A little bit about hellebores

Got a shady outdoor spot in need of colour? Hardy hellebores are a delightful way to brighten it up. Hellebores feature beautiful, open flowers ranging from lime green and mauve, to white, dusty pink and crimson. As a clump-forming plant, hellebores are great for propagation and given the right care, can last for many years. Although commonly known as the ‘winter rose’, hellebores are not related to the rose family, but in fact belong to the Ranunculaceae. They’re still just as beautiful!

Note: hellebores are poisonous to animals and humans.



Botanical name: Helloborus

Other names: Winter rose, Lenten rose, Christmas rose

Height: 30 - 60 centimetres Width: 30 centimetres

Ideal position: Hellebores like a partly-shaded spot with moist, cool conditions and humus-rich, well-drained soil. Hellebores can be planted in a pot.

When do they bloom? Flowers appear in winter and spring.


Popular hellebore varieties include Penny's Pink and Tutu.



Caring tips


Before planting hellebores, enrich the soil with organic compost, like enriched cow manure. After planting, give the plant a good water. 


A top dressing of compost or manure after flowering is beneficial. To stop your hellebores from completely drying out in summer, add a layer of thick mulch to keep the soil moist.


As a low-growing plant, hellebores don’t need much pruning. However, to stop self-seeding, cut spent flowers before seed pods form. Or leave the spent flowers until the seed pods fully develop (when the seeds turn black), then harvest and scatter where you’d like more hellebores to grow! Cut flower heads after seeds drop.


Hellebores are rarely bothered by pests, but occasionally you may see aphids, which can be combated with a pyrethrum insecticide.