My First Try at Growing Hellebore from Seed

evonnestoryteller(5-6)April 23, 2008

I want to confirm how to start Hellebore from seed. A lot of people rush the process along and they start growing the first year, is that right? I saw some posts where when you first get the seed, they are placed in a moist mix for a few weeks. Then I see they are in the refrigerator until they start to bust out of their seeds. We are having unseasonably warm weather in CT right now though, at least for April. I am a little worried that it might be too warm when I take them out of the refrigerator by the time the fresh seeds come through.

Somewhere else mentioned the "brick method." I have no idea what that is. :)

What is the easiest way for a new person to grow these? There is probably a great post in here somewhere that you can recommend. I read a few of them!

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

'by the time the fresh seeds come through' - Do you not have your seeds yet then and they will be fresh from this year?

Sometimes, sown immediately after harvesting, they will germinate without the long conditioning at a range of temperatures, but you can't count on that. Here in this mild, cool Z8, I sow in Fall for early Spring germination, leaving the pots outdoors

This is a good thread for sowing information - pay attention to what BruceNH has to say as he has had lots of experience and is a similar climate zone to your garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed sowing

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:40PM
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evonnestoryteller(5-6)

Thanks! I am getting one set of fresh seeds. The other is a dried pack from a seed company.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:21AM
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evonnestoryteller(5-6)

I got my seed pack of Helleborus, A Orientalis Hybrid seeds today. There are 25 seeds, and they cost $3.75 (US). The instructions are very specific on the pack.

"Sow seeds in a moistened medium, put in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 3 weeks. Follow by using a temperature of 70-75 degrees F. for germination. Allow 30 to 60 days, pricking out seedlings as they appear. Seeds which do not germinat may need to go through a second period of indoor chilling."

There are outdoors instructions as well to sow in March in sterile medium... etc.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 4:15PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I'm not sure who packaged your seeds, but I don't think you will have successful germination with just 21 days moist chill followed by warmer temps.....that doesn't come close to my experience with helleborus over several years, several seed sources, including my own seeds. Were your seeds sent to you moist packed, where they may have already been given a moist warm period - that would explain skipping that step.

Two good germination databases:

Druse - moist warm 56-70 days, followed by moist cold 56-70 days followed by bring to 60 - 65F for germination in additional 30-545 days.

Clothiers - Helleborus orientalis, Pour hot water over seeds, let soak 1-3 days until swelling noticeable. Sow at 71ºF for 6 weeks or more. Move to 24-39ºF for 6-8 weeks (my own note - use refrigerator, not your freezer for this if not sowing outdoors). Then raise the temperature to 50ºF. If no germination in 4-6 weeks, repeat the cycle from the beginning. If the warm/cold cycles were not long enough, a new warm/cold cycle is needed. short viable seeds

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 5:10PM
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evonnestoryteller(5-6)

Thanks for the post. No, these are the dried seeds. Darn it all. I stuck them in the fridge already too. Perhaps most of them go through a second cycle of cold.

I am expecting some fresh seeds when they are ready though. If you have the instructions for those, it would be great.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:20AM
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