I recently received some fresh seeds of hellebores. Was wondering if it really takes year(s) for them to germinate. Also any additional information would be nice.
When I first received hellebore seeds, they were packaged in a moist bit of paper towel & I was told to plant them immediately. I got great germination the next spring, they bloomed the 3rd year. My problem was I planted the seeds close together-I was afraid I would pull them out as weeds. I had to separate them to give them space & I lost several seedlings in the move. Still, many survived & produced all colors of seedlings-solid white, some with freckles, some pink with various looks. Reminds me that I have several seedlings I need to move now.
Lots of info at the hellebore forum on seed germination! the seeds need a few weeks of warm/most treatment followed by a few weeks of cold/moist. I have some x.hybridus seeds germinating in the fridge right now. I've never done this to species seed. I have found that when left outside....x. hybridus seed will go through the winter and sprout in the spring. Species take 2 summer-winter cycles outside to germinate for me. Then, it takes most seedlings 3 years to reach blooming size.