Should I throw out my seed?

mandolls(4)February 5, 2012

I collected seed from my Hellebore last June, thinking I would start it this winter inside under lights (like I do with most of my other seeds).

I just did some reading in this forum and realize that that is not the way to go about it.

Should I just toss my seed and try again this coming season?

I have had my plants growing for at least 5 years and there has never been any self seeding. I am in zone 4 WI, so I think I will have to do this inside, if it will work at all.

Any advice?

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Do you mulch your plants? I'm wondering why you don't find seedlings, and wondering if the seeds don't become buried...

It would have been better if you had sown fresher, but it doesn't mean your seeds are trash - they are about at the stage they would be if you had purchased them commercially packaged. Did you read through this thread of growing from seed and note the timing by BruceNH, he's just a zone different than you, I'm not sure his method would be significantly different Z4.

You could try these indoors rather than wait for the next crop. Soak overnight or until the seeds begin to look more plump. Put them in a teaspoon or two of sterile moist sand or sterile moist vermiculite in a tiny zip lock, date and leave it on your desk approx 6 weeks. Then move to the refrigerator approx 8 weeks....then the harder part for sowing them indoors for me, sow and try to provide a cool temp of around 50ish for germination. You may have to try two complete cycles of all three temperature periods, in order, before they will germinate.

I prefer to sow fresh in pots outdoors here giving them a wide range of temperatures, and temperatures that drop at night. Late summer sowing will reliably produce seedlings by late winter in my cool summer Z8. Last year I rec'd some seeds from a source that had me giving them the 6 weeks warm inside, I then sowed and placed the pots outside about mid Feb, two of those pots did not germinate even though our Spring seemed almost an extension of winter, long, chilly, wet.

I held on to them, and noticed this week one of the pots has a seedling - so don't ever give up, give them at least 12- 18 months before discarding the pots :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed discussion, note BruceNH

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Thanks for the feedback,

I dont do much mulching in that area of the garden,. I usually pile fallen leaves over the hellebores for the winter, and then blow them off in the spring, for a little insulation from our cold winter. I wondered if the deep cold (-30) was enough to kill off the possibility of germination.

I had read through the thread that you pointed me to, but had somehow missed that BruceNH was in zone 5. I'll give them a try, it cant hurt!.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 7:43AM
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