Helleborus Seed and Seedlings
Hellebores. We are now able to supply hellebore hybridus (orientalis) seed and young seedlings by post. At present this is only available to customers in the U.K. and other E.E.C countries.
Two types are available -
a) Open pollinated helleborus 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 helleborus seed, again from our stock tunnels but the flowers are all hand pollinated. The resulting seed is more expensive, but the final plants will be superior to ones raised from open pollinated seed. These are for the gardener who wants something really special. This seed is from our breeding program but surplus to requirements and is therefore of the highest standard.
This year the colour range this year is superb, the seed harvest looks good and we are able to offer a wider range than ever before from single, double and anemone centred plants.
Helleborus seed is not at all difficult to grow as long as one basic rule is adhered to, it must be sown as soon as possible. If this is not done germination rates in the first year can decline as dormancy sets in, and it may then take a further twelve months to come through. The seed does remains viable but germinates more slowly. It is therefore important to get on with the job.
For more details on seed sowing and growing on details please click here.
New year seed is very rarely available before May/ June and pre-orders are sent straight away. Seed will still be available for most of the year, sometimes it still germinates quickly, other times not.
We therefore offer the following options.
1) Loose seed
All seed is freshly harvested during May or June and generally dispatched between July and December.
However it is recommended that it should be bought during the Jul.-Sept. period.
Helleborus 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 or more.
Please note that while every attempt is made to produce seed that is true to type and all individual coloured seed is hand pollinated, there may well be a percentage that is not absolutely true to colour/form. This is normal and in some ways can be an exciting outcome, often giving results that are at least as desirable as the intended product, sometimes better. Its all great fun!
Sow as soon as your seed arrives in a soil or peat based compost in 9 cm. pots. Bury the seed 1 cm. 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.
Germinated for you, taking the risk out of the process, these are dispatch between December and May. This would definitely be the method for us, the energy efficient persons answer to growing hellebores from seed, without the hassle. 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 helleborus 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!