Dividing Hellebores | Step By Step Guide


Dividing hellebore plants can be an important activity to keep your delicate plants healthy and thriving. Several reasons dividing Hellebores can be beneficial, but it can also help expand the region of your garden. Hellebores is a perennial plant that puts out beautiful flowers. There are many different varieties, such as the Christmas rose, and the Lenten rose, both of which are evergreen perennials.

Many gardeners elect to divide their Hellebores to ensure their plant’s health and to improve their growth potential. While dividing Hellebores is relatively straightforward, there are some important things to keep in mind when doing this. 

When dividing a Hellebore, you’ll want to equip yourself with safety gloves so that you don’t expose yourself to harsh skin irritation from coming in contact with this plant. You should divide a Hellebore as early in the morning as possible and ensure that you carefully transplant it into a new location with partial sunlight and partial shade.

We’re going to talk a little bit about the best time of the year to divide your Hellebore plants. There are a couple of times that make the most sense. Those ideal times are usually during autumn or winter.

See our article for Christmas Rose here.

When Should I Divide Hellebores?

Since hellebores are ideally divided right before they bloom, autumn and winter are excellent seasons to divide your hellebores. It’s not always ideal to divide your hellebores. The plant can generally survive easily on its own without dividing it. 

If you do wish to divide and transplant hellebore, you should try to do it between September and December. If you choose to divide your hellebores during another time of year, then you may risk complications and other unexpected outcomes. 

How to Divide Your Hellebores?

Dividing Hellebore is very easy, as long as you keep a few things in mind. If you are dividing and moving parts of the plant, you need to make sure that you are moving it into an area with ideal conditions. Dividing Hellebore is an easy, three-step process.

Step 1

It’s best to divide your hellebores, after ensuring the soil is moist. This means that you should try to water your plant before starting the division process. Dig the exterior soil around the plant and carefully lift the surrounding area of soil to gently remove the plant from the ground.  

Step 2

You’ll want to dig the entire plant carefully, ensuring that no soil remains within the crown. This will make the process much easier and allow you to have a complete understanding of what you are looking at.

Step 3

After that, use a sharp cutter to slice between the growth buds of the plant. Keep a few buds in each of the divisions to ensure that the plant can recover effectively. 

Dividing your plants doesn’t only expand a clone of your original single plant, it also keeps all of the initial traits.  It’s always important to wear safety gloves that are completely protective of your hands and fingers due to the potential for skin irritation from touching a hellebore plant.

How To Transplant Your Hellebores?

Once you have dug out the plant that you are planning to divide, prepare new locations to transplant the divisions. Keep them in water until you find their new location. They should always be planted in regions that support their growth. This generally includes regions that experience partial shade and partial sun. 

Well-drained soil is also a crucial factor in the new location where you transplant your hellebores. Do not underestimate the importance of this type of soil because it is imperative if you want your divided plant to recover.

Let the plant settle and stabilize into the soil and ensure that the soil surrounds the exterior of the crown. Ensure the fresh soil is properly watered so that it remains moist.  Being selective when choosing your favorite hellebores for dividing and transplanting is always a good idea because you will retain all of its original traits and colors. 

For the best overall experience, always try to find appropriate regions for transplanting. You should also always try to divide your plants at the appropriate time of the year to ensure the best outcome. Moving hellebores after it is a couple of years old makes it harder to have success. Luckily there are other methods of moving plants, such as using seedlings. Source.

Do You Have to Divide Hellebores?

It’s certainly not a mandatory thing to do if you have a hellebore plant in your garden. Hellebores can divide and spread on their own without any assistance, but it can be a healthy thing to do, especially when done correctly. 

If you take all of the necessary precautions and complete a reasonable amount of planning before you divide and transplant your hellebores, you’ll be grateful to learn that it can benefit the health of your plant. It will also allow you to clone and recreate additional, identical variations of the same parent plant in new areas.  

Why is it bad to divide hellebores in the summertime or springtime?

You shouldn’t divide your hellebores until right before they bloom for the best outcome. For these reasons, it’s not ideal to divide them in the summertime or the springtime. In addition, you should try to only divide them between September and December. 

Is dividing hellebores really necessary?

While it’s definitely not a requirement, there are certainly some positives to taking action. Dividing or transplanting a hellebore plant can be beneficial in the longer term. The process of dividing a hellebore plant temporarily weakens the structure of the divided plant with the hopes of expanding and recovering.

Angela Fox

I've been growing perennial flowers and plants for over 30 years. I love being with my family, gardening, hiking, and spending time in nature.

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