Christmas Rose starts blooming right now!

Written by Doug Oster on .

It's wonderful to have something blooming in November. This Christmas Rose as also taught some gardening lessons. Photos by Doug Oster

This Helleborus niger plant has been in my garden for over 20 years.

It's common name is the Christmas rose, because if begins to bloom right now and the pretty white flowers will persist most of the winter. I enjoy watching them fade to pink.

When I see it bloom it reminds me of those first few years of gardening and the excitement of finding a new plant.

A dear gardening friend called one day to say her nieghbor was giving away some daphne, all we had to do was dig it up.

I went over and did just that.

The poor plant sat in five gallon bucket in the back of a hot van for most of the day.

It took three years for the tired perennial to finally bloom and when it did I was perplexed. Didn't look like any daphne I'd ever seen.

After a little investigation, I discovered it was actually the Christmas rose!

I called my friend who was also perplexed by her flowers.

We had a good laugh, another good lesson taught in the garden we thought.

When I moved 14 years ago I brought the plant along. They don't like to be moved, but this time I did it right.

I dug as much of the root ball as possible and put it into a nice big pot and watered it in.

After a two hour drive the hellebore was planted in soil amended with rich compost.

The next November the plant happily flowered and every year since it's been good reminder of what gardening is all about. It's a lifetime learning process, no matter how much you know, there's more to know. And no matter how little you know, there are things to share with other gardeners.

That's what makes gardeners different than fishermen, we share our secrets.

The flowers of Helleborus niger attract many pollinators.


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