But there are occasions when it needs doing. Consider it a preventative, a prophylactic measure against unending seedling removal in delicate areas where the very large hellebore plants would be unwanted.
Begin by being sure your hellebore has seed pods. Some of the fancy schmancy ones are sterile and will produce no offspring. The ones growing here in the
Fairegarden are the species, but are still quite attractive. The first discovery of seedlings, they need two stratification periods, two seasons of chill hours followed by warmth to germinate, will find the gardener joyously spreading the babies hither and yonder. But as those babies grow on to produce even more babies, and so on and so on, there comes a time, in certains places that enough is enough.
The tool used is a thumbnail, grown longer than the other fingernails for use as a multi-tool You could also use a knife, snips, scissors, pruners, etc., whatever works for you. Snipping the seedpods at the stem is a surgical manuever. It is very difficult to do while holding a camera and trying to click the shutter. A helpful assistant would have been appreciated here.
This procedure is not done to all of the Helleborus orientalis growing here, there is neither the time nor the desire to do so. But in those certain areas where seedlings would be a cause for horror rather than delight, the effort pays off in extra future leisure time.
Why not just deadhead, one might ask. That is a good question, with an equally good answer. The flowers fade to green but remain intact for many months after the initial bloom in January and February here. They add shape, form, texture and substance as a background to the spring and summer flowers and foliage. Even neutered.
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