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Best Companion Plants for Camellias

Fall Blooming Camellias, Winter Blooming Camellias, Spring Blooming Camellias, Landscaping with Camellias

Fall Blooming Camellias, Winter Blooming Camellias, Spring Blooming Camellias, Landscaping with Camellias, Camellia companion plants, Camellia combinations,

Queens of the winter flowers, Camellias are attractive evergreen shrubs that are highly prized for the beauty of their exquisite blooms, their splendid foliage, and their shapely habit. Blooming prodigiously for weeks from fall to spring (depending on climate and variety), when the rest of the garden offers little, Camellias are ranked as one of the best flowering shrubs. With just a couple of well-chosen shrubs, it is possible to have blooms in your landscape from October through May.

While extraordinarily good-looking on their own, Camellias, however, look more charming when planted with companion plants. Well-behaved, they make perfect partners with other plants and help create strikingly beautiful combinations in the garden. Their glossy foliage creates a welcomed backdrop during the non-blooming months for other shrubs and flowers.

Pretty Trees for Your Camellias

camellia, camellia companions, magnolia, acer, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, Introducing form and texture, some trees beautifully complement Camellias.

Among the most popular are Acer or Japanese Maples, with their canopy of lush green leaves in spring and summer and exquisite fall foliage. Some Maple varieties also offer a particularly attractive growth habit and interesting coral bark, which make them standouts in the winter landscape.

Prized worldwide for their showy, fragrant flowers and attractive forms, Magnolias can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs, all adding breathtaking beauty to the spring or summer garden when in full bloom. Some are extremely cold-hardy (Star Magnolia), while others prefer more temperate climates (Southern Magnolia). Some Magnolia cultivars are perfect for small gardens, while others can form tall trees growing as high as 100 ft. (30 m).

Colorful Shrubs for Your Camellias

camellia, camellia companions, magnolia, acer, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, Highly ornamental, camellias look fabulous in mixed shrub borders, where they display dramatic winter blooms. They still add beauty to the landscape, even when they are not in bloom. Their handsome evergreen foliage creates a lovely backdrop for other shrubs and flowers.

Popular companion plants for Camellias, Rhododendrons, and Azaleas are shrubs for all seasons. In spring, their spectacular and showy flowers produce such an incredible display that they are among the most popular garden shrubs. Throughout summer and fall, their handsome foliage adds a pleasing, deep green color to the garden. Some deciduous Azaleas add bright fall color before their leaves drop. All evergreen Rhododendrons and Azaleas stand out in winter with their large leathery leaves. 

Hydrangeas are also irresistible shrubs with showy billowy blooms in clear blues, vibrant pinks, frosty whites, or lavender throughout summer and into fall. Easy to grow and vigorous, Hydrangeas are long-lived shrubs that come in various shapes (lacecap, oakleaf, or mophead), enjoy almost any soil, and tolerate wind and salt (the perfect choice for coastal gardens).

Fragrant Shrubs for Your Camellias

camellia, camellia companions, magnolia, acer, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, Hardy, maintenance-free, and ignored by most pests, Hamamelis or Witch Hazel are deciduous shrubs with handsome oval leaves, turning various colors in the fall, and fragrant winter blooms with long, crinkly petals clustered up and down the length of the branches. Ranging from 10 to 20 feet, Hazels offer a wide array of forms: upright, vase-shaped, rounded bush, spreading, weeping. While Witch Hazels can be showy in three seasons, their spectacular winter show, when they burst into bloom, is of primary interest.

Beloved for its extraordinarily fragrant winter blooms, Lonicera fragrantissima or Sweetest Honeysuckle is a bushy deciduous shrub with a profusion of highly fragrant, short-tubed, creamy-white flowers lined up along each stem in late winter to early spring. The flowers give way to small, red berries, which mature in late spring to early summer. This multi-stemmed flowering shrub features a spreading habit and sports smooth, oval, dark green leaves, which generally remain most of the winter unless the weather gets unusually cold. The rough-textured, pale tan or gray bark on old stems becomes prominent in winter for additional appeal.

Perennial Plants for Your Camellias

camellia, camellia companions, magnolia, acer, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, Hellebores (Helleborus) are great Camellia partners since they share the same flowering time. The most popular Hellebore varieties are the Lenten Roses (Helleborus x hybridus or Helleborus orientalis), available in a rich array of colors, including pink, purple, red, white, green, apricot, and yellow. Flowering a month or so earlier are the Christmas Roses (Helleborus niger) with their pristine white to pink-tinged white blossoms.

Spring flowering perennials include Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)Myosotis (Forget-me-not), Phlox divaricata (Woodland Phlox), or pulmonaria.

Immensely popular, Astilbes are fabulous plants for shady, moist conditions. Admired for their graceful, colorful flower plumes rising elegantly above mounds of fern-like foliage, which remains attractive all season long, they light up your shade garden for weeks and add a dazzling splash of color to the landscape.

Select Sedums, Aster, Japanese Anemones, or Aconitum (Monkshood) to create a powerful fall statement.

Ornamental Grasses and Foliage Plants for Your Camellias

camellia, camellia companions, magnolia, acer, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, Attractive, easy to grow, and low maintenance, ornamental grasses are invaluable additions to the garden. Waving gracefully in the slightest breeze, they add movement to the garden, but also texture and color since most turn shades of bronze, tan, or russet in the cooler months to create an impressive display. They offer a rich and interesting contrast with emerald evergreen Camellias.

Ferns are a group with a great variety of heights, textures, and colors whose arching, graceful fronds create pretty combinations with Camellias.

Foliage plants such as Heuchera (Coral Bells), Hostas with their smooth leaves, Carex (Sedges), and ornamental grasses with bright golden foliage such as Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ (Hakone Grass), are also terrific and will carry the display over the year.

Cheerful Flower Bulbs for Your Camellias

camellia, camellia companions, magnolia, acer, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, Low-growing spring bulbs such as Crocus, Cyclamen, Galanthus (Snowdrop), and Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley) will create a flowering carpet and provide eye-catching color to your garden at a time when it is still dormant.

Tulips and Narcissi (Daffodil) will also contribute to the beauty of your spring garden.

Some of these flowering bulbs are early-season bloomers (e.g: Single and Double Early Tulips), others are mid-season bloomers (e.g: Triumph and Darwin Hybrid tulips) or late-season bloomers (Single and double Late Tulips, Fringed Tulips, Parrot Tulips, Viridiflora Tulips). If you love Tulips or Daffodils and want to have a great spring garden that blooms from the early season through the late season, select bulbs that bloom across all three spring seasons.

These companion plants, whether trees, shrubs, bulbs, or perennials, must, however, be able to thrive under the same growing conditions as your Camellias.

Guide Information

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 7 - 8
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Genus Acer, Magnolia, Hamamelis, Helleborus, Camellia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid)
Fall
Winter
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Patio And Containers, Wall-Side Borders, Hedges And Screens, Beds And Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden

Discover These Helpful Guides for Further Reading

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Gorgeous Camellias
Which Camellia is Right for my Garden?
Cold Hardy Camellias
Most Fragrant Camellias
Create a Garden with Great Winter Interest
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 7 - 8
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Genus Acer, Magnolia, Hamamelis, Helleborus, Camellia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid)
Fall
Winter
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Patio And Containers, Wall-Side Borders, Hedges And Screens, Beds And Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Acer (Maple) Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) Helleborus (Hellebore)

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