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Combine Christmas rose in a pot: What goes with it for an atmospheric winter planting?

Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) already delights at Christmas time with its large, white flowers and deep green foliage. The hardy perennial is perfect for the front part of a semi-shaded bed, but also feels comfortable in a tub with other plants. We explain below what care the Christmas rose in a pot requires and what goes best with it.

Care of the Christmas rose in a pot

christmas rose care in pot

The Christmas rose reaches a height of 30 cm and is therefore ideal for keeping in pots. Helleborus niger thrives best in a moist, but well-drained or clay soil in partial shade. Place the pot in a cool spot and water when the top layer of soil has dried out. Cut back the old leaves when the flowers and new foliage appear. Like all hellebores, Helleborus niger does not like to be repotted once established and should not be divided .

Note: Helleborus niger can be toxic to cats, dogs and humans. It has nectar and pollen rich flowers and is known to attract bees and bumblebees.

Christmas rose Dandelion difference

Christmas rose difference

The Christmas rose blooms as early as December, which is why it is also called the Christmas Christmas rose. There are over 20 species of Helleborus that are often confused and all are called “Christmas Rose”. They look similar, but the Lenzroses (Helleborus orientalis), also called Oriental hellebores, bloom a little later in the winter, from January to March.

Combine Christmas rose with other plants

Christmas rose blooms at Christmas

If you combine different plants in a tub , you should make sure that they have similar requirements for location and soil. Of course, it is also important that they are hardy.

Christmas rose and evergreen companion plants

white christmas rose and hardy companion plants


The white Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) is the star in this pot. It is combined with evergreen plants that beautifully highlight its flowers. Here, the gardeners have chosen a monochromatic green mini ivy and the colorful spiky-leaved scented flower ‘Variegatus’. Also well suited for hardy container planting are spindle bush (Euonymus japonicus) and Japanese lavender heather (Pieris japonica). Place this pot in a sheltered, shady spot and pick off the flowers when they begin to fade to keep the pot looking fresh.

White Christmas rose and red cyclamen

Combine white Christmas rose with red cyclamen and ivy

Since snow lily flowers are often nodding, plant them in tall pots near a doorway for easy viewing. Combine Christmas roses with white cyclamen for a chic, modern look or with bright red cyclamen for a Christmas mix of red, white and green. To really set off the flowering perennials, you can combine ivy and pine greenery with them.

Christmas planting with a silver glow

Christmas container with white Christmas rose and snowball


This chic container planting is not frost hardy, but can add a touch of elegance to any glazed patio. The coral shrub (Solanum pseudocapsicum) creates a focal point in the background, while the silver basket (Calocephalus brownii) softens the foreground. Silver-sprayed pine cones and white fairy lights make it extra Christmassy.

Sophisticated citrus notes

winter container planting with christmas rose and lemon green plants

A dose of sunny lemon yellow is a welcome sight during the cold season, but combine it with gray (the white-felted Greiskraut) and black (the flat-shafted snakeweed) for a sophisticated arrangement that really shows off on the patio. Choosing hardy, cold-tolerant plants like juniper, sky bamboo and snakeweed grass will keep the planting looking beautiful for a long time, even without the beautiful white flowers of Christmas rose (Helleborus niger).

1. gold columnar juniper ‘Gold Cone’ (Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’).
2. holy bamboo / sky bamboo ‘Magical® Lemon-Lime’ (Nandina domestica ‘Magical® Lemon-Lime’)
3. black snakebeard (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigre’)
4. christmas rose ‘HGC Jacob’ (Helleborus niger ‘HGC Jacob’)
5. silver bell ‘Lime Marmalade’ (Heuchera ‘Lime Marmalade’)
6. white felted ragwort (Senecio cineraria ‘Silverdust’)
7. large-leaved periwinkle ‘Maculata’ (Vinca major ‘Maculata’)

Christmas rose and heather

christmas rose and heather combined in one pot

Helleborus x sahinii ‘Winterbells’ is the star in this container. It is a cross between H. foetidus and H. niger and usually blooms by November. Together with the popular broom heather ‘Aurea’, they are an excellent choice to add some color to the garden in winter. They are perfectly complemented by Red-leaved Spurge ‘Purpurea’ and Fox Red New Zealand Sedge. This pot will stay beautiful for many weeks if placed in the corner of a sunny patio where it can be seen from the house. Cut off wilted flowers to keep the plants looking neat and beautiful.

The pale purples, pinks and bronzes give the arrangement a charming, cheerful look. Other recommended plants include New Zealand wind grass (Anemanthele lessioniana) with yellow-orange-red coloring and early spring alpine violet (Cyclamen coum).

Christmas roses instead of floating candles

Christmas roses floating in a bowl with water

Christmas roses and hellebores also make fantastic cut flowers. However, instead of placing them in a vase, they are displayed in an unusual way: cut off the flower heads and let them float in a shallow bowl of water.

christmas rose flowers floating in water

To do this at home, simply cut off the flower head of each flower, leaving an inch or two of stem. Dip the ends in boiled water to seal them, then place them in a pretty bowl. This will allow the flowers to last up to a week.