How to Grow Helleborus Orientalis in Pots


Helleborus orientalis is an ornamental perennial (evergreen in warmer climates) that offers delicate, bell-shaped blooms in white, pale green, pink or purple and dark leathery foliage. The hellebore, also referred to as the Lenten Rose, is very slow to germinate, and may take three to four years to bloom when grown from seed. These herbaceous beauties are relatively care-free and drought tolerant, blooming in late winter or early spring, with petals that will last for several months.

Step 1

Mix one part potting soil, one part compost and one part water in the planting container to form a slightly moistened base for the Helleborus orientalis seedling. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball of the Helleborus seedling in the center of the soil.

Step 2

Remove the seedling from its store container. Use a knife to loosen the soil from the edges of the container and gently lift it up and out.

Step 3

Loosen the roots around the base of the seedling and place it in the hole in the planting container. Pack soil around the transplanted hellebore and spread a layer of compost around the base of the plant.

Step 4

Water until the soil is moist but not saturated to allow the plant to settle into its new home, then place your potted Helleborus orientalis in a location that receives partial or dappled shade.

Step 5

Add a thin layer of compost around the base of each plant during the blooming season. Once the blooming has passed, compost once a month.

Step 6

Water hellebores regularly, at least twice per week, during active growth in the spring and fall. Cut back to once every two weeks or so when plants enter their dormant stage during the hot summer months.

Tips and Warnings

  • Start with a larger container to prevent hellebores from becoming cramped and root bound.

Things You'll Need

  • Helleborus orientalis starter plants
  • 5-gallon (or larger) containers
  • High-quality potting soil
  • Compost
  • Water


  • Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.: Hellebores, Hellebores, Hellebores
  • Helleborus orientalis
  • Growing and Propagating Hellebores

Who Can Help

  • Heronswood: Helleborus-Hellebores-Lenten Roses
Keywords: growing hellebores, planting helleborus orientalis, Lenten Rose

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.