Virtues: We love October Magic Ruby camellia for its lovely red flowers that appear in the fall. It’s a compact shrub that can play several roles in the garden: focal point, hedge, foundation or large container.
Common name: October Magic Ruby camellia
Botanical name: Camellia sasanqua ‘Green 02-003’
Flowers: Ruby-red double flowers open up over an extended period on this fall-blooming shrub. The flowers measure two to three inches across and have the shape and form of a peony flower.
Foliage: The leaves of this evergreen fall-blooming shrub are dark green and glossy.
Habit: October Magic Ruby camellia is an evergreen shrub that grows to three to four feet tall and slightly wider.
Season: Fall for flowers; year-round for green leaves.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
Origins: October Magic Ruby is a selection of Camellia sasanqua, a species native to China and Japan. It was bred by Green Nurseries in Fairhope, Ala., and introduced to the market by the Southern Living Plant Collection.
How to grow October Magic Ruby camellia: This fall-blooming shrub takes full sun or part shade and fertile soil. It prefers even moisture and good drainage. Fall-blooming camellias should be pruned in spring, if pruning is desired; however, October Magic Ruby has a naturally compact size and shape that will likely make pruning unnecessary. USDA Zones 7–9. Related: How far north can you grow camellias?
Image courtesy Southern Living Plant Collection