Forum home Problem solving

Drooping hellebores....

Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
Hello all,
I was hoping someone could offer advice to a novice gardener... We have recently moved to a new(ish) build home where the previous owners had done nothing to the garden. It was a bit of a compacted claggy mess so after a bit of research we have dug half over and made into beds, everything seems to be growing well in those. Anyway, in the middle of the garden (it is south facing) we planted a large Hawthorne tree (about 4m tall already) and underplanted (although a couple of feet from the base) with hellebores. They've been in a couple of months and a few of them seem to have drooping stems that eventually pull off from the base. Is this normal?  I have sprayed with fungicide just in case and protected from slugs. Is it possible that they are getting too much Sun? The ones on the north side of the tree look healthier but not sure if just coincidence... I could move them against a north facing wall but am hesitant to do so if sun is not the issue. They are hellebore x hybridus from a reputable nursery. Sorry for the long backstory, any help appreciated!  

Posts

  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,052
    Hellebores are one of the first plants to flower in the winter months, through January to April depending where you are in the country. Mine are over now and very droopy, but they will come back next year.

    They do prefer a slightly shady aspect as they thrive in a woodland setting.
    SW Scotland
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,368
    I don't like the sound of pulling leaves off from the base, they don't normally come away easily. Forget the sprays and treatments and give them some shade. I don't know where you live but we had a cold wet Spring, not good for establishing plants, especially if the soil is heavy
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,878
    I wonder if the OP is talking about flower stems, that’s she’s pulling out from the base? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
    Yes sorry, it's the stems that are falling over and a slight pull will take them off, almost like they are rotting at the bottom? I'm sure I can see some new stems coming up from the base but isn't this the wrong time of year now?  :/
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,878
    The flowers will die, you can cut them off, what’s coming from the ground will be just leaves so don’t take any of those off. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
    I have cut the flowers when they started to look tired but the actual stems are looking like they are going brown at the base and are then falling over and dropping off. I am not giving them any help to come off really, if you try to pick them up they just come away from the base. Sorry it would prob be easier just to take a picture which I will try to do later! 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,878
    You have to cut the flower stems off right down to the ground,
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
    So this is the base, you can see it looks like new growth is coming through and pushing through the old stems which are then breaking off? Sorry if this sounds incredibly obvious but is it just normal regeneration? Just a bit worried as I went a bit bonkers and bought five of them so I really don't want to lose them... The soil is fairly damp around there but I heard that's what they liked... The hawthorn they are under will provide more shade as it fills out and they are shaded in the afternoon by a lovely mature oak tree which was built around when they did the estate, so I thought the position would be ok.. we are in Shropshire so have had a pretty wet start to the year too so perhaps they need a bit longer to settle in?  
     
Sign In or Register to comment.