Christmas Rose for Winter Colour
Many people have a Christmas rose or two in their garden, to give some subtle colour in winter when most other flowering plants have gone into hibernation.
Generally, the flowers are white, creamy, pink or various shades of purple – with some varieties stronger than others.
A Christmas rose, or Hellebore, can grow to quite a size, with a potential height of four foot and a three-foot spread – so bear this in mind when choosing a spot to plant them. They are ideal for those trickier planting spots, as they do well in north or east-facing positions. Hellebores are not keen on extremes, so it is best not to plant them in very wet, or very dry soil.
You can mulch them in the autumn and with most other plants, water them in the drier months, but often this plant will look after itself pretty well. It’s not called a hardy plant for nothing. If your plant isn’t doing well, try a fertiliser in spring to give it a boost.
Hellebores are large-leafed plants and the flowers can become overwhelmed, so cut back old leaves in early spring to make sure that the buds are given the best chance. Leaf spot can be quite common. Remove any diseased leaves as soon as you see them.
Early spring is also the time for propagation for most common Hellebores. Clumps can be split and replanted. Water them in well and then be patient, as it may take a year or two before the plants perform.
Although a Christmas rose isn’t guaranteed to bloom at Christmas, the plants always offer long-lasting colour during the winter months, and are a welcome addition to any garden. They are a staple of our hardy plants!