Hellebore seed and seedlings
Two grades are available -
a)open pollinated seed collected from our stock tunnels, but not hand pollinated. These will yield good plants but may be inferior to the hand pollinated seed. Good for general garden use.
b) hand pollinated seed, again from our stock tunnels but the flowers were all hand pollinated and the resulting seed is more expensive but the final plants will be superior to open pollinated seed. These are for the gardener who wants something really special. This seed is surplus to our own breeding material and is therefore of the highest standard.
This year the colour range this year is limited to mixed but hopefully we will be launching individual colours and certain species in 2000.
Hellebore seed is not at all difficult to grow as long as one basic rule is adhered to, the seed must be fresh and sown before September. If this is not done germination rates in the first year fall away rapidly and dormancy sets in. The seed remains viable but may not germinate for up to 3 years. It is therefore important to get on with the job.
As ripe seed is very rarely available before the end of June this leaves us only a short window in which to package and dispatch the seed.
We therefore offer the following options.
1. Loose seed.
Freshly harvested seed.
The most economical method of buying seed - for those of us that are efficient and on time. Although this is offered from Jul.-Dec. it is recommended that it should be bought only in the Jul.-Sept. period. After this try 'Sown Seed'.
Germination is not a process that can not be hurried. The seeds will not start to germinate until December at the earliest, later if you are a bit behind with the sowing, so don't panic if you get no results for at least six months.
Sow as soon as your seed arrives in a soil or peat based compost in 9cm pots. Bury the seed 1cm deep and top the pots with a layer of gravel or grit. Cover with some form of mouse protection (slate, wire netting etc.) and keep well watered until the seedlings start to appear.
2. Sown seed.
Ready sown in order to keep seed viable.
Just found the web site, maybe just forgot about hellebore seed until late in the year (unforgivable - but it happens), then this could be the option for you. We sow the seed for you and dispatch them whenever you want. This method ensures that seed remains viable and just as if you sowed it yourself, will germinate on time.
Unpack the containers ,gently removing all packaging, water and protect from mice (they really love hellebore seed and seedlings). Follow seed instructions above.
Germinated for you, taking the risk out of the process.
This would definitely be the method for me, the energy efficient persons answer to growing hellebores from seed. How many times have you seen it happen, beautiful pictures, send off for the seed and wait, and wait, and wait. Need I say more. This takes all the risk and waiting out of hellebore seed germination, traditionally the one drawback of growing these beautiful plants from seed.
As far as care of your seedlings go all you have to do is very carefully unpack them and leave them in a semi shaded site for at least 2 weeks to allow them to settle in and grow out of any minor damage caused through their postal trip. Keep moist but don't over water. Then just go for it!