Hellebores for Planting and Picking

An absolute winter favourite are Hellebores, often referred to as the Christmas Rose. It’s the soft colours that they come in, from pure winter whites, to gentle pinks and dusky purple tones that catch the attention against their dark evergreen leaves. Hellebores are a welcome sight at this time of year, adding a delightful splash of colour to the garden against grey and gloomy skies.

The plants themselves are easy to grow, hardy and happily establish themselves quickly in the right conditions, however they aren’t a fan of wet or soggy soil and don’t like to be moved, otherwise they are fairly easily pleased when planting. The other advantage of a hellebore is their long flowering span, begining from winter through to spring which helps add to their appeal. The perfect flowers for some winter colour in the garden.

However, if you would like to use them as cut flowers to pop in a vase or bouquet, they are notoriously tricky to condition. Hellebores can be prone to wilting very quickly once cut and can’t be revived. There are a couple of tips to try which can help stop them wilting once snipped from the garden. Cut the stems with a sharp knife to limit the damage caused to the stem cells and hence uptake of water, place in cold but not really water once cut as soon as they are cut. Another option is to try sealing the stems by dipping them up to an inch in boiling water once cut, it’s worth a go to be able to enjoy them in the house too as well as the garden!

Finally and most importantly, harvest only when the seed pods are forming and the flowers are more mature, younger flowers tend to wilt much more, so keep an eye out for seeds pods before snipping from the garden.

Published: January 2022