As the hot and harsh summer days wane and autumn gently glides into our gardens, there are some beautiful flowering and foliage plants that are in their element. To brighten your autumn, let’s take a closer look at camellias and Chinese pistachio trees.

Camellias are a wonderfully versatile and very attractive group of plants. They can be grown as a hedge or espaliered, used as a feature plant or grown in containers, and provide gorgeous colour during the cooler months of the year, particularly in shaded areas that can be challenging to add colour to.

Sasanqua camellias, which are more sun hardy than japonica camellias, start flowering in mid to late autumn. Growing several varieties of both sasanqua and later-flowering japonica camellias can bring many months of flowers into the garden.

Colours range from white to pretty pastel pinks, reds and even yellow. There are also different flower types, including doubles, ruffled petals and single flowers with exposed stamens, which are adored by bees.

Here are some tips to help keep your camellias looking fantastic:

  • Feeding – all camellias will love a feed during autumn with Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food. It provides an organic based, potassium enriched nutrient boost to help promote healthy green leaf growth and lots of flowers.
  • Watering – camellias like moist but well drained soil, so water camellias regularly to keep them hydrated. Potted camellias will require more frequent watering than in-ground camellias.

  • Trace element extra care - if you’ve had problems with bud balling in the past (where buds form but go brown and don’t open), an application of liquid magnesium might help. Yates Leaf Greener Magnesium Chelate is a concentrated source of fast acting magnesium that can help correct magnesium deficiency in camellias.

  • Scale – camellias can be prone to scale, which appear as raised bumps along stems and leaves. Yates Scale Gun can be used to control scale on camellia. It works by contact action, so ensure all sides of scale affected stems and leaves are covered.


Chinese pistachio (Pistacia chinensis) trees are autumn foliage heroes, developing intense shades of yellow, crimson, orange and red leaves as the weather cools. They are excellent trees for a medium sized backyard, growing to around 8 metres tall and 6 metres wide. And being deciduous, provide welcome summer shade and let the winter sunshine stream in.

They’re fairly hardy trees that will tolerate moderately dry conditions and most soil types, however will do best in a well-drained spot. Some nurseries will have potted Chinese pistachio trees for sale during autumn, where you can choose your favourite autumnal shades. Otherwise, bare rooted trees will become available during winter. When planting a new Chinese pistachio tree, mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter into the planting hole to improve the soil and nurture the tree with slow release organic nutrients as it establishes.

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