Anyone who finds the right location for the Christmas rose has already met most of the needs. The evergreen and hardy plant should be given a sheltered place where it is in light shade, especially in summer. It can be a bit brighter in winter, but the Christmas rose does not get blazing sun at any time of the year.

Choose a suitable location

A location under a deciduous tree or ornamental shrub is ideal. Here the Hellebore gets sufficient migratory shade in the summer and is protected by the fallen leaves in the winter. There is no need to fear competition from the roots, since the Christmas rose develops very deep braids but hardly grows in width.

It can also be an evergreen shrub under which the Christmas rose is settled, as long as it still lets enough light through in winter.
The snow rose only needs a little space upwards, but it only grows to a height of 30 cm.


The Christmas rose is quite undemanding when it comes to the substrate. However, it should be water-permeable and calcareous.

Simple garden soil is sufficient, provided it is enriched with a little clay and loosened up. Adding lime is also good for the Christmas rose.

If the garden soil tends to compact or if the groundwater is very high, a drainage layer of gravel can be placed under the plant. This will help protect the roots from too much water.

Plant Christmas rose

Christmas roses can be planted in both fall and spring. Autumn is usually the better time.

When inserting, you should make sure that you dig the planting hole as deep as possible. Although the root axis of the hellebore should end with the surface of the earth, a loose substrate is crucial for growth.

The deeper the hole and the looser the substrate that is filled in, the faster the snow rose will take root.

A light pouring and tapping afterwards is sufficient.

Culture in the bucket

The Christmas rose can be cultivated in a tub if a few factors are taken into account.
First and foremost, the size of the bucket is decisive, but the scope is not important here. Instead, the Hellebore needs a lot of space below. The taller the container, the better.

The Christmas rose would like to eke out a shadowy existence. Therefore, a sheltered spot must be chosen as the location, where there is light shade and little sun, especially in the warm season. The Christmas rose is therefore suitable for greening the north balcony, where hardly anything else thrives.

When the hellebore is in bloom, the temptation to put it in the house as a decoration is great. Here, too, he needs the lowest possible temperatures, such as an unheated hallway or conservatory. If it is then to be taken outside again, abrupt temperature changes should be avoided. A frost-free day should therefore be chosen on which the temperatures inside and outside are almost the same.

Because the Christmas rose in a bucket is less protected from severe frost than outdoors in the garden, the otherwise robust plant can be damaged or even freeze completely. For this reason, it makes sense to wrap the bucket with garden fleece and apply a layer of leaves or mulch at least two centimeters thick to the substrate.

Another difference to the culture in the garden lies in the watering. If the Christmas rose is covered in the bucket, it must of course be supplied with water. Here too, however, it is better to keep it a little too dry than too wet. The intervals between watering should therefore be large and wait for the top layer of substrate to dry.

Tip: Tall, narrow tubs are not very stable. This can be remedied by inserting stones or coarse gravel. This also has the practical side effect of improving the drainage of the water.


Caring for the Christmas rose couldn’t be easier, because this plant prefers to be left to its own devices. Nursing care may only be necessary now and then.


As already mentioned, Helleborus niger does not tolerate waterlogging. However, it should not dry out either. It may therefore be necessary to water them a little if necessary. For example, in long dry periods in summer or in winters with very little precipitation.

Simple tap water is perfectly sufficient, because even a high lime content is extremely good for the snow rose.


Hellebore can usually do without fertilization Especially if it was placed directly under a deciduous plant. Then it is sufficient to leave the leaves as a mulch layer. As this rots, it releases nutrients and automatically nourishes the Christmas rose.

However, if there are many coniferous trees in the immediate vicinity of the evergreen flowering plant, it should be limed occasionally. Because coniferous trees tend to acidify the soil, this does not do the Christmas rose too well in the long run.

A handful of horn shavings during the flowering period can also give the winter plant new strength. But this is not absolutely necessary.

To cut

The Christmas rose does not have to be cut into shape, nor is it absolutely necessary to remove withered parts of the plant. The latter is an advantage for the optics alone.
It is not dramatic if some green leaves fall victim to the scissors. The plant copes with this without any problems and quickly provides a replacement.

When blending, however, it is important to note a special feature of the Christmas rose. The plant sap can trigger severe skin reactions, such as rashes and inflammation, especially in sensitive people. Therefore, one must wear appropriate protection, such as disposable gloves.

You should then clean all the devices used and dispose of the cutting residue in such a way that no further contact can occur.


The Christmas rose is hardy and in the right location does not need any additional protection during the cold season. However, this only applies if the autumn leaves serve as a mulch layer.

If the hellebore is under a tree or shrub that does not shed leaves, you should treat it to a mulch layer of grass clippings or bark.

If the Christmas rose is cultivated in a tub, overwintering is a bit more complex. Like the entire care but still low. It is sufficient if you place them in a protected corner and protect the planter with garden fleece from excessive temperature drops. It is also possible to bring the Christmas rose inside. In this winter quarters it should be cold and bright. An unheated room near a window is ideal.


No matter how undemanding and robust the Christmas rose is, it doesn’t do very well when changing places.
Therefore, the location should be chosen as appropriate as possible right from the start. If she is allowed to stay here, she can reach a surprisingly old age.

If transplanting is necessary, the roots must be dug up as deep as possible. Because the Christmas rose only develops a very narrow network of roots, which, however, extends far into the ground.

The larger and longer the root ball that is saved, the higher the chances of successful growth in the new location.


The Christmas rose actually takes care of the propagation itself, provided that its withered flowers are not cut off too early. This is because the seeds that germinate in the next cold period fall out of these.

However, controlled propagation can also take place. There are two ways to do this. On the one hand growing from seed, on the other hand dividing the plant.
Propagation by seeds

Christmas roses are cold germs, so they should be grown outdoors.

  1. The seeds can be obtained from the withered flowers by cutting them off and placing them in a plastic bag. The bag is sealed and shaken or tapped lightly against an edge. The small seeds fall out of the flowers and collect in the sac.
  2. Potting soil or the same substrate that the mother plant is in can be used for sowing.
  3. The seeds should only be lightly covered with soil and watered. Again, it is important to avoid waterlogging.
  4. Spring or autumn can serve as the sowing time. However, the seeds will only germinate after they have spent enough time in the cold. They need this to be stimulated to grow. It is therefore quite possible that the young plants will not appear until the following year.
Tip: So that the young shoots in the bed are not confused with weeds, they should be allowed to germinate in a bucket.

propagation by division

The division of the Christmas rose is much easier than the propagation by seeds. And also significantly faster.

All you have to do is divide the plant and roots in the middle, also after flowering. The resulting daughter plants can be used again directly. Because the Christmas rose has very deep roots, it should be dug up deep for this type of propagation.

In addition to the less time required, another advantage of division is the type purity. This is not always the case with the seeds.

Typical diseases and pests

Christmas roses are inherently robust and resistant plants that are rarely attacked in the right location. Neither diseases nor pests are completely excluded. The most typical infestations come from:

  • aphids
  • mushrooms
  • and snails.

A fungal attack, which often manifests itself in snow roses as black spot disease, rolled-up leaves and greasy spots, usually only occurs at the wrong location or with incorrect care. Too high a moisture or nutrient content in the soil is responsible. If a fungicide is used as a countermeasure, this can alleviate the symptoms in the short term. In the long term, however, only a drier substrate can help.

Snails can be stopped with a snail fence. Aphids lose interest if you fight them with natural enemies such as ladybugs. Alternatively, a brew of garlic sprayed on the leaves and lice can stop the infestation.

Is the Christmas rose poisonous?

As beautiful as Helleborus niger is, it is unfortunately also poisonous. Even a small amount of sap can cause significant discomfort, inflammation and rashes on the skin. If parts of the Christmas rose are ingested, significantly more severe symptoms of poisoning are to be expected. This is particularly dangerous for small children and pets. For this reason, Christmas roses should not be placed in gardens where children or pets play.

The Christmas rose is a decorative evergreen plant that captivates with enchanting flowers from January. Planted in a tub or outdoors in the garden, easy to care for and hardy, the Hellebore is suitable even for inexperienced hobby gardeners. And of course for all those who want to invest little and still enjoy full beauty.

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