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Are over-sized hellebores prunable?

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I have a magnificent, handsome, supremely healthy Hellebore Argutifolius (the Corsican hellebore) in my front garden, growing in a 16" diameter wooden tub. It is in full shade and has been in the same container for a probable five years or so. Never a single spot of disease on it, though it does usually take quite a lot of watering during each summer, reaching out of my window with a can. I often need to water it in emergengy because it suddenly does a droop. It is actively leafing at the moment. Maybe it's just my imagination, but this spring it seems to have reached a size a little bigger than I have ever seen it. The weather prophets foretell a hot, dry summer ahead (we've had cool and wet ones for two years in a row here in England), and I am anticipating it will be a lot of work for me keeping it hydrated this year, especially with my disability. It is too heavy for me to lift and re-pot into a bigger container.
My question is this: Can anyone advise me re whether hellebores are prunable, a bit like shrubs? I have never tried it. Has anyone else ever? Will it likely harm the plant, or will it not mind and re-grow to recover a nice shape still, albiet at a lower height? Does anybody know? Hands up children!
Thanks and best wishes, JONATHAN H.




Yes, it is prunable but be aware that touching it may cause irritation to the skin. Have you ever considered getting one of those irrigation kits? There are all sorts available from a simple fitting to a pop bottle to drippers and wilkos do a good version of a more expensive brand in laid watering cables? This may avoid you having to touch what is obviously a favourite of yours.

4 May, 2009


MG cut several of our larger Hellebores back yesterday because they were flopping all over the place. This is earlier than we usually cut them back but I don't xpect it to do them any harm.

4 May, 2009

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