Plant Of The Month – December

Camellia Japonica blooming in Dresden Pillnitz in March

YouGarden’s plant of the month for December is the very festive Camellia Vernalis ‘Yuletide’.

Bring a little Christmas cheer to your garden over winter with this glorious flowering Camellia. We can’t sing its praises enough as it’s bursting with buds and just waiting to erupt into glorious colour!

Unlike many of the usual winter-flowering plants, Camellia ‘Yuletide’ will flower through Christmas and into early spring. Producing an abundance of brilliantly coloured, red blooms, each with a glowing cluster of golden yellow stamens. Eye-catching and very distinctive.

Typically festive in sumptuous red and green, the luxurious flowers shine against the glossy leaves. This compact shrub is perfect as a Yule centrepiece in the garden. You can even bring it inside over Christmas as an unusual decoration. Just remember to return it outside once the festivities are over.

More than able to bring winter interest to any garden border, you can even grow ‘Yuletide’ in a container. So even without a garden, you can enjoy the magnificent display of flowers. It’s fully hardy and easy to grow, there’s no need to worry about complicated pruning, just snip off any branches that are dead, diseased or dying – so not only is this camellia easy on the eye, it’s easy to grow too! Grow Yuletide in a sheltered, partially shaded spot, away from drying winds. Plant it in moist but well-drained, fertile soil which needs to be acid in nature – if planting in a pot, use ericaceous compost.

Top Tip

Early morning sun will damage frost-covered buds, so be sure to plant in dappled shade where the sun doesn’t get to the plant until late morning.

Camellia Japonica blooming in Dresden Pillnitz in March


  • To prevent damage to the buds and flowers protect from cold, dry winds and early morning sun.
  • Water established plants in dry weather to prevent bud drop, especially in the summer months when the buds are forming out of sight.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser in mid-spring and again in June and mulch annually with shredded bark or well-rotted leaf mould.
  • After flowering, lightly trim or prune any branches that spoil the appearance of the plant.