I have a few small clumps of hellebores that have been blooming for several years now. Each year I see seedlings popping up near the bases of the clumps, but by the next year those seedlings have disappeared shortly after getting their first few sets of true leaves. I've never had any of these volunteers survive, though honestly I've never made much effort to try and help them. The spot they are growing in is rather far from my house, and has fallen into neglect. While the mature hellebores survive and bloom, they don't really thrive and after several years are still about the same size that they were when I planted them. I suspect this is largely due to all the large tree roots around them hogging all the water.
A few weeks ago I was working out there and noticed that once again there are dozens of little seedlings around the base of some of the clumps. They don't have any of their true leaves yet, but I really don't want them to die, especially since my mom is very interested in adding some to her garden (we know that they won't bloom for several years, but my mature clumps aren't big enough to divide). Should I try transplanting them into some pots where I can keep a closer eye on them? Would it be okay to do that now, or should I wait and hope they survive long enough to get some true leaves?
Thanks for any advice!