Helleborus - Winter Flowering Mixed
This mixture of species and hybrids boasts a range of flower and leaf types, even appearing through snow. Flower shades can vary from lime-green, through white, appleblossom pink, to dark maroon, either spotted, speckled or plain. Foliage is mid to dark green and leathery with different degrees of dissection. The seed pods are also attractive. These long lived hardy perennials can be grown in the border or as pot plants in the unheated greenhouse, flowering late winter through early spring. A useful addition to the flower arranger when few subjects are available, they reach a height of 30-60cm.
Sow at any time of year in a small pot of good, well drained seed compost. Just cover the seed with compost and place the pot in a cold frame. Alternatively, bury it up to the pot rim out of doors in a sheltered position and cover the pot with a jam jar or piece of glass. Make sure that the compost does not dry out. Germination is slow and can take up to 18 months. When the seedlings are well through transplant carefully into 7.5cm pots and grow on for a season before planting out 45-6cm apart in autumn or spring in a deep, moist but well drained soil in light shade. Once planted, they should not be moved. Mulch with well-rotted compost each autumn and give a dressing of general fertiliser each spring.