Yuletide camellia is the perfect holiday plant growing larger
and giving its beauty year after year
retailers, the Christmas season is starting sooner than ever -- and itís
happening in the garden, too! Itís incredible: The Yuletide
camellias are blooming earlier than ever, giving a clear signal the
holiday season is here.
I am most
certainly not a Yuletide camellia expert. (I even thought they were
Camellia sasanquas, after all that is what the tags say.) I have,
however, been watching them for decades and this is the earliest I
have seen them bloom.
Yuletide is an
award-winning favorite, bearing loads of red flowers coupled with
bright yellow stamens. It is considered compact in form. Oddly, many
that I see in landscapes want to develop naturally into a conical or
Christmas tree shape. With a little selective hand pruning, this would
not be hard to accomplish. However, if you prune harder, they develop
a nice mounding shape.
even those nationally recognized, tag them as Camellia sasanquas, but
according to the International Camellia Society Registry, it is a
chance seedling of Hiryu, a Camellia vernalis hybrid. This is really a
no-brainer as Yuletide is an award winning camellia that is perfect
for the landscape or containers.
Think about this
as a Christmas plant that gives season after season. It is not like
the poinsettia that we love and treasure for a month and then toss.
Yuletide is a plant that will bloom every year just in time for the
Shrubs like the
Yuletide camellia can be the real bones or foundation of the
landscape, much like you would use a holly, viburnum or a ligustrum.
The can lead us down a path or serve as the perfect backdrop for
While we think
of camellias for the high shade or filtered light garden, the Yuletide
can tolerate quite a bit more sun. At the Coastal Georgia Botanical
Garden we have ours with a high canopy of pine and the picturesque
castanopsis trees, with almost white bark. It is a most magical
camellias, they require fertile well-drained acidic soil. Yuletide is
cold tolerant to zone 7, but is also great in containers that can be
moved as needed for cold protection.
Fall is a great
time to plant, and supplies of Yuletide and other camellias are
normally at their highest now. Roots increase dramatically during the
cool season allowing the plant to really get acclimated and take off
once growth resumes in the spring.
landscape, put them in a bed versus surrounded by turf. Try clustering
three together in front of Nelly R. Stevens or Fosters holly. For a
truly exquisite look, use in combination with the smaller Red Holly
hybrids like Festive, Robin or Little Red. A word of warning: This one
is sure to cause neighbor envy.
It wonít be
long until you are going to the garden center to get a Christmas tree,
poinsettia or some other holiday plant, so why not pick up a couple of
camellias? Better yet, why not do it this weekend? Yuletide is an
award-winning favorite, and I am sure you'll love it as much as I do.