Winter is a time of year when the garden is put on the back burner and we tend to hibernate indoors. But there are a lot of beautiful winter flowering plants that can sometimes go unnoticed. Camellia trees are one of the best ways to brighten up the garden and have a splash of colour during the winter. Here are 7 of the best flowering Camellias!
Camellia magnoliaeflora has beautiful blush-pink coloured flowers that appear in winter and will continue to bloom until early spring. This form grows to a height of 2-3 metres and 1-2.5 metres wide. It can be grown in containers if desired and benefits from an annual prune once the flowers drop in mid-late spring. It is a slower grower compared to others so fertilise in the growing seasons (spring and summer) for maximum results.
Camellia japonica Betty Riddley is a tall bushy grower, 2-4.5 metres high by 2-3 metres wide, with beautiful large pink flowers. Flowers begin to emerge in mid winter until early spring, after flowering prune to encourage strong compact growth. This variety is very hardy and drought tolerant once established.
Camellia japonica Bob Hope is one of the most beautiful red flowering camellias available! The large velvet red flowers have bright golden stamens that will appear in winter and continue to flower until early spring. The large glossy ovate foliage is a great contrast against the big blooms. Growing to a height and width of 2-3 metres makes this form ideal for containers, espaliers and hedges.
Camellia japonica Volcano is a strong upright grower that can tolerate light frosts. Growing to a height and width of 2-4 metres it can be kept in a container. The Scarlet red, double petaled, blooms appear in early winter. Once the flowers finish in early spring, prune to encourage strong new growth. Watering during the summer months is recommended until established.
Camellia japonica Nicky Crisp is a dense upright grower that has small glossy green ovate leaves. Stunning pink, semi-double, flowers emerge in winter and early spring. Only needs a light prune as it is a slow grower and not very big. It will grow to a total height and width of 2-2.5 metres in 10 years. Best grown in partial shade and protected from strong winds and afternoon sun. May need watering during dry periods such as summer.
Camellia japonica Brushfields Yellow is an dense upright grower, 2-4 metres high by 1.5-2.5 metres wide. Beautiful creamy-white flowers with a yellow centre appear in winter and early spring. Prune after flowering to retain a compact habit and to encourage healthy new growth. It is best grown in partial shade to full sun, water during summer until established.
Camellia japonica LoveLight has stunning large pure white flowers with long showy golden stamens. Flowers bloom in winter until early spring and look beautiful against the dark glossy green foliage. This form grows to a height of 2-4 metres by 2-3 metres wide. It is best pruned after flowering to encourage compact healthy growth. Protect from hot afternoon sun and strong winds.
Until next time happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs