This wonderful selection of hybrid Helleborus have come from the renowned New Zealand plant breeder, Terry Hatch who has been growing and breeding Hellebores for over 30 years. ‘Joy Hybrids’ produce a succession of lovely marked flowers in the most beautiful shades. The colour range includes purple, pink, white, cream and yellow. Some are clear colours, but most have a myriad of speckles and lines in the flowers. The range in shape, colour, and markings of the 'Joy Hybrids', is a testament to the variability of this genus, and to the efforts of Terry and hellebore breeders and collectors from around the world. This great range of Helleborus hybrids are strong, robust plants, with some measuring over 50cm in height, when in flower. Many of these plants represent some of the best spotted and marked Helleborus in the world.
Helleborus are the harbingers of spring, with their flowers showing themselves from mid winter, and well into the spring showing of bulbs. This delightful evergreen perennial plant forms dense clumps to 50cm wide. An easy plant to grow in sun or shade in most soils and good for massing under trees. A must for any garden, such a welcome sight when the snow thaws to see something in bloom!
Sowing: Sow at any time of year Hellebore orientalis seeds are collected in June. If they are planted in the first few months, they will germinate quickly in around 30 days. Once the weather starts to get cold in autumn, they will go dormant and delay germination until the weather warms up in the spring and conditions are more favourable. Text books quote germination as ‘irregular’ and advise 30 to 545 days, in my experience 30 to 180 days is usual, dependent on the time of year that they are planted.
Sow in moist John Innes seed compost or something similar, place each container in a polythene bag or place a plastic lid onto the container. Place in a cold greenhouse or coldframe. The compost should be kept moist but not wet at all times. Some of the seeds will germinate straight away, some during the spring and summer, any remaining seeds may lay dormant until the following spring. If any seeds do not germinate in the spring keep them in cool moist conditions throughout the summer. As each seed germinates transplant it almost immediately into its own 7.5cm (3in) pot to grow on. These strong plants need more nutrients and water than small cells can provide. Keep seedlings in a well lit place, but out of direct sun. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to15 days before planting out, space 30cm (12in) apart.
Cultivation: If your soil is high in organic matter, and has a fairly good water holding capacity, then Hellebores will grow wonderfully in your garden. Hellebores have a deep growing root system and they will benefit greatly if the area is prepared before planting. Double digging the area (digging out one shovel depth of soil, and then digging up the second layer of soil, and then putting the top layer back on and digging it all together) with additional organic matter is of great advantage Hellebores prefer a neutral to alkaline soil Ph (they will grow in a slightly acidic Ph soil too). Mushroom compost or well decomposed garden compost is good as an additive. Hellebores are Mediterranean plants, and they prefer moist but well drained soil, a period of drying our between watering is of great benefit to good overall growth. Cut down flowers as they are over to encourage basal growth or leave to set seed. Hellebores will set seed with new plants coming up around the main plant. They are easy to transplant to other parts of the garden. As a cut flower, these flowers float on water and will stay fresh for many days.
Take care when handling as the plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.
Nomenclature: Helleborus orientalis is native to areas of Eurasia including Greece, Turkey and the Caucasus region. We, in England grow Hybrid versions of this plant. Helleborus x hybridus is the name given to a group of variable, clump forming, perennial hybrids of H. orientalis and other species. The name has only recently been accepted and many labels in the gardens identify plants as Helleborus orientalis.
Depending on the hybrid, the leathery, mid to dark green leaves may be deciduous or overwintering.
|Packet Size||15 Seeds|
|Average Seed Count||No|
|Species||X hybridus (formerly orientalis)|
|Common Name||Christmas Rose, Lenten Rose|
|Other Common Names||No|
|Flowers||Mid winter to late spring|
|Natural Flower Time||No|
|Time to Harvest||No|
|Position||Partial Shade to Full Shade|
|Time to Sow||No|