Helleborus species and hybrids • Green Works

Generally speaking, a riper flower will keep longer. Always use chlorine tablets to keep the water clear. Plant food for shrubs can be used for better keeping qualities.

Please note that the Cultural information and description is based on Dutch growing conditions.

Helleborus Niger

The white Helleborus Niger or Christmas rose has been grown as cut flower around Aalsmeer and also in Germany. The short stems, 20-30 cm long, are cut before Christmas and in early spring. The plants are often grown outside and are put in the greenhouse afterwards. By putting the plants in the dark and treating them with berelex, they are forced to flower.

Helleborus Orientalis

Helleborus Orientalis or spring rose flowers from January to April. The colour of the flowers varies from white to pink to dark purple. Because outside the flowers are damaged by wind and frost, this variety can be best grown in the greenhouse. A cold greenhouse that is being kept free of frost is the best. Heating in the winter is harmful to the flowers.

The old leaves can best be removed in November. This makes it easier to cut the flowers and it will make to flowers grow better.

The stems of Helleborus Orientalis will grow between 30 and 50 cm long. The stems will have a longer vase life when they are cut riper.

Helleborus Orientalis grows best in moist and rich soil. 15 to 20 plants need to be planted per m².

Young plants need to be planted in April or May. The first two years the plants will produce few stems. After that the plants will produce more and more flowers. They are strong plants that will grow for a long time.

Helleborus Argutifolius

Helleborus Argutifolius can be grown outside as well as inside. Outside the plants need to be sheltered from wind and frost by a windshield or shaded area. In the greenhouse, where the flowers will not be damaged by wind and frost, the flower-stems can be cut longer. Because the plants will produce more and more flowers, stems can be cut in the greenhouse from January through April.

The young plants need to be planted in April or May. The following year these plants will produce 1 stem. The second year each plant will produce 2 or 3 stems. However, they are not very long-living plants, after 3 to 4 years there will be more loss of plants in the greenhouse and it will be better to plant new plants (after disinfecting the soil). Outside this is less of a problem.

The stems of the Helleborus Argutifolius are between 50 cm and 1 m long. The plants need to be supported by a wire net, otherwise they will fall over. Plant between 10 and 15 plants per m².

Helleborus Aargutifolius grows in every type of soil and can withstand drought very well. When the soil condition is too wet, especially in the greenhouse, root diseases like Pythium and Phytophtera can cause loss of plants in the summer. Take care that the greenhouse is shaded in the summer and water carefully. Plants grown outside are less susceptible to root diseases.

  • Length of life 4 to 10 years
  • Year one: 1 stem; year two: 2-3 stems; year three – etc.: 8-10 stems
  • Planting distance is generally 20 cm on clay; clay 2 rows p/bed (ridges), sand 3 rows p/bed
  • Possible damage because of wind (windshield needed) and false mildew
  • Support by means of Alstroemeria wire-netting or roping.

Helleborus Foetidus

Helleborus Foetidus flowers from  January till March and can only be grown outside. Some protection against wind and frost by means of a windshield or shaded area, is recommended.

Helleborus Foetidus is a short-lived plant that lives about 3 to 4 years. It is important that the plant is grown on well-drained, well-aired soil.

The length of the flower-stem is between 40 cm and 60 cm and 10 to 15 plants are planted per m².

  • Length of life 3 to 4 years
  • year 1: 1 stem, year 2: 3 stems, year 3-4: 4-5 stems
  • Planting distance generally 20 cm on clay; clay 2 rows p/bed (ridges), sand 3 rows p/bed
  • Possible damage because of wind (windshield needed) and false mildew
  • Support by means of Alstroemeria wire-netting or roping.

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