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Saturday, March 7, 2015

I have a question.




It concerns one of my favorite flowers.



The Hellebore shown here with daffodils.






When my garden has nothing to offer and everything looks neglected and sad,







I can count on Hellebore to show their fascinating faces.  
Then they bloom for months and love to be paired with other flowers.





Here is the question;
I have read that one must remove last year's leaves by the end of Fall to make room for new growth in the Spring. 





See the new flower buds in the middle?  They will bloom in a few days.  

I have always left the old leaves on the plant so that they would help protect the new growth from the below freezing temperatures. 

I think that it also protects the little seedlings which have volunteered from the falling seed pods.  





Every morning they are laying down, frozen solid, and by noon they have recovered.  





Do you grow Hellebore?

Do you remove all of the old leaves in the Fall so that there will be room for new growth in the Spring, as was recommended by a famous garden expert.  

I would love to know. 

Have a great weekend my dear friends, 

Gina 


17 comments:

  1. Dear Gina,

    As you know by now, I'm the furthest of your commentors from being a garden expert (I have a brown thumb), but it seems to me that if things are working for you, don't fix them! :o)

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    1. Dear Mark, You don't need a green thumb. You could probably use a goat or two to stay ahead of the vegetation. Where you live you are blessed with Mother Nature's bounty.

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  2. Dear Gina - I have never removed Helleborus leaves in the Fall. I have always understood that they should be removed in the Spring. I cut mine off about 4 weeks ago, but it depends on what sort of Spring we are having and the progress that they are making.

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    1. Dear Rosemary, You are the expert gardener and so I am so pleased that you have answered my question. In the past I have also watched my plants to see when it was advantageous to remove the old leaves. This has been the strangest year of them all in this part of the world. Maybe that is why we like the challenges. .

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  3. Dear Gina, Fortunately for me, the original neighbors who planted and religiously watered, nutured, pruned and cared for all of their plant material including hellebores are gone; however, the recently moved in neighbors do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (no watering, no fertilizing, no pruning of ANYTHING and their hellebores come back every spring looking magnificent!??! Go Figure!!! (not so lucky with the other poor plants...)

    Mary in Oregon

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    Replies
    1. Dear Mary, That just proves that I am right. Helleborus can be very temperamental. However, once they have found the right growing conditions (as is the case with all plants), they will bloom for many years and will readily reseed themselves. I let my Helleborus form seed pods which will, when ripe, spill their many seeds. Early Summer you will see many, many little seedlings growing under the umbrella of the larger leaves. They easily transplant and sometimes even produce new colors.

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  4. nurtured !! not nutured!

    Mary

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  5. Gina, I have no answer to your question, but can tell you how much I enjoyed seeing the close up views of beautiful helleborres. Maybe I will run into some of the Central Park gardeners (there are lots of hellebores over there) and can ask those professionals your question.

    xo

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    Replies
    1. Dear Frances, I wouldn't be surprised if you will spot a few Helleborus in Central Park. Hellebore like semi shade or early morning sun. Look for them there. One of the other reasons I do not cut back their leaves is that I love to use them in flower arrangements. In our climate the leaves stay green for most of the year, which is reason enough to grow them.
      I look forward to hearing what your professionals have to say.

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  6. Dear Gina,
    Since I have no Hellebores in my garden I do not have an answer for you. I was thinking that you must be doing the right thing to be able to produce such lovely flowers year after year, and that seems confirmed by some of the comments. You definitely have a green thumb!!!
    Have a lovely Sunday, Sieglinde

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  7. Dear Sieglinde, One of the advantages of leaving the leaves till Spring, and one I hadn't counted on, is the happy discovery of many little plantings of Hellebore hiding under the large leaves.They are easy to transplant, so I will be sharing with friends.

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  8. Thanks for stopping by Gina and your kind wishes! Such beauty here with hellebores today. Would also love to know the answer!

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    1. Hello Veronica, Thank you for your visit and thank you also for your kind words. It looks like I have done the right thing all along. At least for this climate, it appears that protecting the flowers with old leaves is a good thing.

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  9. I do exactly as you have been doing and I allow the leaves to stay and protect all Winter long and in fact do nothing at all in the Spring, late Winter other than allow nature to do her thing and they always show beautifully!

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    1. Dear Mary, So glad to hear that your Hellebore are doing well. Have you noticed any small plants near your mother plant? If so, have you tried to transplant them to different areas of your garden?

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  10. Hello dear Gina.
    I am slowly catching up with everyone.
    I only know hellebores from the photos you show of them. They do look lovely. I need to find out, if they can grow in Alentejo-
    As we dont get thick snow here .. i would leave the leaves on myself.. then when the new flowers are established just snip the old leaves off. I do that with some bushes i have here.
    lovely post Gina.. Happy gardening.
    val xx

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    1. Dear Val, I don't know if Hellebore will grow in your area...it might be too mild in the Winter months. Gardening must be in full swing in your area. I look forward to seeing photos of your beautiful collection of roses.

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