Camellia × vernalis 'Yuletide'
- Position: partial shade (but not east-facing)
- Soil: moist but well-drained, humus-rich, acid soil (or ericaceous compost for container-grown specimens)
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: November to January
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Glossy dark green leaves provide a sumptuous backdrop for the profusion of yellow-eyed, red flowers, when they appear in late autumn and early winter. Their colouring is very striking - and is perfect for the build up to the Christmas season, but the dark green foliage offers year-round structure and interest. If left to grow naturally, this is a relativly compact shrub with a pyramidal habit, but it can also be trained against a wall, or grown in a large pot if space is at a premium.
- Garden care: To prevent damage to the emerging buds and flowers protect from cold, dry winds and early morning sun. Water established plants in dry weather to prevent bud drop. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser in mid-spring and again in June. Top-dress annually with shredded bark or well-rotted leaf mould. After flowering, lightly trim or prune any branches that spoil the appearance of the plant.
Most camellias need acid soil to do well. However the sasanquas, which flower between November and February, will tolerate good garden soil. They are found naturally in Southern Japan and have been grown in Japanese gardens for centuries as ornamentals anRead full article