Six on Saturday | Hellebores

Hellebores are plants that seem to do OK in this garden. Tough leaves mean that they rarely get nibbled, and though the flowers can suffer from excessive gales they usually bounce back. Bonuses are that they are among the earliest flowering plants of the year and they continue for months. Some of the loveliest flowers however can be very expensive to buy and they hate being divided so the best way to propagate them is to collect seed.

In May 2019 I purchased seeds of various types and sowed them in coir pots, then placed them in what I thought was a cool sheltered location at the bottom of the garden. They can take months to germinate (November – March), so I wasn’t bothered that there were no signs of any life in the autumn. It is important that the seeds do not dry out completely at this stage so I checked on them frequently. Unfortunately the location wasn’t all that sheltered after all and over the winter the pots got blown about and suffered from excessive rain! Seed labelling was useless.

When seedlings emerged in 2020 with their first true leaves I potted them on, not knowing what had survived, and moved them onto a bench so they wouldn’t get eaten. Those that continued to grow were potted on again in 2021 into 2L deep pots. This year I was happy to see that six of those plants had at least one bud. And five of them were not white.

What I bought.

  • Mixed
  • Apricot Picotee with veining
  • Picotee with veining
  • Picotee Anemone
  • Apple Blossom Anemone

What I have in flower this year.

White spotted. Various degrees of spotting, most quite heavily marked with a clear white band around the outer edges of each petal

Pink anemone centre. Pink flowers, some with spots or speckles. Central ruff

Wine Red. This variety is a dark purple-red colour and has a beautiful gloss finish to the outer petals.

Pink-red. A bright, fairly deep pink colour. Tall, robust looking plants, usually with large, rounded flowers.

White. One of the earliest flowering types. Pure white blooms that show well in the garden. This one has a distinct green tinge in bud.

Pink spotted. Various degrees of spotting, most quite heavily marked with a clear pink band around the outer edges of each petal

There are another half a dozen plants that have yet to produce any flowers. Hopefully there will be some more interesting specimens amongst them, but we may have to wait until next year to find out.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Ann Mackay says:

    These are gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to see if I can collect some seed from mine. It would be interesting to see what their offspring might be… 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      My seed came from a nursery, but there is no reason you can’t collect your own. I shall try with the pretty ones. Although I really don’t need more hellebores!

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        LOL, but can you ever have too many… 🙂

  2. Beautiful hellebores and so rewarding that you grew them yourself from seeds. My son and daughter-in-law have moved recently to a house with a big, well established garden. It’s interesting for them to see what is coming through in spring. There are dozens of interesting hellebores of various shapes, colours and sizes.

    1. Heyjude says:

      That sounds fun. I watched my garden for a year to see what came up before I changed anything. The crocuses and the dwarf daffs in the wall were inherited.

  3. Cathy says:

    Yes – the trick is definitely to start out with special parent plants in the first place – I’d love to hear if you get any apricot seedlings. What an inspiration, need to go out and dig my self-sown babies out so I can give them a chance and spread them! Lovely post.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It would be nice to see some apricot ones. I might plant some of the ones that haven’t flowered yet into a bed, if I can find room. Most of my hellebore niger are from self-sown seedlings that I moved around.

      1. Cathy says:

        Unfortunately it’s the apricots and their ilk that get me drooling! They seed very nicely here, but it would take years of careful crossing to get apricot. But perhaps – at my grand old age – I should start a hellebore nursery? They definitely like me and I like them!

        1. Heyjude says:

          Why not give it a go?

  4. Sarah Rajkotwala - Author & Spiritual Teacher says:

    Lovely colours ❤

  5. susurrus says:

    Of course the fine semi-double with the ruff captured my attention! They are great plants to grow from seed, although they do need patience, and every one is a surprise.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m not known for my patience! But yes, the surprise of discovery is a nice feeling. I must get some of these planted in a border now.

  6. Cathy says:

    What a success – you must be thrilled!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, it was nice to see the darker ones appear. I’ll transplant a couple into the shady border now I can see where the bulbs are.

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