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Hellebore pruning

WildlifeloverWildlifelover Posts: 380
edited May 2021 in Plants
I bought two Hellebores ‘Winter Belles’ last October and they have done really well, flowering all winter and spring. Many of the flower stems are drooping, I assume due to the weight of flower heads.

I think there’s quite a few seed pods (first pic) too.

Should I now cut these stems to base level? Also, they probably need re-potting into a larger pot, is it ok to do this any time of the year?

Many thanks for any help you can throw my way.


  • FireFire Posts: 18,944
    It would be happy in the ground.
  • WildlifeloverWildlifelover Posts: 380
    edited May 2021
    I’m unable to plant them where they are as the ground only has a couple of inches or so of soil, then it’s concrete. 

    If it was in the ground, then the flowers/leaves would be touching the grass which doesn’t sound ideal?
  • coccinellacoccinella Posts: 1,364
    As Fire says they would be much happier in the ground. If you could sacrifice a bit of lawn ....
    in my experience Hellebores like damp conditions, so if you live them in the pot remember to water them throughout summer. Mine are under a deciduous tree so they get a bit of sun in winter and then they are shielded from midday sun in summer. I also give them a slow release feed in autumn/winter.  :)

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,762
    If you're keeping them potted, they'll need bigger pots than that. They'll be struggling to get enough moisture in there, which means they'll be a bit floppy. They make big root systems quite quickly. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 938
    edited May 2021
    About deadheading, you can do it now if you like, taking the flower stems off at the base and taking care not to inadvertently cut off leaf stalks. I tend to do it in June as the flowers on mine (Helleborus x sternii) are clustered on stalks and there are some that haven’t yet formed seed pods.

    Wildlifelover said:
    If it was in the ground, then the flowers/leaves would be touching the grass which doesn’t sound ideal?
    Online, Winterbells is described as being upright and as other posters have said it should be less floppy in the ground — if it’s in a properly defined space (not just planted right in the grass) then the flowers and leaves won’t be touching the grass.
    Cambridgeshire, UK
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I leave mine to self seed, but they are just a common sort. If you cut back the seeding stems more energy will go back into the plant. I have never kept them in pots but they do grow really huge so I feel that potting up now into a much bigger container would be well worth while.
  • WildlifeloverWildlifelover Posts: 380
    Many thanks for all the comments, very much appreciated indeed. The websites say that the variety I have only grows 50cm high x 30cm wide so if I get a much larger pot, hopefully they'll do just fine. 

    The location they are situated seems ideal as they have done so well since I bought them. Unfortunately, there is no room to plant them in the ground. 

    So, I'll cut all the flowered stems to their base, re-pot them into a much larger pot and fingers crossed they'll keep on flourishing! 
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