Hello. I am picking up hellibore on April 1. When do I plant them , end April? Or later? and until then how do I store them? I live in mid town Toronto thanks Donna 416 7341851


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about your Hellebore (Helleborus spp.). Hellebores are very hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures even while in bloom, without damage to their blossoms. They do well in cold temperatures, and depending on the species / hybrid / cultivar, they are usually in bloom in Ontario by April. I think it would be best to plant yours as soon as the ground is not frozen and has dried out for a while so it’s workable and not soggy. This will likely be sometime in April, but our weather this winter has been unpredictable, so it’s hard to know for sure exactly when in April this will be. Your plant has probably been grown in a greenhouse, so it will need to be acclimatized gradually to the outdoors (also known as hardening off), to reduce the shock. I suggest that you plan to get your plant outdoors and into an unheated garage or sheltered spot in your garden soon after you pick it up, as long as the weather is still more typical of late winter / early spring and not a deep freeze. You can do this gradually by having it in a cool spot with no direct sun in your house for a few days, and then taking it outside for a short period of time each day for a few days, and then keeping it in the unheated garage or sheltered spot until the soil is ready for planting. During this transition, make sure your plant is well watered and does not dry out. Its final planting spot should be in semi or full shade and sheltered, and you should keep your plant well watered through the spring and summer.

There is more information about Hellebores at the links below. The article from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is very good, but keep in mind that this is a warmer planting zone than here in Toronto. The Toronto Master Gardeners have also previously answered many questions about Hellebores. You can access these questions and our responses by using the Find It Here search box on our website.

Hellebores: Flowers from Winter into Spring


Good luck and I hope you enjoy this lovely spring addition to your garden.