The Q&A Archives: extended blooming camellia

Question: Hello, I gathered 4 kinds of camellia based on my zone and your description. Please confirm if my idea to have blooming camellia from September to May is possible or not. Problrm is, that these are based on wide range of possible zones. I want to connect from one to another in my zone from September to May.In your description, zone range was from 6 to 9 or 10, so there would be some time diferrence of blooming time depending on paticular zone. My zone is 7, VA, about 15 miles to Washignton DC.If my collection is wrong, please make complete list September through May. I can purchase 4 camellia.
What I gathered so far is, Sep-Oct Bonanza, November-March April Remembered, Dec-Jan Yuletide, and April-May Betty sette Ice Angel . Thank you!

Answer: Sasanquas start blooming at the end of September and will continue blooming until hard freezes in December.
`Angel's Kiss' (C. sasanqua) (zone 7A) - This Sasanqua has medium pink peony form flowers. The plant was nick-named "Pink powder puff" for the many ruffled petals which create a globose flower shape which is quite unusual for a C. sasanqua. The plant has sturdy upright growth with deep green small leaves. A rapid grower and good for hedges.

`Autumn Rose' (C. ?hiemalis)(zone 7) - Delicate rose-red, single blooms are freely produced in middle autumn. The texture is rather fine, and this slower-growing selection will maintain its position in the controlled garden. The flowers reminded us of wild roses - thus the name.

`Bonanza' (C. ?hiemalis)(zone 7) - This has some of the deepest pink-red flowers of any of the Sasanquas. All Sasanquas have pink overtones due to the chemistry of the pigments in their flowers. The flowers are semi-double and medium sized and the plant has a somewhat spreading habit.

`Chisato-no-aki' (C. ?hiemalis)(zone7A) - "Autumn in Villages" (trans.) is a fine textured shrub and has smaller and narrower leaves than most C. sasanqua and displays almost formal-double white flowers in October and November.

`Moon Festival' (C. sasanqua ? (C. sasanqua ? C. reticulata); CF-9)(zone 7B) - This well shaped shrub has the general aspect of C. sasanqua and has huge, single flowers produced in abundance; flowers are usually 5 or 6 inches in diameter. This is a novel November to December bloomer.

`Pink Butterfly' (C. ?hiemalis)(zone 7) - `Pink Butterfly' has bright pink single, very large flowers from early to mid-season (October and November). Very vigorous with large deep green leaves making this an outstanding specimen plant or an excellent choice for a colorful hedge.

`Yuletide' (zone 7) - This is one of the only true reds found among fall blooming Camellias and the plant has a wonderful compact form with small dark green leaves. Unfortunately this blooms late in the season and can be frozen by freezes we usually get near Christmas when it blooms.

`Winter's Snowman' ((C. sasanqua `Narumi-gata' ? `Shishigashira') ? C. oleifera)(-10?F) - Another upright grower with nice dark green leaves. The flowers are white, mostly anemone form and open in November and December. The new growth flushes are a nice wine color for some spring time color interest.

Early spring flowering camellias include the following choices:
`Fire 'n Ice' (C. japonica `Tricolor' ? C. oleifera) - The flowers on this selection are a strong red-pink semi-double to rose form. The plant has average upright growth and is rated cold hardy to -5?F.

`April Remembered' (`Berenice Boddy' ? `Dr. Tinsley') - This vigorous and fast-growing plant has large, cream to pink shaded, semi-double flowers. The bud set is substantial, and the flowers are produced over a long period from early to late season.

`Betty Sette' (`Frost Queen' ? `Variety Z') - This selection has medium pink formal double flowers late in the season. The leaves tend to be dark green and somewhat rolled under making them appear rounded. The plant has slow and compact growth.

`April Kiss' (`Berenice Boddy' ? `Reg Ragland') - This compact plant has a moderate growth rate and small, medium pinkish-red, formal blooms. It makes a very heavy bud set and blooms at the beginning of the spring season. This is the earliest of the "April Series'', and with its heavy bloom makes a dependable display in the garden.

`Red Aurora' (`Snowbell' ? `Midnight') - The semi-double to rose-form blooms are of a strong, rich red color and produced in the middle of the Camellia bloom season. The plant form and growth rate is excellent, and it is very hardy.

Hope these suggestions help you choose just the right camellias for your landscape.

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