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Potted Helleborus niger

I received 5 bare-root Helleborus niger at the beginning of March. I put them in pots of multipurpose compost with their crowns buried, so no plant visible. They've been outside, frost-free, since. I've not done this before, so wondered what I'm looking for and when they should be planted in bed - should new growth start appearing through soil during spring & plant out then?

As a secondary question, one had got bit damp and there was some fluffy mould around crown before I potted. Do you think burying it will have killed/suffocated the fungus...? I was leaving country at the time , so didn't have option of treating with fungicide.

Thank you


  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    how deep did you bury the crowns? as generally they like to be at or only slightly below soil level otherwise they can rot.
    are they showing any signs of growth at all? if not i'd contact your seller as they may have been substandard plants, or could have dried out in transport
  • They were buried just beneath the surface. Sounds like they should be emerging now or soon from what you say. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I made that mistake too R.Squirrel - some of the crowns were a bit too deep and I lost them, when they'd been doing well. Since then , any small plants I've bought have been left a bit proud and they've all been fine. 
    They're evergreen, so even small plants/plugs should be visibly in growth if they're alive. Was there no green growth on them when you got them?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,991
    I think I got the same offer, but earlier and only had time then to put them all in one big pot in the shelter of the house wall. One came up and now the others are showing with lovely green leaves, so my next job is to pot them on individually pending decisions on where to plant them in the garden. It has though been quite warm and sunny here, so hopefully yours may just be a little later in growing. Try watering them if you haven't already.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
    I would tip one out @RedSquirrel19 and see what you find. If there are no signs of growth but they seem healthy otherwise, l would be tempted to repot as Treehugger suggests so that the crowns are just proud of the soil. If there is no sign of life it may be worth contacting the seller to see what they say.
  • Novice23Novice23 Posts: 196
    i also had this offer and planted them in the border when they arrived.  so far nothing, but as it was well into February I assumed they would not come into growth until next winter.  So am I wrong, should I have seen some growth this year?   I did plant them just below the surface, following the suppliers instructions.  
  • Thank you for everyone's replies to this. I repotted a couple but they've not grown further, so I think I'll put them down to experience. Some other things in the garden are doing well, so will learn from these but am happy overall. Thank you for the advice
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