What To Do With Hellebores In Summer?


While hellebore plants don’t generally require a whole lot of maintenance, there are still some things that you can do in the summer to help them grow more efficiently.

Since many hellebores go dormant in the summer due to the increasing temperatures, you likely won’t have to provide as much water to them during this time of year.

How Do You Take Care of Hellebores in the Summer?

While you may not have to water your dormant hellebores during the summer months of the year, it might be important for you to prune them. You should properly care for your hellebores during the summer by pruning them, even though they primarily grow through the winter and spring. 

As always with hellebores, there’s not a whole lot of maintenance requirements that you’re going to have to worry about, even in the summertime. Aside from ensuring that they are properly cared for and that they have been cut back and pruned. 

All other types of maintenance for your hellebores are optional and we are going to dive in and take a closer look at why some of these actions might actually help your hellebores in the long run. With that being said, let’s transition to some of the things that you might want to do for your hellebores in the summertime. 

Summertime Maintenance for Hellebores

Unfortunately for hellebores, the summer months of the year are not going to be the best for them. They can’t easily thrive in the warmer temperatures and usually go completely inactive and dormant once the springtime comes to an end.

They prefer cold weather and are known for blooming in the final weeks of winter and through early spring. 

Replanting & Dividing

Replanting or dividing your hellebores during the summertime might seem like a good idea, but it can be harmful if the temperatures are too high. While it’s certainly an option, you need to make sure that you’re doing it in the final days of summer so that you can be sure that temperatures will drop quite quickly in the following weeks.

You shouldn’t divide or replant your hellebores every single summer. A good rule is to give it three to five years before replanting or dividing your hellebore plants. The month of August is a great time to start considering this type of maintenance for your hellebore plants. 

See our article on Dividing Hellebores here.

Pruning & Cutting

When should hellebores be cut back? While many people believe that the best time for pruning your hellebore plants is likely going to fall in the spring, it’s actually not a bad idea to do this in the summertime either. 

Old leaves can be cut and discarded when new growth begins to appear. It may not always be suitable to prune your hellebores in the summer months, but it’s certainly not a bad idea if you believe that the hellebore plant is ready to be cut back.

Simply cut the stems as efficiently as possible and within a few moments, you will have a nicely-pruned hellebore plant that is ready for the future. 

During the end of the season, toward the summer, pods start to develop in the center of the bloom and darken, turning brown and black. Now, would be a great time to consider deadheading them, to get rid of the seedpods before they turn black and break open. This is because the seeds would produce less than desirable flowers come springtime.

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Hellebore summer care – Video.

Limited Watering

It is a bad idea to continue manually watering your hellebores at the same rate as you normally would in the summer when they are inactive and dormant. Too much water during this period can make it more challenging for them to bounce back and return to their best. 

The same thing can be said about feeding your hellebores. Since they are virtually inactive, you don’t need to provide this type of maintenance during this period throughout the summer.

Looking for perennials that bloom all summer? Check out this article! 29 Perennials That Bloom All Summer

Hellebores Like Shade In The Summer

It’s sort of an interesting concept since hellebores need so much sunlight during the winter and spring months. In fact, during the summer they will actually do better when exposed to moderate amounts of shade. Too much sunlight can cause the leaves to wilt. Source.

While you shouldn’t replant or divide your hellebores very often, the summertime might be suitable for your specific hellebore plants. It is also a good idea to prune and cut them when new growths start to show up. In addition, don’t overfeed them and try to provide them with some shade in the summer if at all possible.

Other than that, leave them alone and don’t disturb them. They need this time to prepare themselves for their inevitable comeback in the weeks to come. After the summer comes to an end, they will enter a period where they will begin to thrive once again, before eventually blooming and repeating the cycle all over again.

Check out our article Do Hellebores Need Sun or Shade?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do hellebores go dormant in the summer?

The main reason is the increasing temperatures in the local climate. As temperatures go up in the summer, naturally, hellebores retreat into a dormant phase of inactivity where they should not be disturbed. It’s even recommended to limit watering and feeding during this time.

Can hellebores be disturbed in the summer?

Hellebore plants are very interesting because they truly do not want to be disturbed after the springtime comes to an end. As temperatures come up, they enter a phase where they prefer to remain undisturbed in a dormant state. Once temperatures come back down, instinctively they come out of this dormant state and transition once again to begin preparing for cooler temperatures.

What do hellebores look like in summer?

In the summer season, hellebores stay dormant. In this phase, the plant is a luscious green color. The flowers will last a while after, bleaching out with color from the sun and heat. They stay green until the first frost.

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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