Is this Black Spot on my Hellebores? Help?

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I am about to cry. I had found a single flower on my hellebores last week and this morning, I thought I would check to see how it was coming along and if I got any new sprouts. Well, to my horror, the leaves on almost all of my hellebores are turning black. What could be causing this?? Needless to say, I see no blooms at all now. We had lots and lots of rain over the past few days and my yard doesn't drain very well. Could that have attributed? This is one of my favorite plants and I don't want to lose them. Erica? Rose? Walter? Four Seasons? Anybody. Help?
q is this black spot on my hellebores help, flowers, gardening, Noticed leaves turning black this morning
Noticed leaves turning black this morning
q is this black spot on my hellebores help, flowers, gardening, more black leaves
more black leaves
q is this black spot on my hellebores help, flowers, gardening, black leaves
black leaves :-(
q is this black spot on my hellebores help, flowers, gardening, First bloom from last week
First bloom from last week.
  12 answers
  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Jan 24, 2012
    Teresa, while it could be a fungus, I wouldn't worry yet. Walter may know exactly what it is. I have had this on some of my hellebores and what I suggest is cutting off (at the base of the plant) any leaves that look really bad. It appears that you have new growth coming on and that should quickly fill in for you. Honest, I really think your plants are going to be fine. Mine get too much sun and not enough water in the summer but are increasing and settling in. I hope this helps.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jan 24, 2012
    How deep did you plant them?

  • Stephanie R Stephanie R on Jan 24, 2012
    I agree with Erica cut back the worst ones and I think they will fill back in soon.

  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Jan 24, 2012
    This is just how they do. Make a note to cut back most foliage in December and the resulting new growth will be explosive!

  • JP S JP S on Jan 24, 2012
    Teresa, my hellebores looked worse than that,so I cut them back to the ground and now, 6 wks later, they are really full and have buds. Good luck!!

  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks everyone. I will cut the icky leaves off and hope for the best. It just happened so fast I guess I panicked. Four Seasons, I think I planted a few of them a little deeper than I should have. I got some of the plants from DeKalb's Master Gardener sale and the rest from someone in Stone Mountain who just wanted to get rid of some. I planted them back in March and I don't think I've lost any yet.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 25, 2012
    Farther north, hellebore foliage really takes a beating in winter. I'm used to basically removing all the old foliage, and it has never harmed them.

  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jan 26, 2012
    Just following up. I cut all the yucky leaves off my hellebores and I discovered I did have 1 bloom and one on the way! Yaaay!

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jan 26, 2012
    Cool Teresa! They are looking great. :)

  • Mike and Anne Mike and Anne on Jan 26, 2012
    As long as the black spots are on the old leaves and not the new tissue, the plants will proabably be ok.

  • Mike and Anne Mike and Anne on Jan 26, 2012
    It's just the old leaves. Leave them in place until the plants bloom. Thenyou can cut them off and leave the new, clean foliage. Most of us don't cut back hellebores in the fall because we want to be able to find them to see the blooms in winter. (Sometimes the blooms come out before the new foliage appears.

  • Anna K Anna K on Jan 26, 2012
    yup-up here in omaha, we cut back all of the old foliage once they start to re-grow late winter/early spring. yours look very healthy