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Seed ?

Posted by karyn1 MD 7 (bhkalen@aol.com) on
Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 13:57

I have a couple potted hellebores that I cross pollinated. The seed pods are getting fairly large. How do you know when they are ripe? Do the pods dry and split on the plant? Should I cover them with something to catch the seed? Sorry for all the questions. I have some in the yard but have never paid much attention to them. I don't know the varieties but this one was crossed with a dark purple single which also has pods but they're smaller. I'd really like to try growing these out. These are some of the bigger pods. They're about 1" long and 1/3" wide. How big do they get? TIA

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seed ?

Just keep an eye on them until they start to turn brown(Drying out) and splitting. This is usually about 3-4 months after they bloom. If you are worried about missing them you can use the foot off an old pair of womens hose to slip around them to catch the seed before they fall out. Mark


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RE: Seed ?

Thanks. I'll probably cover them with some old stockings because I'll be out of town in a couple weeks and with my luck that's when they'll decide to ripen.


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RE: Seed ?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 25, 10 at 11:20

karyn, I don't think those will be ripe in a couple of weeks, but of course it doesn't hurt to bag those you especially want. I use a square of nylon stocking and a twist tie. When ripe the pods will look more dry, tan, rounded.

My own plants had emerging flower stems in early December this year, have been in full bloom for some time now. My spring will be cooler than yours, but I typically don't have ripe seed until June.


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RE: Seed ?

Thanks for the info. Like I said I have them in the yard but never really pay much attention to them other then enjoying the flowers. I have no idea what's going on with the plants outside as they are still under a couple feet of snow. If the pods take 5 or so months to ripen then I have quite a while to go yet. BTW how many years does it take a seed grown plant to reach blooming size? I have a couple that I started from seed 2 years ago and they aren't anywhere near big enough to bloom.


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RE: Seed ?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 26, 10 at 19:37

It depends on the plant, and climate. Some are more vigorous than others - in my garden, seed grown Mrs. Betty Ranicar and Heronswood (the former, not the present)Dark Purple have bloomed at 18 mo old, and out of season at that, throwing a bloom or two in summer.

More typical is not to have a good show of flowers until they reach age 3, even 4, although it is possible to be teased by a flowering stem here and there with two yr olds.

Are your plants still containerized or do you have them in the ground. I find the oriental hybrids at least will really thrive/grow once planted and are slower in pots, especially if not moving them up in pot size.


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RE: Seed ?

Thanks. These are still in 4" pots because I'm not sure where to plant them. If I can't figure out where they'll go I'll bump them up to 6". Unfortunately I have very little shade and most is already taken up. I have to wait for other plants/shrubs to get large enough to be able to provide shade.


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RE: Seed ?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 11:38

Karyn, most are more shade tolerant than dependent on shade, these really are not strictly shade plants.... I think you'll find they will take more sun than you would imagine. My summers are certainly more mild than your own, but I have several thriving in full sun, no shade.


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RE: Seed ?

That's nice to know. I was always under the impression that they needed almost complete shade. In that case I have space that only receives morning sun that might work.


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RE: Seed ?

was wondering what the status of your seeds was. did they ever turn into developed seeds?


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RE: Seed ?

I collected quite a few mature seeds towards the end of Mar and those have been planted. My hellebores that were outside bloomed later and I just collected those seeds the other day. As a matter of fact I posted a question this morning about storing them.


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