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Talkback: Growing hellebores from seed

I noticed lots of very tiny, thin, silvery worms in the compost of my hellebore and also some brown grubs about the size of a large maggot. Does anyone know what they are? I picked out as many as I could and put on the bird table but there must be a lot more in the container.


  • Not sure what the silvery worms could be, but if the grubs had brown heads and creamy bodies they may well have been vine weevil grubs. Yes, destroy any you find, as they'll be eating away at plant roots, but be careful not to mistake them for stag beetle larvae, which are endangered. Bad infestations of vine weevil can also be controlled using both biological and chemical methods.
  • I am having a problem with the leaves of my helloebores during the summer months. They are being completely shredded and look like fishbones. I don't think it is slugs, does anyone have any other ideas. Do beetles like to eat them as I did spot a bright one a few weeks ago but I keep looking and can't find anymore but the plants are looking terrible.
  • We have several hellebore plants which are wonderful but have become absolutely huge and are now far too big for the space they are in?
    Can we split the plants to get several smaller ones? If so, when would be the best time of year to do this?
  • you have a picture of a chafer grub claiming to be vine weevil grub,correct
  • I am stil eagerly awaiting on my helebores to flower! As for naming 1st generation seedlings,I have several aquilegias that I have given names to!
  • Thanks to Adam for the tips on collecting and growing Hellebore seeds. As a first-time grower of Hellebores your easy to understand instructions are just what I need. I'm quite looking forward to naming my own plant!
  • There's a huge discrepancy between Adam's lovely happy-go-lucky approach to sowing hellebore seeds and the instructions on my seed packet, bought from a well-known seed company.  I am directed to sow them indoors, kept in a polythene bag with gentle heat for 3 months, then put them in the fridge for 3 months, and finally get them out and repeat the gentle heat regime for another 3 months.  If no germination, it says repeat the whole process!  Always one for a challenge, I am doing just that, but time hangs heavy and I wonder if the seed company is having a laugh!  In fact, I wonder how hellebores survive when left to themselves - they should be extinct by now! What would happen if I just scattered them outdoors as Adam does...?  Meanwhile (hedging my bets) I have gone out and bought a nice mature hellebore plant to start me off.  Can I expect to be able to split it when I come to plant it out?  I'm looking for value for money, and hoping I can propagate it in this way to get 2 or 3 plants out of it.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,827

    Hellebores don't like root disturbance so if you do split it it will at best sulk and at worst die.    I'd plant it as it is and hope it makes babies and then maybe split it in a couple of years when you have reserves.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,373
    I just put my seeds in a tray of compost once they were dried out a bit, covered with grit, (see, I learn from carol) left them outside tucked up in sheltered corner, and this winter up they popped, all of them.

    Some seed company s make things sound so complicated.

    I don't think they will flower for about 4 years though.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • cilmericilmeri Posts: 116

    Having potted on plantlets from my hellebores it has taken two years for four leaves to grow to any size.

    They haven't died off in the two winters and are bright and shiny. Maybe they will flower this year.

    Really haven't considered splitting the mature plant as it seem ok as it is. More plantlets to pot-up mind.

    Assume the colour will  be true to the mother plant whether split or planlet. I say this becausemine is the deep burgandy colour (sorry tired mind, cant think of the name)

    From a plantlet my neighbour had given the colour was  a softer shade.

    Something to look-up tomorrow.image...speak later.

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