Grow hellebores from seedlings

They may take two years to bloom, but it's worth it!

Hellebores from seedlings - step 4.jpg

This spring hellebores have flowered well in the garden, although in some parts of the country they were a little later starting into flower as a result of the cold, wet weather. As border plants they produce a wonderful display of flowers in a range of colours for many weeks. Over recent years the popularity of hellebores has increased and there are some excellent new hybrids to choose from. As a result of all the cross breeding, new plants are no longer called by their original species names and instead are now all grouped together as Helleborus hybridus.

To propagate named varieties and keep them true to type, plants need to be divided in early spring, but if grown from seed they will naturally hybridise as the bees pollinate the flowers and you will get variations in colour. Most hellebores will self-seed if you leave on the seed pods after flowering and in spring seedlings will pop up around the parent plant. If carefully pricked out into trays of compost, kept in a semi-shaded area and then potted up into a rich compost as they grow, they will develop into strong plants. It normally takes two or three years to reach flowering size, but it’s worth the wait for the interesting mix of colours that will be produced.