Camellia × vernalis 'Yuletide'
- available to order from autumn
- 1.5 litre pot
- 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 relatively 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.