Just in time for the season my Yuletide camellia is blooming! (Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide') I'm especially excited about this because it's the first year it's bloomed. And, the whole truth is that I had one before this one that never bloomed until it finally died. That one was mail ordered and wasn't in great shape when I got it. And I didn't place it very well, or water it enough. I've killed a lot of plants!
But, I'm persistent. This plant started out as a tiny sprig of a potted shrub, maybe 8 or 10 inches tall. I took it home from Lowe's for about $7, 3 years ago. It lives underneath deciduous trees where it gets dappled sun. We planted it high, in other words a couple of inches above soil height, and then mulched to make up the difference. (That tip comes from the American Camellia Society.) It was watered well all summer.
It has grown like crazy! Eventually it should reach 8 feet or more. If you've seen one of these with a little age, you know they are covered with bright red blossoms. My shrub is small enough still that I don't want to cut the branches for arrangements yet. But, I will float a few flowers in a dish or bowl.
Monrovia has a video about the differences between japonica and sasanqua camellias. Also - drum roll! - see a new pink (and fragrant!) 'Yuletide.'
Les at A Tidewater Gardener posted some beautiful pictures of his yuletide camellia. You can get a better look at the entire shrub in his post. In another post, there is an especially nice close up.
Sue at Sierra Foothills Garden decorated hers as a Christmas tree!