Hellebores--to cut back or not to cut back?

Asked November 28, 2016, 9:06 PM EST

I have heaps of helleborus orientalis. Most of this year's leaves are still green, but the new leaves are beginning to pop up. They will brighten my Winter with their blooms in Jan/Feb. If I cut back the old (still green) leaves now while the weather is decent for working outside will that leave the new ones at the mercy of the weather when it gets bitter? Or should I leave the old leaves on to protect the new shoots and end up with them becoming tattered and beat up?

Howard County Maryland flower hellebores culture

1 Response

The recommended culture for Helleborus is to prune off dead leaves in late winter if they are ratty looking. The garden author Tracy DiSabato-Aust mentions that some people occasionally "mow the old foliage off of large plantings for complete renewal."