Q. Can I plant hellebore in winter?
Thank you for your question. Planting perennial Helleborus is usually done in spring, although if the ground is workable and not too wet from rain, and if you have a hardy type, it would be okay to plant out now. They prefer some shade to part sun condition to grow well. Do you know the particular cultivar name? Most are hardy to zones 4, 6-9. Do you know your hardiness zone in CT? There are many cultivars, and some are only hardy to zone 7-8&9.
Preferred garden conditions: They do have a wide range. They like well-drained soil, but moisture-retentive, neutral or alkaline, and humus-rich. Do not plant too deeply as this may impair flowering. Plant just below the surface, with growing tips just at the surface. Manure or compost in early winter but keep it off the crown. Top-dress the area around the crown with limestone chips to make soil less acid; if that is a problem. Of course, soil testing is always best when making a new garden. Cornell Cooperative Extension Service provide soil testing. If you want more information, let me know….
More: Let hellebores that flower off the previous year’s leaf stem (H. argustifolius, H. foetidus) flower (and set seed) before cutting their stems to the ground. New shoots will have emerged from the crown, and new stem will grow and fill out during the summer and flower the following year. Cut back the leaf stems of H. orientalis as the new flower stems reach three to four inches to enhance flowering. This also reduces disease on old leaves; cut the leaf stems close to the crown. Remove old and damaged leaves as necessary. And in winter, just before the buds open, cut off all the old leaves. When flower stems die back after seeding, they can be cut back to the ground; this too helps to prevent and control fungal diseases. All parts are poisonous btw.
Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service