Move my hellebore??

rgvnewf(z5 NL,Canada)May 1, 2006

I have a well established H.niger under a blue spruce. This year I wanted to actually make the area around the tree into a bed by removing a couple of inches of clay around the area, building a stone retaining wall about 4-5 inches high, and filling the area in with good garden soil. My question is should I dig up my hellebore and re-plant it at the new soil level or is it OK to leave the plant where it is and add the new soil directly over it, probably to a depth of 3-4 inches. Which way would cause the least amount of harm to my beloved hellebore. The plan around the bed is to showcase the H.niger, so I really don't want to lose it!!!

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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

I think I can guarantee that H. niger will not like being buried under 3-4 inches of even the best of soils. Still, I hate to recommend lifting it, as niger is a rather touchy plant compared to X hybridus. Sounds like you're between the proverbial Devil and the deep blue sea.

George

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 8:19AM
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mastergardenerfrank(Zone6/New Jerse)

I would be more concerned with disturbing the surface roots of the Colorado Spruce, by removing soil. You will run less risk of impacting the tree by just top dressing your bed, if you really feel the need to. Helleborus should be planted and left alone. But sometimes they need to be moved, just remember large soil ball. The crown of the plant should be an inch below the soil surface, with an inch of mulch. Feed it with 10-10-10 water soluable fertilizer. Hope this helps.
Frank

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 12:38AM
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