Ask a Question forum: Dividing Hellebores

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King, NC
Jan 28, 2018 1:57 AM CST
How do you divide Hellebores or can you? Is seeds the only way to propagate Hellebores?
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jan 28, 2018 7:45 PM CST
Technically, you can divide a hellebore plant into as many divisions as you have growing points. But really, its is best to keep at least two growing points per division. It is easiest to dig up the entire plant and break apart or cut apart the divisions, but it is possible to separate a division from the side of an existing, in-ground plant with a shovel. Any divisions you make must have at least some roots attached.

The best time to divide is when the plant is starting to grow in the early spring. Remove any flowering stems. They can also be divided into the summer with more care.

Hellebore from seed is possible, but is a much longer process, and the resulting plants will not be copies of the mother. They may have slightly different leaves, different color flowers, etc. In addition germination and growth from seed is not straight forward as it is for vegetables (for instance). They require a specific method for success that you would need to follow.

Division is by far the easiest way to increase you plants.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jan 28, 2018 8:49 PM CST
When I moved from California, I dug Hellebore from a very large bed by finding an edge or spot where the plants were growing outward and lifting a piece off. They transplant amazingly well. If you wait until they start to bloom, you can pick colors. Mine are blooming right now.

I have grown them from seed - they take a couple years to bloom from seed. To germinate, the seed needs to be fresh. When planted in the spring (make sure to harvest ripe seed), they will germinate in late winter or next spring. They need the summer buried in warm damp soil then the change to fall conditions to break dormancy. If you save the seed, it will dehydrate and no longer be viable.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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