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Growing hellebores from seed

When's the best time to collect hellebore seed? I'm thinking of the Helleborus × hybridus types, though it may be the same for all hellebores?

Should I wait until the plant has scattered black seeds all around itself? Or should I collect them before, when they're still green and on the plant? The former would seem more natural as that's what the plant does, but I've never had much luck with that!
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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,376
    Collect when ripe, dry and black,  as the pods open, and sow immediately. sow in gritty compost with more grit on top and leave outside somewhere sheltered. They will germinate next Spring. Or just scatter them where you want them to grow
  • Gritty's the trick is it. Thanks, will do!
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,864
    To get them at the right point, it is useful to tie little greaseproof paper bags over the seed pod when it starts to ripen. That way you get the seeds as they naturally fall. Otherwise they are impossible to see.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,376
    Gritty's the trick is it. Thanks, will do!
    It helps with the drainage if there's a lot of wet weather and the layer on top holds back the algae etc which can develop when seeds take a long time to germinate.
    I agree with Fidget re the bags though I've never done that. 
  • I'll have a think about the bags - OH might think I've gone mad if I start robbing her greasproof :) Or can one buy ready made little greaseproof bags?
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,376
    I have few memories from my youth but one that sticks with me still is rows of paper bags on sticks in in a local garden. It amused us kids enormously. My mum said there were Chrysanths under there but I still think that's how paper bags are grown
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Having inspected some of our hellebores I see the problem with losing the seed once it's shed. Do you think plastic bags would work, or would they be too sweaty?
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,864
    I think there is a chance of mould growing on the seeds, unless you inspect daily and remove them at once.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,441
    Could you prepare a pan of gritty compost and site it under the ripening seed pod?  The seeds would then sow themselves...   :)
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,441
    I know this because if I don't dead-head mine in time, the seed pods hanging over the gravel path burst into the gravel...  I've just potted up a dozen little seedlings, carefully removed from the gravel.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
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