Care of hellebore seedlings

I've searched the web on this and found various recommendations, but not real clarity on what is to be done and when.
I have a nice Helleborus foetidissimus plant by the doorstep. Mindful of how poorly hellebore seeds handle (and not having time to fuss over them), last year I let it go to seed and just dropped the flower-stalk next to the plant. Now (just as it's come into bloom for this year, in Zone 6), there are a couple of dozen two-leaf seedlings coming up, all close together where the stalk was. My questions are: do I let them grow for a while where they are? how long? do I thin them? or, can I keep all of them by digging up the clump and carefully separating - when? I have plenty of places to put them, but would like them to survive. So the objective is to separate/transplant them when survival chances are optimal. I understand they don't transplant well. But they are very crowded.
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I transplanted them (Helleborus seedlings) when they were 4 inches tall. Which was about the time I noticed them. Placed them in a row in a special place which meant not to weed without attention. Three years latter they are about 9 inchs high but are 6 inches wide. Funny but no seedings since then. Have about a dozen. Good gifts in time!
Bill
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Located In S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
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