#ProPlantTips - Caring For Camellia Shrubs!

#ProPlantTips - Caring For Camellia Shrubs!

camellia shrub

Perfumed Camellia Shrubs with blooms that are the embodiment of the Fibonacci sequence in action! Orderly precision, beauty plus fragrance, and winter flowers when Southern gardens need it the most, the Camellia symbolizes your love and devotion for another and is the state flower of Alabama!

Learn how to best care for these incredible flowering ornamental shrubs to keep them blooming their best in your landscape with the help of Nature Hills!

  • All About Camellias
  • Camellias in the Landscape
  • Camellias in Containers
  • Caring For Camellias
  • Captivating Camellias!

The Camellia family (Camellia japonica or Camellia sasanqua) consists of over 200 species and around 3000 hybrids of flowering shrubs and trees. They originally came to the continental United States from Asia but were first introduced to England, and then to the US.

With their famously fragrant wintertime bloom, the Camellia is a heat and humidity-tolerant broad-leaved evergreen, commonly grown throughout warm climate USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10. Typically this is why Camellias are seen everywhere in the Southern United States!

Pink Camellia sasanqua flower with green leaves

The double-petalled forms have anemone and rose-like blooms full of petals. Full of elegant flowers that are perfectly symmetrical and concentric as if each bloom has its petals arranged by a perfectionist!

The single-petalled forms show off the Camellia's fringed golden centers! Each voluptuous flower is highlighted by a bright yellow shower of stamen that acts as bullseyes for bees and other curious beneficial pollinators seeking out a pollen and nectar treat.

Glossy, dark green foliage fills out these shrubs and perfectly showcases the showy blossoms! These are an enjoyable evergreen presence in your yard throughout the year.

Like its close relative that produces all the tea in the world over (Camellia sinensis), the leaves of Camellia sasanqua can also be made into tea in many parts of Japan!

  • Fragrant Late-Season Blooms for Months!
  • Fine-Textured, Lustrous Green Leaves Remain Evergreen
  • Compact Shrubs With Moderate to Fast Growth Rate
  • Widely Adapted & Low Maintenance
  • Lovely Blooms in Bouquets & Flowers to Float in a Bubble Bowl
  • Easy to Grow in Acidic, Well-Drained Soils
  • Grow in Sun, Part Shade, or Shade
  • Displays Drought Tolerance Once Established
  • Pollinators Favorite
  • Leaves can be dried or fermented into Tea
  • Hedges, Screening, Winter Interest & Specimens!

Camellia Bushes Available at Nature Hills

Nature Hills is very selective when choosing varieties of Camellias to showcase. They are selected for flowering power, bloom colors, and size, along with disease tolerance!

Check out all these lovely options!

Red Flowering Camellias

Pink Flowering Camellias

White Flowering Camellias

Kramer’s Supreme

October Magic® Ruby

Tom Knudsen

Yuletide Camellia

Debutante Camellia

Early Wonder®

Hana Jiman Camellia

Kanjiro Camellia

Nuccio's Pearl

Shishi Gashira

Slim 'N Trim Camellia

Spellbound Camellia

Stephanie Golden

Autumn Rocket

Falling Star Camellia

October Magic® White Shi-Shi™

Silver Waves

Snow on the Mountain

Large Leaf Tea

camellia inforgraphic

The Shishi Gashira is a unique weeping form! The Slim 'N Trim and the Autumn Rocket are unique columnar forms that fit into tight spaces! Or try the brilliant Christmastime red blooms of Yuletide!

The October Magic® series are dwarf forms that fit perfectly into the smallest properties! The large-scale Kanjiro Camellia will create impressive privacy and screening with ease!

Camellias in the Landscape

Camellias' long-lasting winter display is a breath of fresh air at a time of year when few other plants are blooming in mild winter climates. For the remainder of the year, you'll enjoy the glossy evergreen foliage as a garden backdrop, screening, and privacy hedge, or as a year-round property definition!

These would look stunning as a screening hedge plant at your fence line, or to hide utilitarian corners of your landscape. Can you imagine how pretty these blooming shrubs would look as living walls of a Garden Room or outdoor dining room? These evergreen shrubs will look great all year long! 

Plant them 5 to 10 feet apart on center, measuring from the center of one to the center of the next. They will grow together and create a lovely, solid screen.

You’ll enjoy late-season blooms in mixed shade borders and mixed hedgerows! Use as a shelterbelt or windbreak that is wonderfully bird-friendly. The rustling leaves and lovely blooms are sure to dress up any part of your property and reduce noise pollution.

These elegant shrubs are so versatile!

Try anchoring your home's foundation border, or use the October Magic® series of Camellia as the foundation hedge itself! Or a tall and columnar Autumn Rocket to soften a hardscape’s corner. Mass several of them under tall trees or at the edge of the property to draw the eyes and butterflies! 

Host a tea party with refreshing beverages made from the buds and the new spring growth of the Large Leaf Tea Camellia! The buds can be dried, fermented, or a fresh infusion to make a wide variety of tea types! It would be the crown jewel of your Meditation or Asian-inspired garden!

Camellias in Containers

For apartment or condo living, Camellia can be kept small as the perfect container plant. No one needs to know how easy it is to grow! Plant one or more in planters with ample drainage for years of enjoyment on the patio. What a nice, easy way to screen your seating area or add pinpoint privacy to a balcony.

camellias container

Try it as a beautiful Espalier-trained Camellia flat against a wall or fence. This ancient pruning technique is especially valuable in a smaller landscape where space is at a premium. Add a romantic touch to a courtyard with a Nuccio's Pearl Camellia, or frame the entrance to a garden path with a pair of Debutante Camellia!

Use them singly as a natural sculpture by the pool! Go bold and clean off the lower trunk of branching and expose the multi-trunk clump to create a stately tree-form accent! This is called ‘limbing up’ and will make a delightful specimen on a front yard berm!

Caring For Camellias

Caring for Camellias is not difficult at all! Deer tend to avoid these plants unless desperate. But it is best to spray your new shrub with deer repellant from day one and continue spraying it according to the product directions to train deer in your area to avoid this shrub! Otherwise, they are remarkably pest and disease-resistant!

Sun and Location

sun camellias

Camellias are great in part shade locations that get protection from the hot afternoon sun, but you will enjoy a larger bloom display when planted in full sun with afternoon protection. This is a low-maintenance shrub that grows naturally and can be a solution to many sun-filtered locations where other plants would not succeed. Most Camellia sasanqua varieties are a bit more tolerant of sun exposure. Morning sun is important since it dries the leaves of dew and humidity to prevent any foliar issues.

For best results, protect broad-leaf evergreens from excessively parched and sunny or windy/exposed sites.

Moisture

Camellias need moderate but regular moisture until they are established. Then, established shrubs can be low-moisture plants, but to keep them happiest and healthiest, provide supplemental moisture during extended periods.

It’s important to provide your shrubs with a good long drink before winter and top off your layer of mulch for the winter.

Soil

They prefer acidic soils and soils that are gorged with humus. Amend the soil with a few handfuls of acidic pine needles to maintain their acidity. Choose a location that drains well. If poor drainage is suspected, elevate your planting by mounding up. Bring in additional soil to a height of 18 inches and plant directly in that mound.

camellia pink

For container growing choose a potting mix recommended for Azaleas, Camellias, and Rhododendrons.

Camellias are shallow-rooted. Spread a 3 to 4-inch layer of pine bark mulch to keep the roots cool and the surface moisture consistent. Apply the mulch all the way out to 3 feet from the outside of the plant's canopy (dripline).

Pruning & Maintenance

Typically, Camelias require little pruning, but if you do need to clean out dead leaves and give your plant a trim, do so immediately after flowering. Remove any interior dead limbs and twiggy growth. You want to keep an open interior so air circulation and sunlight can penetrate into the shrub's canopy. However, you can prune to shape, and renewal prune at any time during the year.

Try turning your shrub into a multi-trunked tree form by ‘limbing up’! Remove the lower limbs and expose the trunks and create a small-scale focal point tree!

Fertility

white camellia

Camellias prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5 to 6.5. Fertilize twice a year with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Premium and Organic Fertilizer in the late winter and early summer.

Camellias in Containers and Planters

Because they are so adapted to container growing, the Camellia can be grown outside of their recommended zones and moved into protected areas away from extreme winter cold or hot dry summer days, when needed.

Site yours in a bright, indirectly sunny window in a sunroom or greenhouse for the winter and reduce watering.

Be sure to always slowly acclimate your container plant indoors for the winter, and back outside in the spring.

Choose a pot with adequate drainage and moisture retention. Top the soil surface with a layer of mulch to keep the roots cool and hold moisture more consistently.

Captivating Camellias!

Gorgeous blooms, fragrance, and evergreen beauty, Southern gardeners praise the glamorous Camellia! These incredible flowering ornamental shrubs will become your landscape’s crown jewel!

Easy to grow to the extreme, the Camellia is a must-have blooming wonder! Check out which Camellia will be best for your garden at Nature Hills today!

Happy Planting!

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