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Helleborus argutifolius is an unmistakable plant. Its stout stems, deep green, leathery leaves and large heads of apple green flowers mark it apart from all other hellebores. With bowl shaped, nodding flowers the colour of 'Granny Smith' apples 4 to 5cm (2in) wide, borne in large open clusters. The flowers appear in winter, and remain on the plants for a long time.
This species, formerly known as H. corsicus, the Corsican Hellebore is a delightful evergreen perennial plant that forms dense clumps to 90cm (32in) wide. The stout stems bear leaves composed of three spiny-toothed dark green leaflets. This popular, evergreen makes an architectural statement in the middle of a mixed or shrub border. It is an easy plant to grow in sun or shade in most soils and excellent for massing under trees, the handsome foliage is a long-lasting source of interest after the flowers have passed.
Pretty Wild Seeds are registered with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under number 7529, so you can have confidence in both our products and advice. Although our products are listed in weights and acres, we can supply in additional quantities upon enquiry so if you need a larger supply, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
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We happily accept returns within 14 days from date of delivery. All returns must be received in the same condition and packaging we sent them. Postage charges will not be refunded on unwanted products.
You are solely responsible for ensuring the goods are returned to us. We will not be liable for returns that are lost in the post or lost for any other reason. If a product arrives damaged we will advise the customer how to return the item with all return costs covered by us. Replacements & refunds will be dispatched / issued on receipt of the returned items only.
Hellebore seeds are collected in early summer. If they are planted in the first few months, they will germinate quickly in around 30 days. Once the weather starts to get cold in autumn, they will go dormant and delay germination until the weather warms up in the spring and conditions are more favourable. Text books quote germination as ‘irregular’ and advise 30 to 545 days, in my experience 30 to 180 days is usual, dependent on the time of year that they are planted.
Sow in moist seed compost or something similar, place each container in a polythene bag or place a plastic lid onto the container. Place in a cold greenhouse or cold frame. The compost should be kept moist but not wet at all times. Some of the seeds will germinate straight away, some during the spring and summer, any remaining seeds may lay dormant until the following spring. If any seeds do not germinate in the spring keep them in cool moist conditions throughout the summer.
As each seed germinates transplant it almost immediately into its own 7.5cm (3in) pot to grow on. These strong plants need more nutrients and water than small cells can provide. Keep seedlings in a well lit place, but out of direct sun. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out, space 30cm (12in) apart.
Hastening Germination; Seeds can be left to go through the seasons naturally or germination hastened by “Stratifying” (imitating the seasons)
Soak and sow seeds as above and leave for six weeks. Transplant any seedlings that have germinated. After 6 weeks chill the remaining seeds: put the tray into the refrigerator at -4°C to +4°C (24-39°F), or somewhere with a similar temperature for six to eight weeks. Then remove to around 10°C (50°F)
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out, space 30cm (12in) apart.
Cultivation; If your soil is high in organic matter, and has a fairly good water holding capacity, then Hellebores will grow wonderfully in your garden. Hellebores have a deep growing root system and they will benefit greatly if the area is prepared before planting. Double digging the area (digging out one shovel depth of soil, and then digging up the second layer of soil, and then putting the top layer back on and digging it all together) with additional organic matter is of great advantage. Add some sharp sand if your soil is especially heavy and sticky.
Hellebores prefer a neutral to alkaline soil Ph (they will grow in a slightly acidic Ph soil too). Mushroom compost or well decomposed garden compost is good as an additive. Hellebores are Mediterranean plants, and they prefer moist but well drained soil, a period of drying our between watering is of great benefit to good overall growth.
Cut down flowers as they are over to encourage basal growth or leave to set seed. Once the plant has flowered and new foliage shows signs of emerging, you can cut away the old leaves. Hellebores will set seed with new plants coming up around the main plant. Seedlings are easy to transplant to other parts of the garden. Plants resent root disturbance and are slow to re-establish when divided and are best left undisturbed for 6 to 7 years before being divided. Should you ever have to move a plant, dig a ball of earth around its roots as you would for a shrub. Do not use chemical fertilisers as it is extremely sensitive to them and burns easily. Stick to dressing with compost or aged manure in the autumn.