With proper care, Christmas roses easily thrive in the garden or in a pot indoors. The Christmas flowers will enliven any bare winter garden.
The Christmas rose originates from the area of the northern and southern Alps. It is also known as Christmas rose, snow rose and black hellebore – the latter name comes from the fact that its roots used to be made into snuff and sneezing powder.
Christmas roses with white flowers are the most common, but there are also greenish and pink species. The different varieties bloom from December to March, bringing life to the winter garden.
Christmas roses: tips on care
If you have acquired Christmas roses, you should not have any problems with them as a rule – the plants are very easy to care for. With just a few measures, they will also feel at home in your garden.
- During the flowering period in winter, Christmas roses need a moist soil. You should therefore water them regularly during this time; only refrain from doing so during frost. However, make sure that the soil does not become waterlogged – the plants will not tolerate this. In summer you only need to water the evergreen perennials if it has not rained for a long time.
- You can fertilize your Christmas roses moderately as needed – the right time for this is in spring or late summer. However, if they are comfortable in their location, this is usually not necessary.
- To properly care for Christmas roses, you usually don’t need to cut them back. It is sufficient to remove wilted leaves. Tip: You can leave old leaves between the plants as a natural mulch layer – this way the soil loses less moisture and can supply more nutrients to the plants.
- If you put potted Christmas roses on the balcony or terrace in winter, you should choose a more sheltered place. Because they are surrounded by less protective soil, they cannot withstand frost as well as in the bed. Therefore, place them against a house wall, for example.
- Note: All parts of Christmas roses are poisonous, so avoid direct contact with the plant if possible: It is best to wear gardening gloves when caring for them.
If you have children or pets, you should plant the Christmas roses in a location inaccessible to them. Alternatively, you can switch to other non-toxic winter bloomers – witch hazel or cornelian cherry, for example.
Christmas rose: How to grow them
Christmas roses not only beautify the garden – they can also thrive as a potted plant on the balcony or in the apartment. Here’s what you should consider when planting them:
- Location: In the garden, you should choose a partial shade location for your Christmas rose. It feels most comfortable in a protected and undisturbed place, for example under shrubs. The Christmas rose is also extremely sensitive if its root shoots are disturbed – so make sure not to dig deeply around the Christmas rose if possible.
- Soil: The Christmas rose does not like waterlogging, so well-drained, loamy and calcareous soil is a good choice. If necessary, you can also enrich the selected area with humus or calcareous stone dust before planting.
- Planting: The best time for planting Christmas roses is in autumn. Plant the Christmas roses about 30 to 40 inches apart, so they have enough light and space to spread out. The flowers grow about 25 to 40 centimeters high.
- In a pot: The Christmas rose can also be kept as a houseplant. Make sure that you place it in cooler, preferably unheated rooms. If you want to move the plant to the garden later, you should not expose it to warm temperatures for too long. Even if you grow the Christmas rose in a pot, you should avoid waterlogging and provide it with soil that contains as much lime as possible. It is best to use a deep pot with water drainage. (If you don’t like the pot in the room, you can put it in a decorative planter made of sustainable materials.
Christmas rose: A faithful companion
There are many reasons why you should add a Christmas rose to your garden: When planted in the right location, Christmas roses bloom more abundantly and self-propagate over the years – so they can live up to 30 years.
Even after they have finished blooming, they continue to enrich the garden with their evergreen foliage. In addition, the ornamental plants are classified as endangered by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.