Plant of the Month | Winter-Flowering Hellebores

Spectacular, winter-flowering Hellebore varieties are one of the few plants that bloom from late autumn all through winter. 

These easy-to-grow perennials offer an array of colours plus outstanding forms to make your winter borders and containers a thing of real beauty.


Winter Hellebore Varieties

Some of our best-loved winter hellebore varieties, grown on our nurseries in Hampshire, for you to try in your own garden.

Helleborus HGC ‘Wintergold’

A robust, low-growing variety that produces striking upward-facing white flowers with many slightly pointed petals from late November. The white blooms are contrasted against the dark green foliage. It makes an excellent cut flower, as well as a superb winter perennial.

Flowering time: November to January

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Any good, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Eventual size (height x width): 30cm x 30cm

>> Gardening Club Offer: Helleborus Wintergold Save £3 (now £9.99). Available until end Thursday 24th December. 


Helleborus x ericsmithii HGC ‘Shooting Star’

Produces incredible mounds of creamy white flowers with pink reverses and red stems with rich green foliage. A good choice if you suffer from deer nibbling in your garden.

Flowering time: December to January

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Any good, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Eventual size (height x width): 30cm x 30cm


Helleborus x ballardiae HGC ‘Merlin’

Light pink to pink flowers, which mature to a deep cranberry. Very dark foliage with dark stems. A strong plant, also deer resistant.

Flowering time: January to March

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Any good, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Eventual size (height x width): 30cm x 30cm


Helleborus ballardiae HGC 'Snow Dance'

This is a hardy, clump-forming, semi-evergreen perennial with dark grey-green leaves. From mid-autumn into winter, its maroon stems bear lightly fragrant, single, outward-facing, white flowers that turn light green with age. Position in darker borders to brighten them up, as part of winter, spring and woodland gardens or grow in a container.

Flowering time: December to January

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Any good, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Eventual size (height x width): 30cm x 60cm


Helleborus ericsmithii HGC 'Monte Cristo'

This is a hardy, evergreen, well-proportioned perennial with blue-grey leaves with red stems. It is a heavy bloomer of creamy white flowers blushed peachy pink produced from late autumn. A great choice for darker borders, winter, spring and woodland gardens or in containers.

Flowering time: December to January

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Any good, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Eventual size (height x width): 30cm x 30cm


Helleborus ericsmithii HGC 'Pink Frost'

This hardy variety lights up the garden towards the end of winter. It offers big, deep-pink flowers turning a darker pink as they age and attractive foliage for the rest of the year. This variety can reach a considerable spread in time, making it a great choice for woodland, winter and spring borders. 

Flowering time: February to March

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Any good, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Eventual size (height x width): 30cm x 60cm


Helleborus HGC 'Joel'

This hardy, compact, semi-evergreen perennial has leathery, dark green leaves. From late autumn into winter, the maroon stems bear lightly fragrant, upward-facing, white flowers that age to pale green or pale pink. This is a great choice for darker borders, winter, spring and woodland gardens or in a container.

Flowering time: November to January

Sun Requirements: Partial shade

Soil: Any good, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Eventual size (height x width): 30cm x 30cm


Winter Hellebore Growing Guide

Planting

Helleborus varieties are generally best grown in a partially shaded spot. Helleborus hybrid varieties, however, will grow in full sun as well as part or dappled shade.

Watering

Water thoroughly before and after planting and regularly in the first season. Hellebores do not do well in overly dry conditions, so be sure to water regularly – particularly if they are in a spot that will dry out.

Pruning

All hellebores are evergreen. Simply remove any tatty foliage as you spot it to keep them looking at their best.


Winter Hellebore Planting Ideas

A striking winter duo for creating dots of flowering colour in your garden is in combination with Cyclamen coum.

Pairing winter-flowering hellebores with evergreens is always a good option to ensure that they are all looking good throughout winter – e.g. with Euonymous, Cowslips or ornamental grasses.   

A section of the winter garden at Sir Harold Hillier Garden 


For a combination that will bring low and high-level winter interest that will continue into spring, plant winter-flowering hellebores below and around trees with brilliant winter bark colour or texture. Acers are ideal, such as Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’ or Acer palmatum ‘Bi-Hoo’. Plant your spring-flowering bulbs here too, like Narcissus ‘Tête-á-Tête’ or Galanthus ‘Nivalis’, for an area of garden that will herald the new season.


Winter Hellebore Fact

Where you see the HGC symbol in the variety name of a hellebore, this indicates it is part of the Helleborus Gold Collection ®. Only varieties that meet the highest breeding standards are admitted.

Be aware that Hellebores are toxic and can cause severe discomfort if ingested.