Helleborus x hybridus (Hybrid Lenten Rose) [20 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend these only for gardeners who are experienced with handling seeds that have multi-cycle germination patterns (in this case, 70-40: 3 months of warmth and moisture followed by cool temperatures). The germination period takes anywhere from about 5 months to a year or more, and then it may take the plants another 3 or 4 years to reach flowering size. The entire process requires care and patience. If you are hoping to have flowers quickly, you are better off buying started plants.

For best results, purchase these seeds in June, July, or August. Sow them immediately upon receipt, about 1/3″ deep, and leave them outdoors so they experience a warm-and-moist period before the weather cools. In mild areas, the seeds may sprout in November or December; elsewhere, they should appear in spring.

If you sow from September through May, still plant the seeds immediately and leave them outdoors; they may not sprout until fall of the following year, or the spring after. Or, consider providing an artificial (indoor) warm-then-cool treatment if you are sowing at a non-optimal time.

Whenever you sow, check regularly to make sure the growing medium does not dry out completely throughout the germination process. Also, protect from mice, which will happily feast on the seeds. You can sow in a pot or in the ground, but I strongly recommend using a pot, as you can more easily protect and monitor the seeds that way.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Hybrid Lenten roses (Helleborus x hybridus), also known as hybrid hellebores or Orientalis Hybrids (or incorrectly as H. orientalis), are long-lived perennials that typically reach 12 to 18 inches tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. They flower in late winter to mid-spring, then send up rich green, palmate foliage that remains evergreen through winter in most areas. The plants tend to be deer-resistant but are not deer-proof. Though Lenten roses are commonly thought of as shade plants, they can perform well with some sun too, particularly in Zone 7 and north, as long as the soil isn’t too dry. USDA Hardiness Zone 5 (possibly 4) to 9.

It takes Lenten rose plants several years to reach flowering size from seed. But once they start blooming, they are likely to self-sow, making it easy to expand your collection over the following years, either by collecting the seeds and scattering them in new areas or by allowing the seeds to drop and transplanting the seedlings that appear the following spring. If you don’t need more plants, cut off the flowering stems once the blooms are past their prime: that will make the clumps look tidier and prevent unwanted seedlings.

I collected these seeds in the last week of May 2020, from my collection of many dozens of plants. The resulting seedlings will have a range of typical Lenten rose colors (primarily burgundy-reds, pinks, and white); may be spotted or solid-colored; and are most likely to be single-flowered. The photos here feature some flowers and plants in my collection but are shown as representations only. I cannot guarantee any particular colors, shapes, or other flower features.

PLEASE read the Germination Information section of this listing before placing an order for these seeds!

Each packet contains at least 20 seeds.

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