2 EASY Steps to Grow Hellebores for Beginners

How Do You Grow Hellebores (Christmas Rose)?

This can be a difficult question to answer for beginner gardeners because of numerous factors including climate, soil, and experience level.

This article will help solve this problem by giving gardeners 2 EASY Steps to Grow Hellebores ANYWHERE.

And I recommend scrolling to the bottom of this page to find answers to the 9 most frequently asked questions most gardeners have when growing Hellebores.


Step #1Plant One of These 3 Types of Hellebores

christmas rose

When buying and planting one of these 3 types of Hellebores you should make sure that the bulbs are firm, unblemished, with few or no tears to the outer coating.

I am recommending three specific types of Hellebores that are simple to grow and care for regardless of your experience.

Best of all is that all of these Hellebores are perennials and beautiful!

A) Corsican Hellebore

Corsican Hellebore

  • Hardiness Zone: 6 – 9
  • Length & Width: 36 inches x 36 inches
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring

When the typical gardener thinks of Christmas Roses they are thinking of the Corsican Hellebore Christmas Rose.

This type of Christmas Rose comes in a unique shade of green and is in season all year long.

What you’ll love about this type of Christmas Rose is that it blooms after late winter and well into early summer.

This is an overall easy to maintain flower, is elegant and simple, and is perfect for any flower garden.

B) Christmas Rose

Christmas Rose

  • Hardiness Zone: 6 – 9
  • Length & Width: 36 inches x 36 inches
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Early Winter to Early Spring

When it comes to Hellebores, the true Christmas Rose variety is my favorite.

This variety of Hellebores is called the Christmas Rose because it blooms after Christmas and continues to do so well into spring.

You’ll love the beautiful white colors and yellow stamens that show once this flower blooms.

And if you are looking for an ornamental flower for your flower garden then this should be your first choice.

C) Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

  • Hardiness Zone: 6 – 9
  • Length & Width: 36 inches x 36 inches
  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring

If you want a Hellebore that blooms the longest then look no further than the Lenten Rose, which blooms as long as two months.

This is also one of the most beautiful and colorful Lenten Roses, which has colors of magenta, pink, and sometime white.

This is the perfect flower for traditional gardens, flower gardens, as an ornamental plant, and even as an indoor bloom.

Step #2. How to Grow Hellebores from Bulbs

Hellebores are a beautiful flower that blooms in early to mid-spring.

Unlike conventional thinking, Hellebores are perennial flowers.

Most flower gardeners think Christmas Roses are annual flowers because hybrid Hellebores can become weakened perennials over time.

Step 1 – Plant Your Hellebores Bulbs in the Fall

christmas rose bulbs

First, make sure you buy your appropriate Christmas Roses on Amazon on another reputable garden vendor.

Plant your Hellebores bulbs in the fall when your soil temperature is between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant your bulbs before the first frost!

Take the temperature of your soil and ensure that it will stay below 60 degrees for 12 weeks or think about planting your Christmas Roses in pots.

  • Hardiness Zones 3 – 5: Plant in September
  • Hardiness Zones 6 – 7: Plant in October
  • Hardy Zones 8 – 9: Plant in December

*Find Your Hardiness Zone HERE*

Step 2 – Prepare Your Soil THIS Way!


Locate the area of your flower garden or yard where you want to plant your Hellebores.

  • Christmas Roses do best in an area that receives partial to full afternoon sun.
  • The soil should be well-draining and should be neutral to slightly acidic (6.0 – 7.0 pH level).
  • The flower garden should be well protected from wind and heavy rain.

Mix 3 inches of Flower Garden Soil to the top 6 inches of your garden soil.

Step 3 – Simply Plant Your Hellebores Bulbs

To have the most success planting your bulbs you should dig a hole 8 inches deep and plant 10 Hellebores bulbs together.

*Make sure the Hellebores Bulbs “pointy” part is facing up*

Then mix flower fertilizer (that has a 10-10-10 NPK ratio) in the hole (according to the the instructions). And then fill the holes with your flower and garden soil mix.

Next, water your Christmas Roses bulbs for 15 seconds. This will help promote the start of root growth. Continue to water your bulbs for 15 seconds once a week for the first month.

Then continue this process for as many bulbs as you want to grow. Make sure to spread each set of 10 Christmas Rose bulbs 4 inches apart.

Step 4 – Do THIS in the Winter

In the beginning of winter you will want to mulch your flower garden bed.

After you mulch the flower garden bed do nothing else to your Hellebores bulbs the rest of winter.

Step 5 – And do THIS in the Spring


Once the year becomes spring and your Hellebores grow leaves then you should add flower fertilizer again.

Then water your Christmas Rose once a week until your Hellebores bloom.

As soon your Christmas Rose petals fall off the flower deadhead it.

And make sure to keep your leaves on the flower for 6 weeks so your flower absorbs energy for next year’s bloom.

Step 6 – Maintain minimal maintenance in summer

Once it becomes summer you should cut the stem and leaves of your Christmas Roses where it meets the soil.

Do not water your Christmas Roses in the summer. Do not fertilize your Christmas Roses in the summer. Simply leave your Hellebores in the ground all summer.

Frequently Asked Questions (9 Questions)

#1. How Do You Grow Hellebores in Pots?

If you are not able to plant your Hellebores bulbs in an area your garden or yard, or if your soil will not stay below 60 degrees Fahrenheit then you should plant your Christmas Roses in a container.

To have the most success planting Hellebores Bulbs in pots you should do the following:

  • Bury your bulbs in a container with 8 inches of Flower Garden Soil over it.
  • Make sure the “pointy” end of the bulb is facing up
  • Immediately water your Christmas Roses bulbs for 15 seconds
  • Before the first frost of the year move your container to an area of your property that is cool and dry. Keep it here throughout winter
  • Once you notice green growth emerging in the winter move your container into a sunny area and begin watering it once a week.
  • Once your Hellebores petals fall off you will want to deadhead your flower.
  • Let the green growth of your plant remain for 6 weeks. Then cut it and your stem where it meets your soil.

#2. How Do I Water My Hellebores?

hellebores 3

You should water your Hellebores three different ways.

  • Immediately after you plant your Hellebores bulbs you should soak the soil for 15 seconds
  • Continue watering your Hellebores bulbs once a week for the first month and then don’t water until the spring
  • Begin watering your Christmas Roses once a week once green growth returns in the spring

#3. How Do I Feed My Hellebores?


To properly feed your Hellebores with the fertilizer you should wait until the Hellebores flowers have faded and begun falling off your flower.

To have the most success use Hellebores Fertilizer. This will help your Christmas Roses store nutrients properly for the next season.

For best results, simply follow the instructions on your fertilizer product.

#4. How Do I Cut Hellebores?

cut hellebores

If you want to display your Hellebores indoors then cut Hellebores when the flowers have grown, but not blossomed. It is okay if the flower bud is slightly green, but should have color.

Place the cut Christmas Rose in a vase with water at room temperature. Every few days change your water.

If you want your Christmas Rose to last longer in the vase then you should add Miracle-Gro for Fresh Cut Flowers.

#5. How Do I Protect my Hellebores from Pests

hellebores pests

The biggest threat to your Hellebores is deer, squirrels, and chipmunks. This is both when your Hellebores are growing and blooming.

To prevent your bulbs from digging up place bird netting over the ground where they are planted.

If you are trying to prevent deer then you should use deer repellent. If this does not work then grow your Christmas Rose bulbs in pots and containers out of the deer’s reach.

#6. How do I Prevent Common Hellebore Diseases


The most common Christmas Rose diseases and harmful insects are gray mold, slugs, snail, aphids, nematodes, and bulb rot.

You can help prevent these diseases and harmful insects by using a fungicide spray and an insecticide spray in early spring as green growth begins to emerge.

#7. What are the Best Uses for Hellebores?


Hellebores are best used for indoor display, but can also add color to raised garden beds, container gardening, or even in your traditional flower garden.

Christmas Roses can complement columbines, azaleas, lilacs, daffodils, crocus, and even hyacinths.

#8. What types of Bulb Should I buy?


Purchasing Hellebore Bulbs is a much easier task than say vegetable or herb seeds, where you have to worry about GMOs, Organic, Heirloom, etc.

When buying Hellebore bulbs you should stick to hybrid or heirloom. These will give you the best success in growing Hellebore.

Hybrid Christ Rose Bulbs are weakened perennials that may or may not come up every year.

Heirlom Hellebore Bulbs are perennial bulbs that come up yearly but have a higher risk of contracting a disease, harmful insect, or fungus.

Just as important is where you buy your bulbs from. I recommend buying your seeds from Amazon. This will provide you with the best price and quickest delivery.

#9. What Type of Gardening Pot Should I Buy?

gardening pot

I recommend buying one type of pot.

Buy a 5-gallon pot.

  • This is essential if you want to allow your Hellebore to grow to its fullest. It is also important if you want to continue to grow your Hellebores outside.

About the author