Normally we would have colder temps and in the harshest days of winter our Camellia japonicas are there to cheer us up with their lovely blooms, perfect for bringing into the house to float in flat bowls of water or arrange in bases.
I like to call them the "roses of winter". Big full blossoms typically in red,pink and white colors or blends of these colors. Camellia japonica is a large shrub measuring up to 10-15' high but easily kept at 6-8' or less. They are very hardy to cold and moderate water but should be in a location with some shade especially from the harsh afternoon sun. Use an acidic soil conditioner when planting as they prefer forest conditions with lots of rich humus (organic matter) for their roots. Fertilize with Camellia-Azalea food in the fall and water in well.
Once established these shrubs are extremely long lasting and sturdy. Pick up the flower heads as they fall to avoid spots on the petals called petal blight.
Water your mature shrubs once a week deeply in the warm months. New shrubs should be watered twice a week or more depending on the temperature.
There are are other species of Camellias which are smaller and bloom in fall but for a great winter bloom check out the japonicas. This is a great time to see them in botanical, residential or public gardens.
Pictured below are just a few examples of the vast array available.