When is the best time to transplant hellebore seedlings? I have several that have come up from the mother plant and would like to locate them to another part of my garden.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi Lucille, Helleborus, commonly referred to as Lenten rose, are a must-have in any shade-loving garden. They provide year-round interest with their evergreen foliage and their lovely flowers are a welcome sight this time of the year. The most common Helleborus grown in the home garden are orientalis hybrids, which are available in a range of bloom colors. As the plant flowers and produces seed, new seedlings will pop up around the mother plant. These seedlings can be transplanted but you will want to wait until they have their first set of true leaves before you move them. Hybrids may not come true from seed so if you are hoping for the same flower color as the mother plant, you may be disappointed and division may be the better option, but if you don’t mind a surprise then transplant the seedlings. If you want to divide these long-lived plants the best time would be later in the fall (September-October). Choose your largest plants and lift the entire plant out of the soil so that you can see the root ball. Use a sharp knife or spade and divide down the center, then into smaller parts but try to keep the center as part of each division. With both seedlings and divisions you will want to get the plants back in the soil quickly and treat like any other new addition to the garden. They may not bloom the following spring since they will be using their energy to get their roots settled in their new home.