Talkback: Growing hellebores from seedJump to latest post
1 to 20 of 34 replies
1 to 20 of 34 replies
There's a huge discrepancy between Adam's lovely happy-go-lucky approach to sowing hellebore seeds and the instructions on my seed packet, bought from a well-known seed company. I am directed to sow them indoors, kept in a polythene bag with gentle heat for 3 months, then put them in the fridge for 3 months, and finally get them out and repeat the gentle heat regime for another 3 months. If no germination, it says repeat the whole process! Always one for a challenge, I am doing just that, but time hangs heavy and I wonder if the seed company is having a laugh! In fact, I wonder how hellebores survive when left to themselves - they should be extinct by now! What would happen if I just scattered them outdoors as Adam does...? Meanwhile (hedging my bets) I have gone out and bought a nice mature hellebore plant to start me off. Can I expect to be able to split it when I come to plant it out? I'm looking for value for money, and hoping I can propagate it in this way to get 2 or 3 plants out of it.
Hellebores don't like root disturbance so if you do split it it will at best sulk and at worst die. I'd plant it as it is and hope it makes babies and then maybe split it in a couple of years when you have reserves.
Having potted on plantlets from my hellebores it has taken two years for four leaves to grow to any size.
They haven't died off in the two winters and are bright and shiny. Maybe they will flower this year.
Really haven't considered splitting the mature plant as it seem ok as it is. More plantlets to pot-up mind.
Assume the colour will be true to the mother plant whether split or planlet. I say this becausemine is the deep burgandy colour (sorry tired mind, cant think of the name)
From a plantlet my neighbour had given the colour was a softer shade.
Something to look-up tomorrow....speak later.
The reason why the Seed company gives such instructions is because by the time to see reaches you it has gone into deep dormancy and it needs a lot of persuasion for it to wake up and grow. In nature the seed drops from the plant and is ready to germinate straight away.
If you have plants then fresh seed germinates easily. I confess that these days I just dig up any self seeded ones from around the mother plants. As said they hate root disturbance, especially drying out, so I drop the babies into a bucket of water and they are taken out to be potted on. Also they make new root growth in early Autumn so that s the best time to move them.
Sadly they often do not come true to colour especially if you have more than one form in the area.
Lesley Snow wrote (see)
I wonder how hellebores survive when left to themselves - they should be extinct by now! What would happen if I just scattered them outdoors as Adam does...?
Left to themselves they germinate by the thousands. As Berghill says they don't stay true unless well separated in the garden. Not possible in most gardens. I have an area of really dark ones that looks after itself. The rest get the dirty pinks eliminated from time to time. Occasionally something nice turns up. I have one that's striped pink and gren on the outside. Might not win any prizes but I like it. Buying a plant you like is a good way to start. Let it seed, some of them will be lovely, the rest can go.
thanks ..something to think about...I will look more closely at the plants tomorrow..curiosity aroused.
Be interesting to see if they do flower this year Lyn. As said I do take them for granted somewhat ... they always appear on time.
I love it when plants start to reproduce themselves.
you'd need a shovel as well here Woo2.
I'm near Peterborough. It's nothing here compared to some areas but I didn't want any. Perhaps this will be the last of it.