Perennials forum: Transplant Hellebores in the fall?

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 4, 2015 11:34 AM CST
I have some old white hellebores that I acquired years ago. They've been in the same spot since I got them. I think the root system of a nearby barberry is affecting their vigor as they didn't bloom this year or get as big as they used to. I'm going to be freeing up some space nearby in the fall and was wondering if that would be a good time to move them. The soil composition shouldn't change (although I might amend the soil a bit with compost) and the light exposure should be about the same.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Aug 8, 2015 4:18 PM CST
When is your last frost date? I see you are zone 5. I would think that it would be fine to transplant as long as you do so 6 or 8 weeks before first frost. They are very hardy plants and should be fine. My only worry would be frost heave.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 8, 2015 5:04 PM CST
First frost can come as early as mid-Oct. Sounds like I should transplant them sometime this month. I probably would have pushed it too late so thanks so much for the advice.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 8, 2015 11:30 PM CST
Thumbs up Let me know how it goes. I have read that these plants like a bit of leaf mold mixed in the planting hole.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 9, 2015 9:37 AM CST
I definitely have leaf mold here - yard shaded with oaks and hickories. That could be one of the reasons that the hellebores aren't so happy anymore - leaf mold continues to break down in the soil and those babies have been there maybe 15 years.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 9, 2015 11:20 AM CST
Yes, it does. I have a Hinoki that is competing with my Hylotelephium in the from garden.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 9, 2015 11:49 AM CST
I know barberry roots can be horrible - lots of them and woody. I have a Hinoki in its own slightly raised bed - a specimen planting if our winters would leave it alone.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 9, 2015 2:40 PM CST
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This is my north facing bed full of hellebore.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Aug 9, 2015 3:02 PM CST
I have found hellebore to be a bit of a pill when dividing/transplanting. The ones I have moved have kind of sulked for a year or two before regaining their vigor. Just an advance FYI to have patience if/when you do move them.
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Aug 9, 2015 7:01 PM CST

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I agree it generally take a couple of years for them to really get going again.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Aug 9, 2015 7:52 PM CST
I was also thinking you should water with transplanter for a few weeks to get it settled. Yes, you will probably not have blooms or a while but it sounded like you were not getting many in the current location.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 10, 2015 9:16 AM CST
Thanks, all, for the tips. Fall can be dry here so I will definitely have to remember to water them well. Even if it takes some time to get them healthy again, that's fine. They're sulking now anyway.

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