How to care for a hellebore plant

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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How to care for a hellebore plant
Hellebore plants are also known as Christmas roses. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Hellebore plants are cool-season perennials with blooms in a wide range of colours and usually have dark green foliage. You can also find hellebore under the names Lenten rose or Christmas rose. There are several varieties of hellebore, but all require the same basic care. The plants grow best in semi-shaded, well-draining areas and usually can be kept as potted plants if you do not have the space or desire to grow them in your garden.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Garden shears
  • Organic mulch
  • Insecticide
  • Fungicide

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  1. 1

    Remove dead foliage on hellebore plants. Keeping the plant tidy is important not only for aesthetic purposes, but may help prevent diseases and pests. Use garden shears to remove parts not easily removed by hand. The Garden Action website also suggests removing dead blooms by cutting the stem back as far as you can, unless you plan on gathering seeds from the plant later.

  2. 2

    Check hellebore plants daily for soil dryness. Potted hellebore will usually dry out faster than hellebore planted in a garden. Water when the soil is dry, but do not keep the plants constantly soggy.

  3. 3

    Spread 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 inches) of organic mulch around the hellebore plants. Mulch will feed the hellebore and help retain soil moisture.

  4. 4

    Keep hellebore plants pest-free. Common garden pests such as aphids and slugs may feed on these plants. You can use organic or chemical sprays to control aphids and organic or chemical ground applications to control slugs.

  5. 5

    Use a fungicide spray to control the diseases known as black spot, which may appear on hellebore plants. Do this as a preventive measure, even if the disease hasn't appeared on the plant yet -- it is easier to handle before it appears than afterward. Keeping the area around the plant free of dead foliage will also help prevent the disease.

Tips and warnings

  • Hellebore is poisonous if ingested. Keep animals and children away from this plant.

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