Helleborus spring pruning


What is the best way to prune Helleborous?
I always prune old foliage close to the ground, being sure to leave some of it in order for photosynthesis to take place to energize new stems and blooms. Is this method correct? In past years my plants fill out fully eventually and beautifully. Thanks!


Thank you for your question.

Hellebores are generally “easygoing” plants and need little maintenance.  Established Hellebores like well-composted moist soil and a trim to their annual leaves, but not heavy mulching. Hellebores prefer a part shade or full shade location.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the UK recommends cutting off Hellebore foliage at the end of the season as this prevents hellebore leaf spot disease from overwintering on the leaves and infecting the flowers.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden reports that pruning can be done November through March. Cut off the old leathery and damaged leaves right at the base. Only new leaves and perhaps flower shoots emerging from the ground remain.

RHS also recommend cutting off all the flower stems after flowering before the seed pods split. If these hybrid seeds germinate they are unlikely to grow into the same plant, diluting the impact of your chosen Hellebore variety.

Here are links to additional information about Hellebores: