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Planting Hellebores for Winter Colour

Planting Hellebores for Winter Colour

Every garden needs a hellebore or two! These beautiful, low-maintenance plants grow well in shady spots, their distinctive palmate leaves adding texture and interest all year round. In winter, when everything else is cold and grey, they produce clusters of big bell-like flowers in gorgeous soft shades of pink, purple, red and white. With different varieties flowering from mid-winter to spring, hellebores are sometimes called Christmas roses or Lenten roses. They're great for winter gardens, adding colour when little else is in flower. They're also good for wildlife, providing a winter food source for pollinators. Here's how and where to grow hellebores for winter colour.

Where to grow hellebores

Hellebores do best in dappled shade but will also grow in the sun, provided the soil doesn't dry out. When planting, dig in plenty of organic matter like garden compost or leaf mould to give them a good start. Once established, hellebores are very versatile and low-maintenance plants; they will even cope with dry shade and their bold leaves make an excellent backdrop for other flowering plants.

How to grow hellebores

Hellebores are very easy to care for. Mulch annually in autumn with compost or well-rotted farmyard manure, and cut back the old leaves in autumn or spring once the new growth starts to appear to reduce the spread of hellebore leaf spot, a fungal disease. Removing the old leaves also makes the flowers easier to see when colour in the garden is at a premium. Hellebores self-seed and cross-pollinated easily, so you will likely see lots of new seedlings around your plants. Unfortunately, new plants that result from cross-pollination tend to have rather muddy, muted flowers, so it's generally best to deadhead the flowers before they can set seed. Alternatively, remove the new seedlings as they appear and grow them in pots so you can choose the ones with the best flowers to keep.

Top hellebores to plant


  • Frostkiss® Series - By crossbreeding several types the breeders have produced a super strong, frost-resistant hellebore with colourful flowers and magnificent foliage. The marbled pattern is an absolute pleasure for the eyes and makes the plant attractive beyond the flowering season.
  • Harvington® Hybrids - Hardy perennials with beautiful large flowers from December through to the end of March and dark green glossy evergreen foliage providing year round interest. Easy to grow, excellent garden plants they reliably provide winter colour year after year. Harvington Hellebores® are selected for clarity of flower colour, attractive foliage, vigour and frost hardiness.Propagated and grown in the British Isles.
  • Helleborus Gold Collection®Only the most precious and long-lived varieties are admitted to the Helleborus Gold Collection® (HGC®). They aren't just hardy and easy to care for, but are also very versatile, suitable for gardens, in pots and flower arrangements alike. If planted in the right place, these winter flowers will charm us with their fascinating winter flowers and evergreen leaves for decades on end.

If your garden needs some winter colour, come in and see our fantastic range of hellebores and other winter-flowering plants. Your garden will thank you for it!