10 Tips for gorgeous Christmas roses

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Christmas roses are something very special. Because when the bright white flowers open in the middle of winter, it seems like a small miracle to us. Therefore, every year we let ourselves be enchanted by it again and wonder how they defy frost and snow.

1. Find the optimal place

Christmas roses (Helleborus niger) are particularly long-lived perennials. At places that appeal to them, they can stand for 30 years or more. For the care that means less effort: Regular parts and new plants, as it is known from magnificent perennials such as asters or larkspur, is eliminated. When choosing a location, it pays to invest time. Think carefully about where your Christmas rose should stand: In addition to the site claims (see point 5), the early flowering period has to be considered. Choose a place where you can see the early bloomer as well as possible from the house.

2. Set flower-rich companion

With Christmas roses in bloom, get a taste of spring in the garden. Witch hazel is one of the few trees that blooms just as early in the year. Another advantage: In summer, the shrub shadows the moisture-loving Christmas roses. In combination with Schneeheide you can meet Christmas roses in nature in the mountains. That's why they look soothing, side by side. In between, the yellow flowers of winterlings shine. When the bulb flowers are absorbed, the yellowing foliage is hidden under the decorative foliage of the Christmas rose.

Christmas rose in the snow

The elegant flowers of Christmas roses look through the snow cover early in the year

3. Test the new generation

The flowers of the natural form appear depending on the weather in November, December or January and then flower until March / April. The pioneer snow rose 'Praecox' is often even seen in autumn. For a flowering Advent and Christmas season, fans are increasingly turning to the "Christmas Series", a new generation of extremely florid Christmas roses, also known as the "Helleborus Gold Collection" (HGC for short). However, varieties such as 'Jacob Classic' or 'Joel' are not only blossoming safely from the end of November. The flowers stand on sturdy stems over the decorative foliage. This makes her appear particularly radiant and tempts to put a few flowers in the vase from time to time. Christmas roses are great cut flowers. Only with frost you should not cut them.

4. Protection reaction in cold weather

On frosty nights the winter bloomers collapse and appear frozen. The robust plants do not really "flabby" - it is a protective reaction. The plant extracts water from the channels so that the frost does not blow them up. As temperatures rise, she straightens and continues to bloom. Christmas roses and closely related Lenzrosen survive up to -10° C easily. Protection from fir-spruce absorbs strong temperature changes.

Put Christmas rose

In spring, you can put the already flowering specimens directly into the bed

5. Important: prepare the soil well

All Helleborus species and varieties can be flowering. The cheapest time to split or transplant is August. First, loosen the soil two spades deep, because the perennials are rooted to a depth of 50 centimeters. Therefore, this area should be well supplied with humus. Christmas roses need a nutrient-rich soil especially lime. Lenz roses are less demanding. They love sandy loam, but also get along with almost any other underground. On light sandy soils, a mixture of compost, algal lime and bentonite helps. The clay mineral bentonite stores water. You only have to water in the growth phase and during the May leaf shoot when it is very warm.

6. Remove old and sick leaves

Cutting off old foliage in the late winter has two advantages: The flowers are more beautiful and they keep the plant healthy. Because fungal diseases multiply preferentially in the foliage of the previous year. Snails eating the new shoot hide in it. But do not cut too early, because that weakens the plant. Often the leaves are still a good protection until the first flowers show. Especially in the case of Christmas roses, you only break what has become unsightly. The situation is different with black spot disease. Here you must radically remove all affected leaves. The leaves migrate into the residual waste.

True Christmas rose cut

The correct cut can be seen on the drawing

7. Those who love it more colorful, take to Lenzrosen

Christmas roses always bloom white and only sometimes show a pinkish hint of blooming. If you want to expand the color palette, the very similar Lenzrosen (Helleborus Orientalis hybrids) to offer. They bloom a little later and offer all color shades of creamy white over rosy pastel shades to deep red or almost black. Many show a sophisticated mottling.Like the Christmas roses, they look attractive even in the bloomed state. The seeds go into a fresh-looking lime green. On ingrown Helleborus shrubs you can leave the fruit capsules. For freshly planted and weaker specimens you cut out the blooms better. So no power goes into the seeds - that provides for lush pile in the next year.

8. Flower arrangements for the cold season

With the wintergreen of the silk pine and the berry decoration of the holly (Ilex), the flower wonders can be attractively set on the balcony and terrace. But beware: Christmas roses in the pot freeze faster than planted specimens. Keep an eye on the thermometer. Decorated on a tray, the pots are quickly cleared if necessary on the protected house wall or walk on very cold nights in the shed.

9. How poisonous is the buttercup plant?

Those who deal with Christmas roses should know that they are poisonous. Saponins (Helleborin), which can irritate the mucous membranes, are found throughout the plant. Excessive fear of poisoning, however, you need not have. As Paracelsus already knew, the dose makes the poison. If you are careful with vase water and also teach children that they should not put their fingers in their mouths after touching them, nothing can happen. For maintenance work, one pulls on garden gloves as a precaution.

Provide the soil with sufficient nutrients

Adequate fertilization ensures magnificent flowers

10. Provide sufficient nutrients

Fertilize twice a year with organic material. Cow dung pellets or horn chips and rock flour have proven to be useful. The first fertilization is still in bloom in February. Connect the spreading with the leaf cut. This makes it clearer and the fertilizer is easier to incorporate. The second nutrient is given in midsummer, when the plant forms fresh roots. These supply the buds later. If Christmas roses bring a lot of foliage but only a few flowers, they usually suffer from a lack of calcium.

Video Board: Planting Christmas Roses.

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