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Self-sewn hellebores seedlings

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I have a bunch of seedlings around the mother plant and tons of seed pods ripening. I suppose it's too late to dig up this years babies and pot them up before the new crop of ripening seeds drop.?

Thumbnail by bigred
Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I've got tons of them also, but have never had the energy to pot them up. Actually I was worried they were going to overtake the garden, but they haven't. Given the number of seedlings, I'm not sure why they haven't taken over. Seems like only a small number mature to adulthood?

(Zone 7a)

I, too, have tons of the little ones and not one has survived. I suppose if I potted one or two... The same thing happens with my Buckthorn. Lots of little ones and nothing grows up.

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

I have tons of them and they are all surviving. I've repotted and shared some; I've left some there. It's a shady spot that is somewhat protected from the elements. It has very good drainage.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

I pot my babies up at any time. They always seem to do well, no matter when I do it. Be careful to hold them by the leaves, the stems can be delicate.

I'd pot them up now, and rough up the soil some, so the new seeds can get a good hold.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks...I was afraid it might be too late to dig them up to pot up. If I loose a few..there's plenty of seeds on the plant yet to ripen.

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Hellebore seedlings are pretty tough, I think.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I dug out and potted up one 36 ct tray(2 1/2 x 2 12 ")3 seedlings per pot, of the white and another 36 ct.tray(single plant per pot) of the burgundy. Fingers crossed they all survive. Still have tons of the white seedlings. I've have my garden club coming out to dig up surplus plants in my yard so I guess I'll put these on the list of things they need to dig.

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

It's so great of you to share with your garden club. They seem to be pretty easy to germinate when they have the conditions they want. It's nice to know they won't be going to waste. I'm trying to get mine dug up and spread around my property so I can enjoy them everywhere.

North East England, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

These can be like weeds in my garden so I can assure they are easy to grow and easy to pot up at any time. I try and keep the best seedlings - I have had some beauties that look nothing like the parent plants around them. I have potted up many plants to give away.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I use to donate plants to our city beautifcation program but I never saw any planted around town(small town) so I had to wonder how many wound up on personal property. I twice I've donated several hundred dollars of shrubs and trees to city only to learn they were never planted and left to die so I quit donating. Sad.

Jamaica Plain, MA(Zone 6a)

That is sad! Thanks for the picture, bigred. Just noticed a ton of seedlings around one of my hellebores today, and now I know for sure what they are. Guess I'll let them stay there for awhile - nowhere else to put them, and I'd hate to pull them out. May be offering hellebore kids later on.

Raleigh, NC

Anyone know at what point you can break the seedpod off the mother plant if you want to save the seed? Do they open at maturity or just dry on the plant?

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

The pods begin to open and if the seeds are black they are ready. They begin as green.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I have TONS of ripening pods on my plants.

Even my tree peony I grew from seed has flowered and set pods...Yay!

Durham, NC(Zone 7b)

Does anyone know the best time to move a hellebore, mom has one that was planted too deep and has not bloomed in the four - five years she has had it... I'm hoping to lift it for her so maybe next year she can enjoy flowers :-) The one next to it is blooming and at the right depth so I know the spot is good - it is just too deep.

bigred - Tree peony from seed?? WOW!! May I ask what the seeds looked like and how you did it? I have some possible seeds from mine last year - but don't have a clue what to even try to do with them, that is if they are 'good'. May I say - very impressiv to me!!!

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

We just had this discussion on the PNW Forum (it's a long thread, so you may want to scroll to the bottom)

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/968714/

Basically, this is what I said:

I recently read an article by Mr. Hinkley that says to move them when they are in bloom . . . I don't think he was writing specifically about any one species.

Mine have done fine as long as they don't get dry during the process - I move lots of soil with them and then make sure to do it on a cloudy or wet day.

http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/pdf2...

And here's a bonus

http://www.timberpress.com/books/isbn.cfm/9780881927658/hell...

Kathy

Durham, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks so much katie!! Ill scroll and read through - BUT thank you for the summary!!

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Wow! I wish I were in your neighborhood so that I could stop by to pick up a few :-) I have just collected 6 precious hellebore seeds from a plant in a friend's garden. Will planted them very very carefully :-)

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I had tons of babies this year also. I potted up a lot of them and took to a plant exchange. I potted them several weeks before I took them and they seemed to be doing fine and growing. I also dug some up and moved to a different location in my yard. They are all doing find and have grown a bunch. I just scooped underneath with a small tool and lifted out a small group trying not to distrub the roots. Then just set them on some dirt in a pot and some in a shallow scooped out spot in my yard. Kept them in the shade and watered good.

Hobart, IN

cperdue - Same here. I dug mine up last week and did exactly what you did. I was afraid they'd get shaded out by the mother plant if I left them. I was hoping they'd get a bit bigger (and hopefully tougher) before separating them into individual pots.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I'll try to get a picture of the seed pod on the tree peony today

Ocean Springs, MS(Zone 8b)

Hi does anyone have a few seeds to trade or for postage.

Thanks

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Would send you some but mine have all opened up and fallen out on the ground. Didn't save any before they opened. Need to do that next time.

Hobart, IN

stretchworth - I can check on mine for developing seeds if you like. They still had a few petals hanging on last time I looked so the seed pods may not be far enough along to collect yet. Mine are white. I bought some H. x hybrida last year from Sunshine Farms but they're not old enough to bloom yet but I'm anxious to see what colors they'll be.


Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

bigred, how are your little transplants doing?

Ocean Springs, MS(Zone 8b)

Thank you Cindy, I appreciate that. and cperdue thank you for looking.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

they're doing great

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Good, obviously you did it right then. I usually just leave them in the three inch pots over winter, and then pot them up in larger pots the next spring. For me they overwinter well, right on top of the ground. I stick them under the pine trees for the winter. I might lose one or two, but the majority overwinter fine. The seedlings are pretty slow growers.

Hobart, IN

pollyk - Does the hellebore seed need to be sown fresh? I've purchased seeds in the past but haven't had any luck getting them to germinate. And, when you overwinter the babies under the pines, do they get a lot of protection from the branches? I'm wondering how they would do in a cold frame over winter.

Hobart, IN

stretchworth - tried sending a d-mail but your name wouldn't come up. Send me your address and I'll send seeds as soon as they're ripe.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Cindy, I assume the seeds need to be very fresh. My seedlings all come from the plants. I have never started any from purchased seedls.

No, they don't get a lot of protection from the branches, just some protection from the wind, but we have significant snow cover here. I think a cold frame would work well.

I really get a lot of seedlings from the Lady series. I would recommend you buy a couple of those plants, and then you should start getting tons of seedlings in a couple of years. I have Red Lady, Yellow Lady, and Metallic Blue Lady purchased, and planted close together, and the seedlings from them have been beautiful from very, very dark to a nice light yellow.

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Cindy, you can click on a person's name in this thread and then the option to send them a d-mail will come up.

Kathy

Hobart, IN

Katie - Thanks for the tip. I haven't done many d-mails and tried doing it through the mail option. BTW, do you know where I can find more info on doing searches? Sorry all for being totally off-topic but I have a heck of a time trying to do a search of the forums, getting a bunch of totally unrelated stuff. Thanks for your patience.

Hobart, IN

PollyK - I'll have to keep my eye on the Lady series. I happened to see Barry Glick offering a multiples of x hybrida seedlings at a low price so thought I'd try some. They're the first ones I've ever purchased. My white ones came to me years ago through a different gardening website. I'm at the point though that in order to put more hellebores in the best location, other plants will have to move out to make room for them. Tough choices between Epimediums, Jeffersonia, Hostas, Primulas, Pulmonarias and Campanulas.

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

I raised a bunch of hellebore seeds in the house last year. They did great and are now getting their true leaves. They were slower than the ones I missed outside. I need to get them out of the little pots and into the ground.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I read somewhere that older seeds can take up to a year to germinate so if I'm not sure how fresh they are,I sew them in pots then stick them under a shelf in the greenhouse and forget about them until the next year.

Hobart, IN

I pulled out the Deno reference book which indicates that H. orientalis is a 70-40 germinator (5 to 10 weeks) or a 40-70-40 germinator (6 to 10 weeks) and that dry storage is fatal. Ken Druse indicates that sowing very fresh seed may shorten the long conditioning period.
Bigred - Did you have to water periodically or is it okay to let them go completely dry?

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

If you don't get an answer here, this might be a good question to ask in the PNW forum as we have a lot of Hellebore sowing activity there in the spring.

Kathy

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

They will die if you let them dry out.

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