Against a foil of dark green, shiny ovate leaves, Camellia sasanqua Yuletide produces dramatic, deep crimson, single flowers with sumptuous golden eyes. The effect is wonderfully exotic at a time of year – late winter/early spring – when there is so little colour in the garden.
The clue is in the name: C. sasanqua Yuletide is a brilliant and long-lasting Christmas present (especially to yourself!), which will be appreciated for its colour in early spring as well. Camellias are a wonderful evergreen shrub for a shady site, in a woodland setting or planted in containers on a sheltered terrace. (Please see details for specific requirements.)
Common Name: Camellia
Height and Spread: 2.5-4m x 1.5 -2.5m after 5 years, (can be clipped if in a container)
Preferred Soil Type: Fertile, lime free, moist, humus-rich soil (in pots, use ericaceous compost)
Aspect: Partial shade / Deep shade
Flowering Period: February – April
Care: Camellias prefer an acid soil and do not flourish in the limey soils local to Burford, but they are happy in pots. Plant in a tub with ericaceous compost and position in a sheltered spot against, ideally a south-facing, shady wall (avoiding early morning sun) and the plant will thrive. In especially cold snaps, potted camellias can suffer cold damage, so it is a good idea to move it into a greenhouse or garage until the weather improves.