mulch when the plants are established. The main growing periods are during the spring and autumn so mulching then is very beneficial. A general purpose fertiliser can also be applied in late winter. Liquid feed is very acceptable as well!

Hellebore leaves are ‘evergreen’ but do eventually look past their best, usually in late winter. They can be cut off and new growth will take place. We advice leaving the leaves on as long as they look green and healthy, they’re the food making factories of the plant and it makes sense to let them get on with their work!

Helleborus niger plants sometimes suffer from fungal disease which causes black patches on their leaves. The fungi debilitate the plants which do not thrive, the easiest way to prevent this or treat if already present is to spray with a fungicide like Liquid Copper – or Roseclear at the same time as you treat your roses! Aphids sometimes enjoy feeding on Hellebores – again Roseclear or a similar pesticide will sort them out!

If you are keeping your hellebore in a pot, you must remember that Hellebores like their roots to run down, so a deep pot is advisable.

In witchcraft the hellebore it is believed to have ties to summoning demons.
Helleborus niger is commonly called the Christmas rose, due to an old legend that it sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem.