Q:

How do you plant hellebores?

A:

Quick Answer

Plant hellebores by first choosing a location that receives partial shade and has well-drained, rich soil and then sowing seeds or planting a seedling. Amend poor soil by working compost into several inches of dirt to both enrich it and improve drainage.

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Full Answer

In order to sow hellebore seeds, soak them in hot water for a few days, and plant them in potting soil kept at a consistent 70 degrees Fahrenheit. After six weeks, transfer the potted seeds to a location where the air is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit for another six weeks until the seeds germinate. Plant seedlings next to a tree, fence or rock wall to protect them from the wind and provide dappled shade.

Because hellebore is drought resistant, only water the plant enough to keep the soil moist. Fertilize the plant with a balanced solution in the early spring, adding magnesium or dolomitic limestone as needed to help establish the plant. If the soil is too acidic, work some lime into the soil to even out the pH in the fall. Mulch the plant with salt marsh hay before the winter.

Prune away tattered and worn limbs in the late winter or early spring before the plant produces new growth. Snip off dead and fading flowers to prevent seed growth and encourage more flowering.

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