Helleborus germination is not a process that can not be hurried. The seeds will not start to germinate until December at the earliest, later if you are a bit behind with the sowing, so don’t panic if you get no results for at least six months and often more.
Your seed will arrive through the post and should be sown as soon as possible in a soil or peat based compost in 9 cm. pots. Bury the seed 1 cm. deep covering with compost and then top the pots with a layer of gravel or grit – this prevents algae and liverworts from colonising. Cover the pots with some form of mouse protection (slate, wire netting etc.) and keep well watered until the seedlings start to appear. The watering is not critical until November when they MUST NOT be allowed to dry out.
The seedlings are large and easily identified. After germination it is a good idea to leave them for a while to grow a little. Soon a ‘true’ leaf will appear (very different form the first leaves) and this is the optimum time to transplant them into small individual containers. Cells or 7-9cm pots are ideal. Compost is not critical, we use ordinary potting compost and these are then left in here until they are large enough to plant out or pot on! They are usually happy for twelve months, but a light feed during the summer will help.
Flowering will take place irregularly, some flowering in the first year, others taking a year longer (sometimes more depending on how good your gardening skills are!!!)
So that’s about it folks!! Happy Hellebores :-)