Camellia Sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

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You may remember about two years ago on Burke’s Backyard we did a tremendously popular courtyard makeover using blue metal dust (also known as crusher dust or quarry sand), an inexpensive but very classy looking material. The stark white of the buildings was softened by planting a low hedge of sasanqua camellias. We returned recently to find the courtyard looking fabulous, with the camellia hedge in full flower.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Don chose one of his favourite camellias for the makeover, a variety called ‘Yuletide’. It has dense, glossy green foliage and a profusion of single, glowing red flowers with prominent yellow stamens. In Australia ‘Yuletide’ flowers from March to July, but in the Northern Hemisphere its flower display coincides with the Christmas season. It will grow in most areas of Australia apart from the hot tropics and inland. In areas with alkaline soils (such as around Adelaide), camellias may need to be grown in containers with potting mix for acid loving plants

Sasanqua camellias are hardy, long lived and they make wonderful hedges. They grow reasonably fast, but not so fast that you have to continually clip them when they reach full size. They come in a wide range of flower colours from white, through pinks to deep red.

Care: Camellias prefer a slightly acid, humus rich soil with good drainage. Sasanquas will grow in either full sun or partial shade but do best with protection from hot sun. Fertilise in spring with an all-purpose fertiliser such as Dynamic Lifter or a specialist plant food such as camellia and azalea food. Mulch with compost (such as composted autumn leaves) or milled cow manure. Keep well watered, particularly when it is hot and dry.

Getting started:Sasanqua camellias cost around $18 for 200mm (8″) pots. They are available at nurseries and specialist camellia nurseries around Australia, including:

NSW  Camellia Grove Nursery,
8 Cattai Ridge Road,
Glenorie 2157
Ph: 9652 1200

VIC Camellia Lodge Nursery Pty Ltd
310 Princes Highway
Officer, 3809
Phone: (03) 5943 2500
Fax: (03) 5943 2555

WA SA John Cole’s Nursery
Lot 5, Beenyup Road
Banjup, 6164
Phone: (08) 9417 9834
Newman’s Nursery
North East Road
Tea Tree Gully, 5091
Phone: (08) 8264 2661

Hawkins Gardenway
1666 Old Cleveland Road
Chandler, 4155
Phone: (07) 3390 1633
Fax: (07) 3390 1618