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Spring Blooming Camellias

Spring Blooming Camellias, How to Grow Camellias, How to Care for Camellias, Landscaping with Camellias

Camellia, Camellias, How to grow Camellias, Camellias bloom time, Camellia bloom season, Japanese Camellias, Camellia Japonica, Camellia williamsii, Winter Blooming Camellias, Spring Camellias, Cold hardy Camellias,

Adding color and interest to the spring garden, Camellias are gorgeous flowering shrubs that are highly prized for the beauty of their exquisite blooms, their splendid evergreen foliage, and their compact, shapely habit. Blooming prodigiously for weeks when the rest of the garden offers little, Camellias are ranked as one of the best flowering shrubs.

Most spring-blooming camellias are Japanese camellias (Camellia Japonica) and camellia hybrids such as Camellia x williamsii.

  • Camellia japonica is the pre-eminent species of the genus and counts over 30 000 cultivars in a wide array of flower forms and colors. The blooms can reach 5 in. across (12 cm) and create a gorgeous floral display from late winter to spring. They range in color from pure white to soft pink to dark red and may be single, semi-double, double, formal double or full peony form. Slow grower, this broadleaved, evergreen shrub features shapely habit, handsome, glossy foliage and fabulous flowers have attracted gardeners for hundreds of years in Asia.
  • Camellia x williamsii are the first camellia hybrids. Generally blooming after the Japanese camellias, they result from the cross of Camellia japonica and Camellia saluenensis. Among the most cold-hardy camellias, most of them are extremely vigorous, free-blooming, with attractive, semi-glossy, leathery leaves. Graceful shrubs, they tolerate low light intensity and bloom over a long season, providing a spectacular show. They enjoy a wide range of habits, from dwarf to large and spreading.

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 Camellia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers, Beds And Borders, Wall-Side Borders, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden

Beautiful Mid to Late Season Camellias

Growing Camellia

A common myth about Camellias is that they are very fussy and difficult to grow. This is not true. Camellias are exceptionally care-free plants if they are given a well-chosen site.

  • Part shade lovers, camellias are best grown in consistently moist, acidicorganically richwell-drained soils, similarly to azaleas and rhododendrons. Apply a root mulch (leaves or shredded bark) and provide a site sheltered from cold, dry winds, as cold winds may damage buds and flowers. Protect from the early morning sun and the direct hot summer afternoon sun. Older camellia plants can thrive in full sun when mature enough to have their roots shaded by a dense canopy of leaves.
  • Pruning is rarely needed as most plants develop an attractive shape without pruning. If deemed necessary, pruning should be done just after blooming to avoid removing next year’s flower buds.
  • Pick up blooms that drop to the ground to minimize petal blight. (rust spots on the flowers)
  • Spring planting, rather than fall, is recommended for northern areas because it gives the plant more time to get established before hard freezes. Watering regularly and deeply is vital in the first summer after planting.
  • Fertilizing is unnecessary, but a light application in springtime will increase growth. Excessive or late feeding can lead to bud drop. Some flower bud dropping may be a natural phenomenon as many camellias set more buds than they can open.
  • Camellias are susceptible to some viruses and fungal diseases, including leaf spots, anthracnose, black mold, petal blight, canker, and root rot. Watch also for aphids, planthoppers, and spider mites.

Landscaping with Camellias

  • 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. This helps present a continuously changing scenery during the year. As each season approaches, new blooms emerge, such as masses of brilliant pink tulips in a pale blue cloud of forget-me-nots for a fresh, eye-pleasing display.
  • Plant camellias near other acid-loving plants, such as azalea and rhododendron. Plant at least 5 ft. (150 cm) away from other plants to allow good air circulation and prevent competition for water while becoming established.
  • Camellias are also well-suited flowering shrubs for woodland gardens 
  • Camellias can be used to create screens and hedges. Plant your camellias 3 ft. apart (90 cm) when using them as hedges.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant, many Camellia sasanqua are excellent choices for espaliers.
  • Camellias make lovely container-grown plants and this is a particularly great method if your garden soil is too alkaline for camellias.

Your Camellia Doesn’t Bloom or Losses Flower Buds?

These common problems can be easily avoided by providing good growing conditions:

  • Water during dry spells in late summer when flower buds are forming
  • Mulch with a 3-4in (7-10 cm) layer of chipped bark or leaf mold in late winter or early spring to conserve water around the roots
  • Move container-grown camellias out from under the eaves of the house in late summer or fall so that they catch the rainfall
  • Do not feed camellias later than the end of July, as excessive or late feeding can lead to bud drop. Some natural bud drop may occur where too many buds have formed, particularly with double-flowered cultivars. This should not be excessive and is nothing to worry about
  • Protect tender cultivars with a double layer of horticultural fleece in winter, as low temperatures can lead to bud drop.

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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 Camellia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Hedges And Screens, Patio And Containers, Beds And Borders, Wall-Side Borders, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden
Compare All Camellia
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Camellia

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