Livening up borders with hellebores

Credit: Carolyn Herriot

Helleborus foetidus ‘Wester Flisk’ is a much sought after variety with showy red stems and smaller, lime-green flowers edged in maroon.

hellebore corsicus
Corsican hellebore

H. argutifolius, Corsican hellebore, creates the best foliage effect with serrated, dark green leathery leaves and lime-green flowers. It thrives in sunnier, drier places.

H. orientalis has large cup-shaped flowers which come in every shade, from purple-black to rosy pink. H. orientalis seed obligingly, so become a hellebore breeder by selecting your favourite colours.

Growing Tips:
Helleborus orientalis look untidy with dying leaves, so trim leaves away from emerging flowerbuds. Doing this also helps prevent Coniothyrium hellebori, a disease that blackens the foliage.

Hellebores prefer fertile, free-draining soils. They don’t like being waterlogged but prefer moist soils that don’t dry out in summer.

An occasional application of slow-release organic fertilizer helps keep hellebores vigorous, but they’ll always appreciate a mulch of manure, leaf mulch and compost.

Click here to return to the Victory Garden Program.

Leave Carolyn your feedback and questions using the comment form below!