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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    hellebore plug production

    Shepp and anybody else interested...

    Every place has it's popular, and profitable, plants. Here the hellebore is both, at the moment. Stay tuned for yearly updates, one thing I've certainly learned is nothing stays the same for long. Keep your eyes and ears open for any hints of new things coming along, and new folks getting into your area of expertise to glut the market.

    Anyhow, doing hellebores my way...
    Obtain seed as soon as possible after it's harvested...either directly from growers or www.jelitto.com for one of the biggest suppliers used by producers worldwide.

    Soak the seeds for a day, I like a bit of kelp in the water but fresh seed will germinate real well no matter what. Then slip it in a ziploc with peat/sand and keep it at household room temps for at least 3 mos. Then spread this seed mixture over the top of seed pots, I like 1 gram of seed per 1gal. square pot, then covered with a further layer of seed mix or grit of some kind...seeds are pleasantly big so can be covered like a 1/4 or 1/2 in. deep no problem.

    Set these pots in a protected area outside where they will get cold temps thru the winter, and come late winter they begin to sprout. Prick the seedlings out as soon as you can handle them, and time permits...don't hold young seedlings by the stem or they will be crushed and probably die, hold them by the cotyledons.

    Pot directly into 2.5 in pots (or 606 celpaks, same thing) and keep em growing as fast as possible till they nicely fill those pots.

    My price here of about $1.80 is wholesale, there isn't any retail market for plugs I'm aware of. Retail sales are usually 1 gal. which go for anywhere from $12 to $19 at the moment for hybrid seedlings. Special varieties can sell for $24 a gal.

    There are several big growers in the eastern states, Shepp...Sunshine Farms is in WV I think, and there's one or two others I forget the names of. You might check their prices on plugs to see what you're competing against in your market.

    Like I started out saying, popular plants vary from place to place, so big caution...see if this is popular where you sell, or could quickly become so. Hellebores have been around forever, but have gotten rediscovered the last few years and are in great demand here.

    And I doubt this will stay that way...things come and go, and suppliers appear and disappear, so I'm always optimistically pessimistic about the market for anything in particular!

    Keep having fun, anyway

    Glen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    I am bumping this for Cathy and hope that Glen will get the email notification and visit so that he can tell Cathy more about what to do.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462

    GLEN!!!!!!! Help!!!!!!

    I sure hope Glen will check in, been going through old posts and came across this post.

    Plugs, bought through our co-op group for the newer hybrids go for about 2.80-3.30. These are large size plugs from Walter's Gardens here in West MI. The group also ordered some TNN (Terra Nova Nursery).

    I like that they can be started from seed, although my friend has had them for years, and they have never seeded for her.
    Do you know what's up with that?

    Cathy, did you ever start your hellebore seeds? How did they do?
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

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