My Hellebore Won't Bloom: Causes For A Hellebore Not Flowering

Buds On A Hellebore Plant
hellebore bud
(Image credit: azndc)

Hellebores are beautiful plants that produce attractive, silky flowers usually in shades of pink or white. They are grown for their flowers, so it can be a serious disappointment when those flowers fail to show up. Keep reading to learn more about reasons why a hellebore won’t bloom and how to encourage blooming.

Why Doesn’t My Hellebore Flower?

There are a few reasons a hellebore won’t bloom, and most of them can be traced to the way they were treated before they were sold. Hellebores are popular winter and spring blooming plants that are often bought in pots and kept as houseplants. The fact that they are grown and kept in containers means that they frequently become root bound, often before they’re even bought. This happens when the plant’s roots outgrow the space in their container and begin to wrap around and constrict themselves. This will eventually kill the plant, but a good early indicator is a lack of flowers. Another problem that stores sometimes inadvertently cause has to do with bloom time. Hellebores have a usual bloom time (winter and spring), but they can sometimes be found for sale, in full bloom, during the summer. This means that the plants have been forced to bloom out of their usual schedule, and they aren’t likely to bloom again in the winter. There’s a good chance they won’t bloom the following summer either. Growing a forced flowering plant is tricky, and it can take a season or two for it to settle into its natural blooming rhythm.

What to Do for No Flowers on Hellebore Plants

If your hellebore won't bloom, the best thing to do is check to see if it seems root bound. If it isn’t, then think back on when it flowered last. If it was summertime, it might need a while to acclimate. If you just transplanted it, the plant might need some time too. Hellebores take a while to settle in after being transplanted, and they may not bloom until they’re completely happy in their new home.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.