How to Care for a Christmas Rose to Keep it Blooming All Season – 'It's the Ultimate Winter Plant!'

These experts reveal how to get the most out of your festive flower through Christmas and beyond

A pink hellebore plant
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We know you've probably got a poinsettia somewhere in your Christmas home, but have you heard of the Christmas rose? The understated flower is a beautiful alternative to the loud red leaves of a poinsettia, and it's one of the best winter-blooming plants for your backyard. 

With less than a week to go, you've probably already finished decorating for Christmas, however, a little extra foliage never hurt. The Christmas rose, also known as the hellebore, is the perfect way to brighten up your outdoor space this time of year, and its understated blooms add a burst of color when it's needed most. 

We spoke to plant experts to understand how we can best care for the Christmas rose, and what we should do to get the most out of them. Here's what they had to say about caring for this ultimate winter plant.

How do I make my Christmas rose bloom?

winter container with hellebore

(Image credit: Stock Photo)

Often people assume that winter-blooming plants require a lot of maintenance, but this couldn't be further from the truth. The Christmas rose is actually relatively undemanding when it comes to care, but there are a few things that will help it to thrive.

'Christmas roses thrive best in well-drained, fertile soil,' says plant expert and co-founder of GreenPal, Gene Caballero. 'Regular watering is necessary, but it's crucial to avoid waterlogging to prevent root rot.' This can be a common winter gardening mistake that should be avoided if you want the best-looking blooms. 'If you want to take your Christmas rose care to the next level you can add some extra nutrients and increase water retention by mulching around the plant,' Gene adds.

If your plant hasn't bloomed yet and you want to encourage it to do so faster, there's something you can do, too. 'For an earlier bloom, plant your Christmas Rose in a sheltered location in your backyard such as next to the house or shed,' says Jamie Saechao, Author at Green Garden Cottage. 'This warmer area will encourage an earlier bloom.'

How should I maintain my Christmas rose?

Christmas rose

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Once your plant has bloomed you'll be desperate to keep it looking its best for as long as possible. Continuing with their general maintenance routine will be key for this, but there is one other fundamental thing you can do to keep your backyard blooming. 'Pruning is also an essential aspect of their care,' says Gene. 'It keeps the plant looking tidy, encourages new growth, and reduces the risk of disease.' Remove old leaves in late winter to give them a boost before new growth before spring.

What are the common Christmas rose care mistakes?

All the best gardeners know it isn't just about what you do, it's just as much about what you don't do. 'There are mistakes to avoid,' says Gene. 'Overwatering and poor drainage are also common pitfalls that can lead to root diseases.'

Equally, you must pay attention when planting your Christmas roses as this can have a big impact on how they look. 'Do not plant Christmas roses in full sun or deep shade, as this can impede their blooming,' he says. 'Also, ensure that the crown of the plant is not buried during planting, as this can hinder growth.'

Apart from that, you're free to enjoy your festive plant for the rest of the season and well into the new year for continual flowers in your garden until spring returns.

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Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.