Updated at: 30-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Even if there is still snow on the ground, hellebores or Lenten roses can often be spotted in bloom. Division or seeding are the methods of propagation for these appealing and easy-to-grow plants. Planting from seed is substantially less expensive than buying extra plants, even if the seeds aren’t 100% identical to the parent plant and take two to four years to bloom. How to grow hellebores and which way is ideal for you can be learned by reading about the various propagation methods.

Every gardener should be able to grow hellebores from seed and from divisions. You can never go wrong with adding a lenten rose to your garden because they are one of the most popular perennials. Hellebores are a profitable crop to grow and propagate, and the added benefit of having a beautiful setting is an added bonus.

The greenhouse is the best place to grow hellebores from seed or to divide existing plants, as it provides a stable environment. If you grow hellebore seedlings indoors, they are more likely to germinate, and the plants for division will be more vigorous. Hellebores are hardy plants, but growing them in a greenhouse can minimize any productivity losses.

Introducing Three Methods

Hellebore hybrids of the genus Helleborus orientalis are the most frequent kinds available to amateur gardeners.

How to Propagate Hellebores | Gardener's Path

H. orientalis x hybridus is the common name given to all of these crossbreeds. New shoots arise from a rhizome, a thick primary root, which is acaulescent.

In order to spread hellebores, there are three options:

  • From the beginning
  • Through the Process of Division
  • Micropropagation

Let’s look at all three. And if you’re just getting started with hellebores, check out our whole guide on growing them.

From Seed

When the hellebores flower, they release their seeds, making them self-sowing.

The vast majority of plants produced at home are hybrids. As a result, their seed is not “true.” As a result, it is distinct from the parent plant.

To the contrary, it has the ability to produce a range of characteristics, such as color, petal count, and leaf marks. Variations within a single plant are also possible, such as the emergence of white and pink flowers from the same rhizome.

This holds true for both your own-harvested and store-bought seed. The outcome is a matter of luck.

When it comes to introducing more of these beautiful winter bloomers to your garden next year, this can be a great option.

With our comprehensive instructions, you’ll learn everything you need to know about collecting and planting hellebore seeds.

By Division

If you want to know exactly what you’re planting, you may want to avoid sowing seeds.

Dividing a plant is one method of reproducing a specific plant’s traits exactly.

Using this approach, a plant is completely removed from the ground. Each “division” is created by cutting the thick rhizome, which is then planted in a new location in your garden.

If you’ve spent a lot of money on a particular cultivar and want to recreate it in your garden or share it with friends, this method is ideal.

Learn how to divide and transplant hellebore plants in our comprehensive tutorial..


Micropropagation is the final method for reproducing hellebore plants.

The Helleborus genus is bred here by plant experts in sterile circumstances to avoid disease-causing pollutants.

How to Propagate Hellebores | Gardener's Path

The gist of the procedure is that it involves the following steps:

A parent plant’s tissue is collected for testing. Hormones that stimulate cell growth are added to a test tube.

Roots and branches form as the cells mature, and they are nurtured in a soilless medium until they reach the seedling stage, at which point they can be planted.

For more details on this interesting process, I highly recommend a book called “Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide” by C. Colston Burrell and Judith Knott Tyler, which is available from Amazon.

I also recommend C. Colston Burrell and Judith Knott Tyler’s book, “Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide,” for further information on this fascinating process.

Multiple healthy clones of the parent plant are produced as a result. However, mutations can occur even in the most controlled of environments.

The home gardener has access to a wide variety of attractive and healthy cultivars thanks to laboratory propagation.

Compared to seed germination, this method is faster in a laboratory setting and more predictable.

Takeaway for the Home Gardener

All of these methods of propagation are available for hellebore plants.

The home gardener can benefit from two of the three techniques:

  • Seed
  • Division

Seed does not generate true and may have characteristics that are distinct from those of the parent. In both cases, whether you collect your own seeds or buy them, this is true

It’s possible to take your gardening to a new level by using these techniques to grow late-winter flowering hellebore yourself.

Comprehensive Guide For How To Propagate Hellebores

When hellebores are pollinated, the seeds are released from the seed pods and germinate in late December or January. Propagation is critical to the garden’s productivity because the first blossoms will not show for two to four years. If you want to grow stinking hellebores you’ll need to learn both techniques of propagation.

Chinese and stemless hellebores should be divided to ensure you obtain their parents’ copies. Oriental hybrids should not be divided.

Rooting hellebores from seeds

Because hellebores are self-seeding, and because they flower afterward, they can do the work for you. However, if you have the seeds, you can grow them yourself. Since the plants are so unpredictable, it’s a lot of fun for gardeners to grow their own seedlings.

It’s ideal to use stemmed hellebores for seed propagation of hellebore plants. Hellebore seeds should be planted in the spring or early summer for best results. The greenhouse is a great place to start seeds since it keeps them protected from the unpredictable weather and temperature changes.

The large root system of hellebores should be taken into consideration while determining the container’s depth. When planting seeds, do not bury them, but remember to lightly cover them with fine grit or soil. When the hellebores have real leaves, you can transplant them to individual containers by keeping the medium moist.

Rooting hellebores by divisions

There are some hellebores that cannot be propagated from seed. Most importantly, hybrids are easier to propagate from cuttings because of their superior ability to take root from divisions. Plant clones can’t be produced from seeds, hence gardeners use divisions as a propagation method.

Using divisions to root your hellebores will allow you to cultivate specific traits. To ensure that you receive exactly what you want, select a parent plant that has the characteristics you desire. Hellebores will bloom one year earlier as a result of division propagation than they would have if they had been rooted from seeds.

Dig up the entire hellebore in the spring and chop it down through the rhizome. Division is so-called because you’re creating sections of the plant for propagation. This way, you’ll get the same plant later on, which is what gardeners who used expensive cultivars prefer.

A healthy parent plant should be used to assure the plant’s life when it is divided, but be gentle when doing so. Before digging and using a fork to separate the rhizomes, it’s a good idea to tie the leaves together. It’s crucial to plant them immediately, so they don’t dry up, which is why the ideal time to divide them is when you’re going to plant them.

What Is Hellebore Micropropagation?

Remember to be gentle while dividing the plant and use a healthy parent to ensure its survival when doing so. Tying the leaves together before digging is a smart way to ensure that the rhizomes are separated from each other. You must plant them right away to avoid them drying out, therefore the best time to divide them is right before you plant them.

Once the cells differentiate into roots and shoots, a soilless medium will nourish them until they became seedlings for planting. Plant scientists are the ones who should do this method because of the materials that micropropagation needs. Still, this will be a useful method because it doesn’t subject the plants to disease-causing contaminants.

How To Transplant Hellebores

Roots and branches can be nurtured in a soilless medium until they become seedlings for planting. It is in the best interest of plant scientists to use micropropagation because of the materials required. As long as the plants aren’t exposed to disease-causing pollutants, this is a useful strategy.

How to Propagate Hellebores | Gardener's Path

Knowing your state’s temperature hardiness zone will help you keep track of the latest frost date on your calendar. Transplanting outdoors should be avoided until the risk of frost has gone. Keep in mind that overwatering and placing plants where they’ll be exposed to intense sunlight are also bad practices.


You should be able to successfully germinate seeds or grow strong plants for division if you use a greenhouse. Learn how to propagate hellebores from seeds and by division if you don’t want to be limited in the variety of lenten roses that you may grow. Seeds or existing hellebores can be used, depending on your budget and the quality of the seed.

Sow seeds in the spring or early summer, and divide them right before planting for optimal results. Before transplanting, both procedures are simple and necessitate a stable growing environment. Transplant the seedlings outside once the risk of frost has passed.