Christmas Rose/‘Helleborus niger’

This is a perennial, frost-hardy plant which is often forced and offered in bloom in November and December as a short-term houseplant: in the garden, flowering may begin in December and last through to February. It is not easy to keep as a potted plant from one season to the next, and it is best to harden it off and then plant it out in the garden in late Spring; outside, plants dislike disturbance and should be left alone. The Christmas Rose has attractive, evergreen leaves and exquisite blossoms. The latter often suffer from weather damage outside, but when grown as a houseplant, it is possible to fully appreciate their delicate beauty. The down-turned white flowers hide their yellow stamens in cupped petals. Use them in cool and well-lit places in the home; it is inadvisable to grow these poisonous plants if there are young children around.

This Winter-flowering W plant will deteriorate rapidly if not kept cool: aim for a temperature range indoors of 5-10°C (41-50°F). Plants in the garden are fully frost-tolerant.

Position the Christmas Rose in good, bright light, ensuring that it does not become overheated. Outdoors, plant it out of direct sunlight; a West-facing bed is ideal.

Water moderately as soon as the surface of the compost begins to dry; while over-watering should be avoided at all costs, the plant’s roots must be kept moist at all times. Garden plants should be grown where the soil never dries out in Summer.

This cool-temperature, Winter-flowering house-plant has no need of any additional humidity.

As a short-term house-plant, Helleborus niger has no need of any fertilizer, other than that already in the compost. Plants in the garden should be fed with a mulch of well-rotted farmyard manure, leaf mould or garden compost in February.

Grow this perennial in a loam-based compost, rich in organic matter; plants bought as houseplants should be already in a suitable medium.

To prolong the season of Helleborus niger, pot-grown plants can be kept in a cold greenhouse and brought indoors gradually to be enjoyed. Garden plants should be covered with a cloche to keep the delicate blooms clean.

PLANT SURGERY

Aphids If grown in very hot conditions, the Christmas Rose may suffer from Aphid attack; correct the growing conditions and then eradicate the pests with a suitable insecticide.

Leaf Group need more water than other Pelargonium. In Winter, keep resting plants on the dry side, allowing the compost to dry out between each watering.This rather fleshy-leaved Pelargonium has no need of any additional humidity;

20. June 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Comments Off on Christmas Rose/‘Helleborus niger’

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