Hellebores indoors

(Question)

I have a hellebore in a pot in my unheated garage and it has had flower buds for about two weeks. Can I bring it into the house to enjoy the flowers? (Toronto, Jan. 25th)

(Answer)

Ahh, the thought of beautiful hellebore flowers in the house in January is wonderful. And yes I believe that you can bring it into the house for its blooming period.

You have not identified the species of hellebore that you have, but given that it is blooming now, it is probably one of the earliest bloomers, often commonly referred to as the Christmas Rose, as it blooms around the holiday period. There are several varieties of the true Christmas Rose, and yours may be Helleborus niger ‘Maximus’. It blooms earlier than others, and the flowers and foliage are larger than they are in any of the other forms.

When blooming indoors they need a bright space with indirect light but prefer a cool location. (18-20 degrees celsius)Keep the plants moistened with warm water, but ensure that there is no standing water. You should move the plants back outdoors once the blooms begin to fade. Hellebores like to grow in well-composted soil so you might also consider adding some organic material. They should be fertilized twice a year, once after flowering and again in the autumn. It would be wise to identify the variety as different species have slightly different care requirements. Some are happy to live in pots for the duration of their lives and some prefer to be planted in the ground because of larger root systems.

Here are some helpful articles on varieties and care.

https://www.canadiangardening.com/plants/perennials/raising-hellebores/a/29587

https://www.hellebores.org

https://www.gardenaction.co.uk/plantfinder/hellebore_4.asp#Containers

https://www.finegardening.com/plants/articles/hellebores-cure-late-winter-blues.aspx

Enjoy your winter blooms!