Helleborus Niger (Christmas Rose)
Steadfast Winter-Blooming Gem
Sometimes a rose isn't really a rose. Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger) is so-named because its flowers resemble single roses, which bloom during (or after) the Christmas season. You won't find true roses blossoming during winter, but Christmas Rose endures freezing temperatures to produce bell-shaped flowers that burst into bloom even when there's snow on the ground!
Tough Plants, Tough Flowers
Winter-blooming. Flowers typically open as white but transition to shades of pink and rose. You'll see a combination of all these shades at any one time for a lovely color combination, particularly if you have multiple plants.
Cold-tolerant. Winter-hardy to USDA plant hardiness zone 3, plants will flower even when nipped by frost or surrounded by snow.
Deer-resistant. Hungry deer do not eat the flowers or foliage, so you won't have to worry about the flowering display being cut short by grazing.
Perfect Placement & Garden Design
Shade does not deter Christmas Rose from blooming; in fact, this plant is a super shade-garden evergreen. It's the perfect plant for a woodland garden, where you can use it to edge paths or scatter underneath trees. Incorporate groups of Christmas Rose plants in your shady perennial border design.
Established plants require little maintenance:
•Sun. Some sun is okay, but mostly shade is best.
•Soil. Plants prosper in rich soil that drains well.
•Water. After watering new plants regularly to settle them into their new home, natural rainfall is typically enough to maintain mature plants. In times of drought, or if the dense canopies of overhead trees prevent enough rain from reaching plants, keep them watered but not soggy. Wet soil can cause the crowns to rot.
•Fertilizer. Plants need very little fertilizer, but they do benefit from a light application of a slow-release fertilizer in spring.
•Pruning. You don't have to prune your plants, but by removing the older and larger leaves during bloom time, the flowers will stand out more.
•Weeding. When the flowers fade, they form pods that eventually open and scatter seeds around your plants. Be careful when weeding so you won't disturb the tiny seedlings that grow from the seeds. These seedlings will slowly grow into plants that fill in around their parent plants, but they will not become invasive.