Incredibly beautiful, Camellia japonica 'Debutante' features medium-sized, 3 in. wide (7 cm), peony-form flowers densely packed with clear pale pink petals. Resembling roses, the fluffy and elegant blooms contrast nicely against the glossy, light green, evergreen foliage. They are produced over several months in early to mid season, in such profusion that this camellia becomes one of the glories of the garden when in full bloom. Out of bloom, this camellia remains particularly handsome and provides the perfect foil for foundation plantings and perennial borders.
- A slow grower, this evergreen shrub enjoys an upright, bushy habit and grows up to 6-8 ft. tall and wide (180-240 cm)
- A part shade lover, this plant is best grown in consistently moist, acidic, organically rich, well-drained soils. Provide a site sheltered from cold, dry winds as buds and flowers may be damaged by cold winds. Protect from early morning sun and from direct hot summer afternoon sun.
- May be attacked by aphids, scale insects and vine weevil
- Mass in mixed shrub borders for dramatic winter blooms. Great flowering shrub for woodland gardens or as screen and hedge. Perfect as a specimen plant and may be effectively grown in tubs or large containers.
- Apply a root mulch (leaves or shredded bark)
- Prune after flowering. Prune to thin branching and to control size and shape.
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 may grow up to 25 feet (7.5 m), but more often to 6-12 feet (180-360 cm) with a spread of 6-10 feet (180-300 cm). Its shapely habit, handsome, glossy foliage and fabulous flowers have attracted gardeners for hundreds of years in Asia. Long-lived, some Japanese camellias, around the emperor's palace in Japan, are known to be more than 500 years old. Unfortunately, Japanese camellias are not always cold-hardy (USDA Hardiness Zone 7 – 9).