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Over-wintering potted Hellebores

Posted by ldsteiner Zone 5 -Michigan (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 5, 10 at 15:55

I just bought potted Hellebores on clearance. They are healthy, evergreen, zone 4-9, grown by Bay City Flowers Co. in Hana Bay. The problem is that they were in the store as Christmas plants and the ground outside is frozen. I currently have them in an unheated attached garage that is just above 30 degrees F. Since they are tolerent to -10 degrees, I'm hoping the garage (by a bright window) will be okay for them until spring. Even the compost pile is frozen or I could sink them in there. Does anyone know the best way to keep them until the ground thaws?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Over-wintering potted Hellebores

They will be fine in your garage. If you have sunny non-freezing days, you can set them outdoors, then put them back in the garage at night to keep the foliage looking decent.

I've kept hellebores in a garage or enclosed porch in winter. Just make sure they don't dry out.

If you cannot keep them in the garage, you could purchase top soil and pour out the soil and heel the pots in near your compost heap. The plants will have an adjustment but should survive.

RE: Over-wintering potted Hellebores

I bought one a few weeks ago at Lowes (full price, alas, but I wanted it). It's really happy in front of my big glass doorwall in my cold converted garage, now family room that I don't heat in the winter. Blooming its heart out and very happy.

RE: Over-wintering potted Hellebores

Thank you both. I was afraid that I was wasting my bargain. With a new kitten in the house, the garage was my only inside option.

RE: Over-wintering potted Hellebores

I would put them in the coolest room in your house out of bright south sun. They might do OK in a garage, but the plants don't want to be shut off from light for months on end (welcome to Michigan winters, ugh....). If the plants are actively in leaf they really don't want to be in the dark for months -- especially if it is warm enough for them to break bud and start to produce new leaves. Don't let them get bone dry but you dont want to overwater either -- hellebores are somewhat prone to crown and foliage fungal problems and I have probably killed more potted plants by over than underwatering. Let the soil dry some between waterings.

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