How to grow your Hellebores


Pink hellebore flower Hello,

I love hellebores – they're one of the prettiest plants I know. The gardening team here at QVC has come up with these hellebore FAQs to help you grow your helleborus collection to its full potential. You'll love the end result!

What will I receive?
You'll receive eight young plants that come in single and double-flowering varieties. These include:
• Two white plants (one single, one double)
• Two red plants (one single, one double)
• Four pink plants (one single, three double)

How big does each hellebore grow to?
In the first year, plants will grow to a height and spread of about 35cm (14"). Over time they will spread to about 70cm (28"). Each flower has a diameter of about 5cm (2").

How many blooms are there per plant?Red hellebore flower
In the first year you could expect up to five blooms per plant. In the second year this could increase to ten blooms per plant, in the third year twenty blooms, and from the fourth year onwards you could expect thirty blooms per plant. With a collection of eight plants, that equates to 320 blooms each year!     

Are helleborus perennial? 
Yes, helleborus are herbaceous perennials and will survive for many years.    

How long will they flower for?
Helleborus flower every year from December to May and are one of the best herbaceous perennial plants for giving continuous colour.

Can you plant helleborus outside straight away?
Although helleborus are hardy once they're established in the garden, the young plants are best planted up into 9cm (3.5") pots for up to six weeks before putting into their final destination.  

How can they be planted?
Helleborus look great in large patio containers, garden beds and borders.

What's the best position to plant these helleborus?
You can be grow them in sunny or part-shady positions.

What soil do they like?
To begin with, plant them in any general purpose growing media. This includes general purpose compost, John Levington’s growing media No 3 and any good peat-free growing media. Once in their final position, they will grow in all well-drained soil types.

How deep do I plant helleborus?
The young plants should be planted so that the top of the compost plug is just below the surface of the compost. The young plants should be firmed in and watered well. This also applies to the final planting.

Which way up should I put it in the ground?
Roots go downwards, green shoots upwards.

What fertilizer should I use?
Once your helleborus are flowering in their final position next spring, they would benefit from a high-potash liquid fertilizer like Richard Jackson’s Flower Power. Use this fertilizer once a fortnight until the end of flowering.

How often do they need watering?
Make sure the plugs are moist before planting. Water them well immediately after planting. We'd recommend watering them once or twice a week depending on plant growth and temperature.

If in doubt, pick up the pots – if they feel light then add water, if they're heavy then don’t water. When planting in the final position, water well upon planting then water once a week for up to four weeks if your helleborus are in borders, or water up to once a day if planted in containers. This is only a guide and depends on the weather.          

White hellebore flower What other plants complement helleborus?
Helleborus look great as a group planted in borders, or else individually in containers. Alternatively, you can place them in mixed borders with either a single colour theme or mixed colours. 

How long will they last in their plastic containers?
Your plants are delivered by First Class post and are packed in a specially designed recycled plastic ‘greenhouse’. Upon receipt, you should open the plastic greenhouse and stand up the plants so that the greenhouse now becomes a saucer. Assuming the plants are gently watered, they will be fine for up to two weeks before planting up.

Should I dead head for better results?
Is this plant poisonous to cats?
No, but all parts of helleborus may cause severe discomfort if ingested and the sap may irritate skin on contact.

Snap up this helleborus collection

Visit our garden department


  1. J Bemmer June 25, 2009 at 10:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard – just a quick one on Super poppies…i got 10 plugs from you a while back…have nurtured them, sun water, kept outside this last month..but they are still very small…maybe 3-4 inch high…and ive lost one of them…I did pot them on into small pots but they are not doing too well it seems…slow to grow…what should I do now..i hope they will flower this year but are too small to put in borders yet…the slugs will get them!! many thanks
    J B

  2. Sharon Gasparutti July 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard, what’s the best container for growing clematis plants and the best soil type. And when’s the best time to start them off.

  3. Myrtle bell December 24, 2015 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    Please please just one commentator when advertising products. I find the quick chatter of the women distracting on the qvc Richard Jackson garden show

  4. Lesley smith May 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    My heliborus flowers are very dull on the three varieties I have which are around 2yrs old. They are very vibrant when they first flower, but now very dull, what causes this?.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Cast your vote!

Never miss a post!

Sign up to our QGossip feed to get the latest posts in your mailbox.