Camellia × vernalis ‘Yuletide’

Christmas camellia

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

The end of year holidays often raise our spirits but our weather is typically gray and wet. During these dark days, Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’ bursts forth with bright Christmas-red flowers from December through January. Because only a few flowers open at a time, seasonal frost will not dampen the show. ‘Yuletide’ grows with a distinctive upright, compact habit. It lends itself to more formal surroundings and can be sheared into dense hedges or trained as an espalier with great success.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: red

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade or full sun - but avoid hot, reflected heat!

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: winter flowers, year-round shiny foliage

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: The silvery-green foliage and flowers of Helleborus argutifolius complement the flowers and leaves of the Christmas camellia. Try planting it alongside the variegated evergreen foliage of Carex oshimensis 'Evergold', Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' or Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Variegata' to create a cheery winter scene.

Great Color Contrasts: gold, variegated

Great Color Partners: burgundy, gold, dark green

Culture Notes
This winter flowering camellia will grow best in light and open shade or in full sun out of hot, reflected heat. If planted in too much shade, flowering is greatly reduced. Camellias prefer a rich well-drained soil with regular watering during dry weather, especially in late summer to ensure a strong flower bud set for the winter bloom. A sheltered location near the house will help protect open flowers from hard frosts.