Gardening 101

How to Remove Hellebore Seedlings


Why do hellebores in some gardens produce seedlings while others have no seedlings at all? As with almost everything in nature the answer is usually “It depends.” Many of the new clonal varieties produced from tissue culture are sterile and will not produce seeds. The more commonly found Lenten Rose types, Helleborus x hybridus, will produce seeds if certain criteria are met. There must be pollinators, usually bees around to do the work or the gardener must do it for them. Some gardeners use a heavy mulch so ripened seeds are not able to reach the soil and dry out before they can germinate.

Removing Hellebore Seedlings

Other gardeners complain that their hellebores produce too many seedlings. This is fairly easily remedied by either cutting the flowering stems off in May before the seeds ripen. If you miss the ripening pods and the seeds have germinated, usually in a clump at the base of the parent plant, they can be removed with a swipe or two from a hoe. No need to pull out the seedlings, if the stem is broken the plant will die, not re-sprout.

Feature image: Painted Double Hellebore / Tina Mast

Source: Pine Knot Farms

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