dividing hellebore and seed saving

tiarella(7b)March 26, 2006

I have 3 large hellebores that could be divided but I'm not sure exactly when is the best time to do it. They are up and have been blooming for about a month now. I was thinking of doing it around April 15th-depending mostly on the weather. The white one has already dropped the stamens on the ground and will probably be ready to form seed around the time I want to divide it. How easily do seedlings grow and is it a good idea to save the seed?!

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Lgkovalcik(z7 AL)

See the post on this subject -


I sprinkle seeds around the base of my mature plants. The seedlings are easy to move in the spring.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 5:51PM
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I have what I hope is a simple question to add to Tiarella's. I too have seedlings coming up all over the place. If the plants are all the same color will the seedling's flowers be like the parents or is it a "wait and see"?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 9:11PM
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Lgkovalcik(z7 AL)

Hi Ladybug,

If you're lucky, you'll have a wonderful mix of colors. My original two pink blooming plants have filled my gardens with offspring that bloom from pure white to deep, deep rose/purple.

Go ahead and move those babes while they're little to minimize root disturbance and give them room to grow. I pull (yes, yank) them out by the stem after a good watering as soon as they put out first true leaves. Water them well once they're transplanted.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:14AM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

There was a picture article on this in the last (or maybe one before last) Horticulture magazine. They suggested dividing in bloom. Mine aren't big enough to need it yet so I have no experience of method.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 8:05AM
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All Helleborusgrowers in the Netherlands and Belgium say: "Never divide a Helleborusplant". The risk that the separated parts will die is too real. And if by chance one or two parts do survive the operation, you won't have flowers for the next one or two years. Because you damage the roots when dividing, the plant is extreme vulnerable to all kid of diseases. Really, sowing is the only safe way to get more plants.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 5:21PM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

That is perhaps the statements of persons who make their living selling plants, and thus have a rather obvious vested interest in the matter. Many named cultivars of hellebore are available, and all of these are from division (except for the seed grown ones from certain unscrupulous people). I've only divided one plant, but both halves lived and developed just fine.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 11:36AM
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claysoil(z6 PA)

Tiarella, I was just on a hellebore tour this past weekend at the home of a woman who makes a living selling these plants. She made it very clear that the hybridus are easy to divide but not the species. She said that she divides hers when they are in bloom because each flower stem can be considered a separate plant, but she does not recommend a novice dividing a hellebore into such small sections. She said that she lifts the entire plant, gentley washes the dirt off of the roots, then cuts her plants into sections. She said they bloom the next season too. Just do not divide plants are species....meaning if the flowers and leaves share a stem, leave it alone! If the flower stem comes straight up out of the ground, it can be divided.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 3:59PM
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