Christmas Rose, Schneerose - care and wintering

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Christmas rose - snow-rose - Helleborus niger

The Christmas rose develops over the years to a stately perennial. If you want to share it, it is best to choose the spring after flowering. During the summer, the young plants should be regularly supplied with water and some fertilizer, so that they are well-grown until late autumn and have the strength to plant flowers. The Christmas rose can also be propagated from seeds. For this purpose, the seeds are spread in trays in the autumn and set well outdoors from the access of birds and mice. The seeds of the Christmas rose are among the frost germs and will only germinate if they get some frost.


The Christmas rose is completely hardy and does not need any special winter protection. If you want to be sure, you can put some twigs in the first year as protection. Then the Christmas rose comes easily through the first year after planting. Later, the Hahnenfußgewächs no longer needs special winter protection. Christmas roses in the tub, however, need to be better protected. In this case, it makes sense to pack the bucket well in fleece and dimpled foil or to protect the root area with other materials such as jute.
plant Characteristics
On the stem, the Christmas rose has one or two pale-oval bracts. The flowers of the Christmas rose are terminal and stand individually on the unbranched stems. The diameter of the flower is five to ten centimeters. The perianth is either white or reddish and consists of five egg-shaped sepals together. During flowering, the bracts are greenish or red overflowing and last very long. The actual petals have a bag shape, are yellow to yellow-green and are surrounded by nectar flowers. The nectar leaves smell more intense than the perianth and a lot of nectar.
From February to April, the main flowering period is the Christmas rose, whereby, depending on the snow and altitude, it can begin to bloom in November.
Wintering as a ornamental plant
  • As a pot or potted plant, Christmas or snow roses can simply overwinter. You need a cool place. Completely sufficient is a garage with a window, a corridor or a stairwell. However, it should be noted that the plant has winter-green leaves and must receive enough light. The casting can be done sporadically.

  • The natural home of the Christmas rose are the eastern northern and southern Alps, as well as the Apennines and the northern Balkans. It can be found up to an altitude of 1,900 meters. In Germany, the Christmas rose is only in Bavaria at home. The preferred location of the Christmas rose is on bushy slopes, sparse beech and mixed beech forests and spruce forests and in the south of downy oak forests.

  • Very often, this plant is also cultivated, but it rarely grows wild. Due to the ingredients saponins and protoanemonin the Christmas rose is very poisonous. According to the Federal Species Protection Ordinance, the Christmas rose is particularly protected and is on the Red List in Germany.

The Christmas rose is frugal and does not require much care and it is easy to multiply. With its flowering season from winter to spring, it delights the garden owner with its beautiful flowers, even when it is snowing and freezing outside. That is why she is also called Snow Rose. Over the years, the white beauty turns into a stately perennial and pleases many weeks through its countless blooms. A sister of the Christmas rose is the Lenzrose, which flowers only in spring and which is available in different shades of red.

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