This is my first post so please be gentle!! I have a Hellebore in th
garden but would like to move it to another place, have you got an
tips ? I.e. is now a good time of the year to do it ? Should i prune i
a bit first ? Any help appreciated...
ok, monkey boy, I'll be very gentle. First thing, what zone are you in
and what's fall like right now? Hellebore start making their baby leaves
and the older ones are protective of them, and around Christmas time
they start budding up. You can move Hellebore right now, to a
semi-shady spot, with LOTS of humus. NO PRUNING. none, the older leaves
protect the newer growth. Prune the older leaves after the newer leaves
and flowers are done and the flowers are setting seed.....(you can also
prick out baby seedlings and transplant them easy <g> what color is the
Hellebore? I hope this helps. Dig it deeply and it won't know it's
been moved. No dividing unless it's a huge old plant........fall is
better, but if your ground is workable, dig around the whole plant, and
deeply, about a foot will do, and the spade should just lift it out in
one clump if you've dug completely around it. An old plastic bag that
top soil or leaf bag would be great to put the plant and rootball onto,
that way you won't disturb the soil and roots too much, and oh, yeah,
have the hole you're moving it into dug, so it's a matter of dig up, put
onto the plastic tarp thing (yeah, I've even used an old
sheet.........burlap is too hard to come by.lol, and there are plenty of
empty bags of soil to use for other things) and pick it up and slide it
into the hole waiting for the new occupant. Good luck with it, water it
well if there's not much chance of freezing, if there is, wait until you
can give it a deep drink, and mulch it with leaves and leave it alone
and let Mom's Nature water it. let us know how it does, ok?
madgardener, up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English
Mountain in Eastern Tennessee where there are new Hellebore babies to be
carefully moved later on to new locations.............zone 7, Sunset zone 36
Fascinating aspects of botanical behavior are the things plants get up
to when they haven't read the references. I'm not dismissing any of the
above advice but feel the need to relate how this species behaves here
in central North Tasmania. My hellobores behave like weeds. Every
spring thousands of seedlings pop up under the old plants, I dig em up
with little delicacy and drop them down in whatever semi shady space I
can find and by the following year I've got another patch. They a get
mid winter application of horse manure (not aged) after the first year
and thats it.
We have frosts here for weeks on end and nights get down to -7 C but
the soil only freezes down to 1/4 inch at most. The soil is a fertile
basaltic loam that's well supplied with trace elements. Opium poppies
also thrive in this region being its major commercial crop.
ahhhh, central Northern Tasmania......I'm having a problem thinking
about the conversions of Fahrenheit versus Centigrade...sorry.....<g>
but you're absolutely right. Plants don't often read the reference
books and behave entirely different in assorted zones (my zone 7 means
that the temperatures average from 0o to 10o (-18o C to -12o C) but
there have been times that we've gotten as low as -29o C to - 23o C
during snaps, not too often, I saw it drop to -18o F one winter, but
that's been a LOOOOOONG time ago (early 80's) zone 6 averages about
-10o F to 0o F and I lived in zone 6b which was the warmer side of
six.......ummm, -23o C to -18o C for you) but having moved to Eastern
Tennessee 14 years ago and sitting on a ridge literally in front of the
Great Smokey Mountains, I'm in a sort of micro climate. more
importantly, here where I live, we have from 60 to 90 days of above 86o
F (30o C)
My hellobores behave like weeds. Every
well, like I said, Hellebore LOVE and ADORE rich humus, and horse manure
is just to their tastes. I also don't pop the seedlings with much care.
but this is my first year that I have more than three or four
seedlings per plant. Last year was a wonderful year for fertilizations.
I hope to have enough to transplant down into the woods at later dates
and times. I've shared a few with a friend, of course, but most I'll
allow to grow underneath their mammy's skirts until I can prick them out
and move them around Fairy Holler. Monkey boy has never moved a
Hellebore. and he's moving a whole mature plant from my reckoning.
when winter really gets a toe hold here in Eastern TEnnessee, we can
freeze pretty deep, but never deeper than a foot....my basement is
underground on the south, east and western sides and the temperatures
are wonderful. no need for much heat or air in the winter and summers.
For soil to not freeze to around 1/4 inch would mean a warmer zone here.
And I'm still not sure what zone Monkeyboy is in, he/she? hasn't
answered back yet.
The soil is a fertile
ahhhh, I adore somniferum papaver! I adore them as FLOWERS. I can't get
seed of them, but my grand mammy used to grow the peony flowered double
pink opium poppies for decades. I used to have a couple of black opium
poppies, a double red, a single red, but the ground wasn't bare enough
for the seeds to germinate and establish. you have any seed to share
for simply flowers? I might have seed to something you would like to
sow to establish that isn't too hard to rip out and control. I have
Swamp sunflower which looks like oversized coreopsis and averages about
5-7 foot in height depending on the moisture and soil type. Around here
it's red clay, but I have amended black loam in raised beds, which
poppies and perennials hate, so over the last 11 years I've only top
dressed and allowed the beds to leech the over richness out. the
perennials and reseeders have forgiven me. The finches and tit mouse and
other small birds are feasting on the seed heads of all the Swamp
sunflowers now, I'll have a few volunteers next year to provide me with
late summer colors. Let me know. I'm serious about the poppy seeds. as
long as they're only flowers, and not a commercial crop......I'd need
fields, and I only have raised beds and like the flowers as they are,
not for medicinal or hallucinatory purposes.........lessee if Monkey boy
gets enough information from the two of us!
madgardener still up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking
English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36 where it
got down to 30o F last night and there was frost on the punkin'
. Although we converted to metric standards in Australia decades ago,
I'm of the generation that can't think in anything but feet and inches.
Celsius temps' though I've gotten used to . Maybe because the daily
weather forcasts are in that language and it sinks in.
Speaking of behaving differently, I have a Corsican hellebore that
produces large clusters of flowers in early autumn that are still
intact here in late spring. These are tough customers for the species
and are happy in shade or open sun. They have large serated dark green
foliage that's more divided than the standard hellobore.
I'm surprised Monkeyboy wants to move a mature plant. I'd be waiting
for seedlings to pop up underneath in spring and moving those. Maybe
they don't seed proprely in his/her garden?
Now that's interesting, I couldn't count the seedlings under my
hellebores, they're in the hundreds every year. Here they behave like
I pressume you're talking about the plants here? ;~)
I can send seed of the ornamental varieties but not of the opium sub
species. Although it's a legaly cultivated commercial crop down here,
the security on plant material is very high. So much so that when the
farmers are sowing a crop the seed arrives under gaurd and is sown by
the end processor on the farmers land. They end processor comes back
for the harvesting as well. The other aspect that's worth knowing about
is that within the opium poppy species cultivated here are two
sub-species. One is grown for its morphine content, the other for its
phentamine. Phentamine is a base ingredient for general anaesthetics.
Innocent junkies ( is there such a species?) come here and unknowingly
steal plants of the phentamine sub species and die from the consumption
of the home made by-product. There's no way the two species can be
identified from visual clues.
One aspect of living in an area like this that's a huge advantage for
gardeners/farmers is the availability of 'poppy trash'. This is the
left over material from morphine/phentamine production. High in trace
elements and very alkaline due to the usage of lime in the processing
it's the perfect follow on from lots of horse manure that's made the
soil acidic. We get it for a good price too. AU$15 for a truck load. It
smells awful though as there are also high amounts of ethanol in the
stuff so I never put in direct contact with plants.
Thanks for the wonderful offer but plant quarantine down here in
Tasmania is draconian, even for seeds. It's bad enough on Mainland
Australia but Tasmania is strickter than you can imagine .
Frost is my number one enemy here. Last month we had it every single
night for weeks on end, It's killed my young persimmon tree and savaged
magnolias, roses and ....on and on.......
PS. There are some fabulous new hellebore cultivars coming onto the
market. Go to the Royal Horticultural Society web site and type in
Hellebore in the search engine.
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