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The Christmas rose is an unusual plant because its flower buds open in the middle of winter. Using the following criteria, you can easily find a location where she feels comfortable in the long term.

In a nutshell

  • Prefers a bright location all year round, but protected from the blazing midday sun
  • The ideal planting place is in the semi-shade, for example under a deciduous shrub
  • The soil should be humic, nutrient-rich, calcareous and permeable
  • Delicate shallow roots -> provide a permanent location for many years, do not transplant or rake
  • Keep in the room only temporarily during flowering, at about 12 °C, avoid dry air

Light intensity

Christmas roses need sufficient light for their growth. The need for light is also given in winter when they open their flowers. At the same time, they do not like to be in the full sun all year round. The Christmas rose location is therefore ideally in the semi-shade. In permanent shade, however, the flowering suffers. In the wild, Helleborus niger, as the scientific name goes, often grows near forests. Helleborus is also in good hands under a tree in the garden.

Christmas Rose - Snow Rose - Helleborus niger
  • Conifers and walls provide too much shade
  • Deciduous shrubs, on the other hand, are ideal
  • the bare branches let through enough light in winter
  • the fallen leaves also form a protective layer of mulch


Christmas roses are hardy, so they can safely withstand sub-zero temperatures, if necessary with winter protection measures. Nevertheless, a sheltered location makes sense, where the icy wind in particular does not reach them with all its force. In summer, the blazing sun must be avoided at all costs, otherwise the Christmas roses will get too hot. In small portions, the sun is quite allowed, but only in the morning and evening. The Christmas rose location must therefore not face south. Place the plant in an east- or west-facing bed.

In winter, the Christmas rose is a popular sight indoors, where it delights with its white blossoms. Pot specimens are available for purchase in almost every market at this time. In the house, the plant must not be exposed to high temperatures.

  • 12 °C is ideal in winter
  • Kitchen, living room and bathroom are too warm
  • cooler bedroom is more suitable
  • an unheated conservatory is ideal
  • or cool stairwell or anteroom
  • avoid dry air
  • from spring it is too warm in the house
  • Christmas rose should then go outside

soil condition

Not only light and temperature at the location of the Christmas rose determine the healthy growth and willingness to bloom of the Christmas rose. The soil in which it will root for many years must also provide it with a good foundation. It should be like this:

  • humorous
  • loamy
  • nutritious
  • permeable

Compacted soil must be loosened before planting. Sand is also incorporated so that it tends less towards compaction in the future. Loamy soil usually offers enough nutrients. Lean soils are upgraded with compost. For pot culture, ordinary potting soil is mixed with clay, horn shavings and clay granules. An additional layer of gravel or broken pottery reliably prevents waterlogging.

lime content

The element lime is essential for the growth of Helleborus niger. Therefore, this point is explicitly mentioned here. If the soil at the Christmas Rose location already has an alkaline pH, it does not need to be improved. You can easily measure the pH value yourself, you can get the appropriate test strips in the hardware store. You can add the element lime to a neutral or acidic soil with the following additions:

  • shell limestone
  • chalk
  • Lime preparation from the garden center
  • calcareous tap water also fills up the lime deposit
Christmas rose, Helleborus niger

Tip: If the Christmas rose location is in close proximity to coniferous trees, then you need to keep an eye on the lime content of the soil. Falling and decomposing needles lead to acidification of the soil.


The Christmas rose would like to remain permanently in its place in the garden, because a change of location does not suit its fine root system. For this very reason, the selected place must be available to her for many years. Before planting, it must be carefully checked for its suitability as a Christmas rose location. Avoid locations that require frequent digging or raking. The root system of the Christmas rose, which is just below the surface of the earth, would be damaged.

Notice: Did you know that Christmas roses, which grow wild in nature, are threatened with extinction and are therefore protected? You may therefore not be dug up. If you want a Christmas rose, then it can only be a cultivated one from the garden store.

frequently asked Questions

My Christmas rose has an unfavorable location. When can I transplant?

The Christmas rose does not like a change of location. If this is unavoidable, act preferably in spring or autumn.

I heard that Christmas roses are poisonous, is that right?

Yes, Christmas roses are highly toxic, although poisoning is not common. Particular caution or even renunciation is required in households with children. Otherwise protect your skin with gloves during planting and care work.

Help, the Christmas rose blossoms are freezing! Is rescue still possible?

Don't worry, the Christmas rose blossoms probably didn't freeze to death, even if it appears that way. Christmas roses easily tolerate locations with temperatures down to - 10 °C. In the event of frost, however, they activate a protective function: they withdraw water from their pathways so that the frost does not cause them to burst. This deprivation of water makes the flowers look limp. However, when the temperature rises, they straighten up again.

How do I know if my Christmas rose is missing lime?

If you notice an abundance of leaves on your Christmas rose, but flowers are scarce, this is a clear indication that your lime is missing.

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