Helleborus as house plant

(Question)

Hi: I’m thinking of growing a Helleborus Cinnamon Snow in the house since the info from the internet says blooms in Feb & Toronto is not free from snow or frost till later months. Although it says can grow in shade but my house is not bright will it survive in the house year round? Also will it be dangerous for my cat? Do Torontonians grow them in the yards & will they pose any harm to wildlife or cats & dogs?

(Answer)

Hellebores can be grown as houseplants, although they are more commonly grown outside.  In the case of a plant is which indicated to flower in February, it would simply flower later in year in Toronto.  However, hellebores do flower very early; in mild winters can can bloom through the winter or as early as March .

Hellebores are often grown in the shade and as such should tolerate the light conditions in your house.  You should put the plant in a window that receives morning sun, or indirect sunlight.

Hellebores are quite commonly grown in Toronto; I have a least six varieties in my garden and they are among my favourite plants.

They are poisonous though, all parts of the plant containing protoanemonin which can cause, among other things, burning of mouth and throat, cramping and diarrhea.  The sap can cause skin irritation.  However, the plant is only toxic if eaten in large quantities, and the skin irritation is typically minor.  I have never noticed any ill effects in handling my plants.