Because Helleborus niger often bursts out in colourful blooms in the dark, dreary days of late winter, it is also known as the Christmas Rose. Even when Helleborus niger isn't blooming, the dark, perennial evergreen foliage is attractive year-round. Although a healthy Helleborus niger plant can be divided after it's finished blooming, it may not bloom for the following year.
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Things you need
- Straight edge shovel
- Garden fork
- Sharp knife
- Clean scissors
- General purpose time-release fertiliser
Prepare the planting spot for the newly divided Helleborus niger. Choose an area sheltered from hot sunlight and cold winter winds. Remove weeds with a hoe, then cultivate the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. Mix 2 to 3 inches of compost into the top of the soil.
Dig a clump of Helleborus niger, using a shovel with a straight edge shovel or a garden fork. Dig in a circle around the plant, rocking the shovel or fork back and forth gently to loosen the roots.
Lift the plant gently from the ground. Use extreme care because Helleborus niger isn't fond of being divided and the brittle roots are easily broken.
Use your hands to divide the clump of Helleborus niger into smaller plants. If the plant is difficult to divide, you may need to use a sharp knife to separate the divisions.
Use clean scissors to cut off any dead or damaged roots. Work quickly so that the divisions can be planted quickly and the roots don't dry out.
Dig a hole in the prepared planting site, and plant the divided Helleborus niger at the same soil depth as it was planted before it was divided. Water the Helleborus niger immediately.
Feed Helleborus niger a general purpose, time-release fertiliser to give the plant a good start. Feed the plant again in late summer.
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