hello, i’m new to hellebores and planted 3 earlier this spring. now 2 have completely drooped. any ideas on what may have happened to them? i live near washington dc and we’ve had a very wet spring and early summer. thanks for any tips.
You will probably want to thin them so that they won’t be competing with each other or the parent plants. You have two options. 1. Remove the seedlings that are growing too close to the adults and thin out the remaining. Toss the extra plants. 2. Carefully transplant the seedlings to wherever you desire them to grow. Hellebores are reasonably easy to transplant when they are seedlings. (I have had better luck moving Helleborus foetidus seedlings to fill in a bare spot than planting a new adult plant from the nursery.) Using a small trowel scoop up under the seedling and move with the rootball intact. If you do find you need to touch the seedling in order to move it, hold it by the leaves rather than the stem which is easily damaged.
I am lazy so I leave the babes next to mama until Year 2, when I move them in shovelfuls or trowelfuls to new spots. I find I can move them anytime, spring or fall, and they do well. I agree with Leslie: get the soil with the baby. Much better result.
When the seedlings are really close together, I’ve had reasonable results by planting them in deep pots-they have a really long taproot-growing them on for a few months and then transplanting. I’m planting in pretty rough terrain so they seem to benefit from the extra age before moving. Plus the seedlings are great for trading with other gardeners who have plants I desire…
Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.