Helleborus, the Christmas Rose

It’s always spectacular: a plant that blooms when most garden plants are hibernating.

Helleborus (also known as the Christmas rose) treats you to a large white flower with a fantastic crown of stamens oat their hearth from November to March. The Plant can cope with snow and frost: branches might droop a bit, but as soon as the temperatures climb again, Helleborus will straighten up.



Helleborus niger is most widely offered in December. This clump-forming, usually evergreen perennial is loved for it’s nodding clusters of bowl-shaped white flowers in winter and early spring. The dark foliage consists of multiple smaller leaves. There are various cultivars, usually with white flowers such as the cultivars ‘Christmas Carol’. ‘Dafine’. ‘Shining Star’. And Jushua.

Helleboris orientalis has yellow, pink and dark purple flowers, and there are also varieties with spotted flowers. Like Helleborus niger, the Christmas rose come in various sizes, from small enough to be used in a hanging basket through to a tall bush wich needs a substantial pot or a big spot in the border. There is a Helleborus perfect for your garden table or to brighten up the entrance to your home this Christmas.



  • The common name of Christmas rose derives from on old legend in which the plant emerged in the snow from the tears of a girl who had no gift for the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
  • In the middle ages Helleborus was cultivated by people to keep away evil winter spirits.
  • The plant has been known for a long time. The physician Melampus referred to it in 1400 BC.
  • Helleborus symbolises pioneering and survival.


Helleborus is a member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family. The plant is native to the forests of central and south of Europe and west Asia. The plant can be spotted in the wild in the Alpes, Carpatrhian and Appenine mountains.



What to look for when buying your Helleborus:

  • Check the balance between pot size and bush, the plant must have a number of viable buds and be free of pests.
  • The soil must be sufficient damp to prevent the plant from drooping.
  • Yellow leaves can indicate leaf-miner flies: botrytis manifests itself as black spots on the white petals.



As the start of December, the Helleborus likes to be placed alongside red and white Cyclamen at the entrance of your home or on garden table on your terrace. Helleborus is also a popular choice for large scale planters to be placed on the graves of loved once, providing flowers throughout the season. Combing the Helleborus with ornamental wood, Heather, moss and – for example – small outdoor lantern.


Care tip for Helleborus

  • Place Helleborus in a sheltered, sunny spot. The more the plant is shaded the fewer flowers it will produce.
  • The plant shows when it needs extra water with it’s drooping leaves. After a couple of hours after watering the Helleborus will have perked up completely.
  • Don’t water when it’s freezing: the plant consumes hardly anything at those times.
  • Some plant food once a fortnight encourages extra-long profuse flowering.

In the spring time you can plant your Helleborus in a semi-shade position in your garden, under a deciduous bush would be perfect, where it will surprise you every winter with fantastic blooms.

For any questions regarding plant suitable for you Christmas decor contact the experts at Lamber de Bie Flowers

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