Hellebores are famous for their lovely unusual blooms and deep green foliage. But, these are a bit sensitive to grow. Most of the time gardeners have to deal with a common issue, and that is droopiness.
If you are facing the same, you are in the right place. In this article, I’ll discuss issues focusing on droopy hellebores. The major problems are namely irregular watering, fungal and pest infestation, unfavorable weather conditions, excessive use of fertilizers and dust build-up.
So, let’s get the show on the road!
|Irregular watering||Water once in 7 days to a depth of 2.5 to 3 centimetres.|
|Root rot||Remove affected roots and apply fungicides.|
|Pest infestation||Apply soapy water or horticultural oils or suitable pesticides to get rid of pests.|
|Extreme temperatures||Use shadings and water your hellebores or move them to warmer place according to plants’ needs.|
|Low humidity||Keep checking the humidity level and mist some water around your plant when the level drops.|
|Excessive use of fertilizers||Scrape the top layer of soil and add water to leach out the extra salts.|
|Dust and pollution||Use wipe clothes or plant wipes to remove dust from the plant surface and keep your surroundings clean.|
Why is My Hellebore Drooping- Solution
1. Irregular Watering
Watering is a crucial management practice in gardening that you should never mess with. This one mistake can lead to different stress conditions to your plants.
Droopy hellebores can be a consequence of both; overwatering and lack of water. In the case of overwatered plants, you may notice lower leaves yellowing, brown young leaves, and stunted growth along with wilting. Sometimes green algae can also be found in nearby soil.
On the other hand, dead and brittle tips on foliage with dry and cracked soil are a remarkable sign that your plant is thriving for some water.
It’s an absolute necessity to take steps in such a condition to save your hellebores from drooping. Let me help you with this.
You need to know when and how much water your hellebores need. Normally, hellebores require water once in 7 days to a depth of 2.5 to 3 centimeters. During hot summer days drench your soil according to its need.
Sometimes you may accidentally put too much water to your hellebores. Rainfall can also do the same. In such situations, give your plants a break from consecutive watering. It’s a matter of relief that healthy plants will recover on their own within a week. Just keep checking whether your drainage channel is working or not.
You can also place some dry sawdust on the top layer of soil surrounding the plant base. While decomposing these use the excessive moisture from the soil.
Aside from that, in the case of pot planted hellebores, moving plants to full sun sometimes reduces the stress a lot. Make sure that your container’s drainage hole is also working properly.
In order to avoid under watering, you can use mulches around the plant base to conserve some moisture on hot days. Whenever you notice that the hellebores are drooping, add water to the soil slowly and gradually. Don’t make the mistake of putting tons of water at once.
2. Root Rot
Root rot is mainly caused by a particular soil-borne fungus. If roots are exposed to waterlogged conditions for a prolonged period they become weak and susceptible to this fungus.
The initial symptoms are smaller and pale leaves with dieback. Your plant growth may also be stopped as roots fail to transport water and nutrients.
So, if you are observing that hellebores are rotting at the base, you need to take action as soon as possible. So, let’s check together what you can do for your plants.
Root rots are developed mostly in wet soils. So, it is advised to grow your hellebores in well-drained loamy soil. Do not overwater and let your soil dry completely after heavy rainfall.
Additionally, adding ash will help in absorbing extra moisture from soil and soggy roots. So, you can also try this method.
Another well-known practice is trimming off the affected roots containing fungal spores. Sometimes you may also need to uproot a whole plant to save others. Disinfect your equipment with isopropyl alcohol and declutter plant debris quickly to prevent further dissemination.
After that, it’s suggested to replace your hellebores with new and healthy soil. In pot planted ones, repotting shows better defense against root rot.
For a quick fix, fungicides can be used. You can pick this one that is specially formulated for ornamental plants. (Our Pick: Garden Safe Brand Fungicide)
#Remedy 1: Apple Cider Vinegar Solution
- 70 to 80 milliliters of 5% apple cider vinegar.
- 2 liters of water.
- Mix water and apple cider vinegar together.
- Apply this solution to your plant base.
#Remedy 2: Neem Oil Mixture
- 8 to 10 drops of organic neem oil.
- One liter of water.
- Add neem oil to water and give it a good mix.
- Pour this to your plant base at the root level to combat root rot.
3. Pest Infestation
Flowering plants are quite susceptible to insect pests due to their vivid appearance. Sucking pests like aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and spider insects absorb cell sap causing water loss in plants which may lead to droopiness in the long run.
In hellebores, the presence of plants can be traced by minute yellow piercing signs and crinkled leaves. Sometimes, you may find these insects hiding underneath your foliage.
For effective control of insect pests, you can check my suggestions. So, here’s the deal.
First of all, you can try handpicking insect masses from your foliage. Some speedy water splashes also wash out the insects from plants.
Then, you can spray some soapy water on your hellebores. Simply add a few drops of mild soap to water and apply them to your foliage to get rid of insects. But always use soap with lower bleach content to prevent blooms and foliage burning.
Now, let me introduce an interesting hack. It’s the sticky traps. You can install some of these with bright colours close to your hellebores. While moving from one place to another the insects will be trapped on this and then you can easily remove them.
Furthermore, you may also pick some horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to drive away these insects from your garden. (Our Pick: Natria 820042A Insecticidal Soap)
#Remedy 1: Pepper Spray
- Half a cup of hot pepper powder.
- 2 to 3 milliliters of mild liquid soap.
- 4 gallons of water.
- Mix hot pepper powder with water and leave it for some time.
- Strain the mixture and add liquid soap to it.
- Then apply the final solution to your hellebores with the help of a sprayer.
#Remedy 2: Homemade Herbal Spray
- A handful of rosemary, thyme, or coriander.
- 2 liters of water.
- 2 to 3 drops of any mild liquid soap.
- Grind the herbs and extract the juice out of them.
- Add this juice and liquid soap to water and spray it to your plants.
4. Extreme Temperature
Hellebores grow between 5°C to 20°C but these are susceptible to both high and freezing temperatures. These can cause serious metabolism failure in plants.
In high temperatures, plants can’t compensate for the transpiration loss as the process is speeded up and water uptake is lagged behind.
On the other hand, due to extremely cold weather, plants’ internal water is frozen, which causes the expansion of cells. At a certain point, cells are broken down and water and nutrient movement is restricted.
As a result, hellebores drooping after frost and hot summers are often observed. However, let me show you how you can deal with such issues. Keep reading.
If you are thinking of what to do with hellebore in summer, let me tell you mulching is going to help you a lot.
You can place some organic manure or grass clippings with leaf litters as mulches near your plant base. These will help in capturing some extra moisture to the root zone and prevent wilting of hellebores.
Additionally, you may also place some sort of artificial shading to protect your plants from direct sun and heat waves. Also, keep watering your hellebores to keep pace with the subsequent transpiration loss.
Similarly, this shading technique will also work against cold drafts. Just move the shading sheets with the direction of the wind.
If possible move your hellebores to a greenhouse or a warmer place. You can install some LED lights to provide some warmth in the absence of sunlight.
5. Low Humidity
In dry weather, you may notice droopy leaves on hellebores. These are mainly caused by low humidity or moisture content in the air.
In such a condition, transpiration gets faster and soil also dries up quickly. This creates an extreme need for water for plants. Thus wilting occurred.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can combat this condition.
Hellebores normally grow between humidity ranges of 70% to 80%. You can place a moisture meter in your garden to keep checking the humidity level. If it drops, you need to take action as soon as possible.
More importantly, to meet the need of moisture, it is advised to water your soil in a slow and gradual manner.
You can also mist some water around your hellebores. This will add some moisture to the surroundings. But be careful about not having direct water sprays to your flowers. That may cause rotting.
6. Excessive Use of Fertilizers
You can’t ignore the need for fertilizers in flowering plants. But did you know excessive use of fertilizers can adversely affect your plants?
Well, this can cause salt build-up on the top layer of soil which hinders the passing of water to the root zone. Thus your hellebores wilt due to lack of water. You may also notice some burnt leaf tips at a later stage.
I got some effective practices which can help you to get rid of this condition. So, let’s dig a little deeper on this.
First of all, you need to scrape the top layer of soil to get rid of the salt buildup. Then add enough water to leach out the excess salts from the soil.
You can simply repot your hellebores in the pot planted ones. This will reduce hassles.
After that, it is suggested to stop the application of any kind of fertilizers for at least one month. Your plants will heal by this time.
Finally, you can add organic manures or pick a fertilizer specially formulated for flowering plants. Try to maintain the proper dose. (Our Pick: Espoma Organic Plant-tone)
7. Dust and Pollution
You may find it a bit surprising, but yes, dust particles along with pollution can create a layer on the top of your hellebores flowers and leaves. This interferes with your plant’s natural transpiration process which leads to wilting and drooping.
Well, some methods can easily help you in this. Let me show you how.
Plant surroundings have an important impact on the dust build-up on leaves and flowers. So, it’s advised to keep the nearby environments clean as much as possible.
Sometimes overhead watering helps a lot in washing off the surface dirt. You can practice this one. But try to water your hellebores in the morning so the water can dry up with time.
Another great product is plant wipes. These are easy and safe options to gently remove any kind of surface build-up from your plants. You can gently clean your foliage with these.
Question – Why is my hellebore drooping?
Answer – In general, hellebores flowers and leaves tend to droop at the peak blooming period. It’s quite natural though. But if such happens often, then it comes under concern.
The main reason behind droopy hellebores is somewhat environmental, mostly extreme hot or cold days or low humidity and dry winds. However, some other factors like over and under watering, pest and pathogens attacks also cause floppiness.
Question – How do you stop hellebores drooping?
Answer – Sometimes flower clusters at the top can be a load for the stems. This may result in droopiness. So, it is advised to remove some flowers to balance out.
In cut flowers, drooping can be noticed if collected at the immature stage. In such a case, it is often suggested to pick flowers from plants that have developed seed pods. The science behind is that hellebores with seed pods have firm and waxy sepals which work amazingly against wilting.
Question – How do you perk up hellebores?
Answer – Hellebores don’t last that longer in vases. You might have also been struggling with this. Well, you can follow this to perk up your flowers as cut flowers.
All you have to do is make a shallow vertical incision in your central hellebore stems. This will allow uptaking more water to supply the flowers and keep them sturdy for longer. This technique works for both, the early or even mature hellebores as cut flowers.
Now it’s time to sum up. Here I have mentioned all the possible facts and outcomes while dealing with droopy hellebores.
All you need to do is maintain a correct watering pattern, check and treat fungal and pest infestation and provide a favorable environment to your hellebores.
Not that tricky, right? So, what are you waiting for? Roll your sleeves up and start working on your pretty blooms. Come back to my articles for help. And don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments.
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