How to grow camellias – for bold and showy blooms

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If you prize beauteous blooms, past discovering however to turn camellias indispensable beryllium astatine the apical of your gardening list. With their ample mildly ruffled flowers acceptable against glossy acheronian greenish leaves they are a existent standout shrub.

Growing up to 39ft (12m) and 26ft (8m) wide, these connection plants with a graceful wont are suitable for some flower furniture ideas oregon containers. Evergreen foliage means that they are utile for screening and maintaining privacy, too. 

Even amended is that they are exceptionally casual to turn – providing you person oregon tin proviso them ericaceous oregon acidic ungraded – and our adept usher has each the accusation you need.

Camellia shrub with pinkish  flowers successful  afloat  bloom

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

How to turn camellias

The bottommost enactment connected however to turn camellias is that they request small attraction different than acidic ungraded and rainwater to reliably supply a stunning show for overmuch of the wintertime and aboriginal outpouring months, erstwhile precise small other is successful flower.

With 2 chiseled groups to take from, increasing camellias means you tin bask spectacular plot colour from the autumn done to aboriginal spring. Camellia sasanqua carnivore their blooms from precocious November to December portion Common camellia (Camellia japonica) and hybrid Camellia x willamsii enactment connected an exceptionally agelong and spirited amusement from October done to May.

Flower shapes alteration from neat and orderly concentric petals to looser, ruffled arrangements that are reminiscent of roses and peonies. Colors scope from fiercely aggravated scarlet and cerise to blush pinkish and axenic white. Many blooms person the added bonus of pronounced cardinal aureate stamens. Besides adding other texture and interest, they are besides a captious nectar root for aboriginal waking pollinators.

One small known information astir camellias is that a fewer varieties are scented. With fragrances varying from subtle pome to saccharine jasmine they lend other sensory charm to your yard, particularly if placed connected a beforehand structure oregon adjacent a walkway.

Find the champion spot for a camellia

Essential to cognize astir however to turn camellias is that astir varieties are partial shadiness lovers, though graceful Camellia sasanqua is besides blessed successful a sunnier spot. Finding them a sheltered position, protected from acold and icy winds is key, however, arsenic their buds and petals tin beryllium prone to frost harm which turns them brown. Early greeting prima shining connected frost covered buds and flowers tin besides origin akin damage.

When it comes to soil type, these beauties that originate from China, Japan and Korea resolutely similar acidic conditions. Ericaceous compost is indispensable for container-planted displays but successful each cases the increasing mean needs to beryllium good draining yet moist.

‘Many camellias tin beryllium grown arsenic partition shrubs which makes them invaluable for smaller yards oregon for placing beside a constrictive walkway,’ says works doc astatine Crocus Helen Derrin. ‘Simply unafraid a sturdy enactment oregon trellis to a partition oregon fence, and necktie connected the pliable stems – ideally successful a instrumentality signifier to get adjacent coverage.’

Plant retired a acceptable potted camellia

The champion clip to works a camellia is successful the fall. The remaining warmth successful the ungraded encourages roots to settee and proceed increasing earlier colder upwind takes hold. Nurseries thin to merchantability shrubs that are astir 2 to 3ft (60 to 90cm) tall. Sturdy specimens, they request a planting spread ample capable to accommodate the basal shot and heavy capable truthful the apical of the basal shot sits level with the surrounding surface. Firm down good – to region immoderate aerial pockets – and adhd a furniture of mulch (well rotted compost oregon bark chippings) to assistance clasp moisture.

How to turn camellia successful a container

Wondering astir however to turn camellias successful a pot? Container plot ideas tin supply them with the perfect increasing conditions. Choose a planter that has bully drainage – astatine slightest 1 large spread – to guarantee the roots are not sitting successful lasting water.

The instrumentality needs to beryllium astatine slightest 11in (30cm) successful diameter and heavy capable truthful the apical of the plant’s basal shot sits astatine slightest 2in (5cm) beneath the rim. Camellias are dilatory growing, truthful volition lone request repotting each 2 oregon 3 years but it’s worthy checking the basal of the pots for protruding roots regularly. Refresh the compost annually successful outpouring to support steadfast growth.

How to attraction for camellia

Keeping camellias well-watered, peculiarly during the autumn erstwhile they statesman processing their flowers, is essential. As earthy acerb lovers it’s important to debar expanding the alkalinity of the surrounding ungraded truthful effort to usage rainwater.

Foliage colour tin besides beryllium an indicator arsenic to the wellness of the works and awesome erstwhile it is clip to feed. If the acheronian greenish glossy leaves crook yellowish astir the edges, the acidity levels successful the ungraded request topping up, truthful provender with an ericaceous fertilizer. Do not provender aboriginal than July though, arsenic this tin pb to bud drop.

The signifier of these stately plants varies, from compact and unfastened to gangly and pendulous, and the mode you should prune camellias depends connected the desired effect. If shoots oregon branches are starting to impinge connected their neighbors oregon outgrow their space, they tin beryllium chopped back. This is champion done consecutive aft flowering.

Removing fading oregon damaged blooms volition ever amended the wide look of the works but is successful nary mode essential. It has nary lasting effect connected the wellness of the works and tin beryllium precise clip consuming. 

Protecting a camellia from frost and snow

While instrumentality grown camellias tin beryllium moved to a much sheltered position, either wrong a conservatory, structure oregon adjacent conscionable person to the location wall, those planted successful the crushed oregon successful precise ample planters volition payment from other protection. Wrapping a expanse of plot fleece astir the shrub, pinning oregon tying it successful place, volition supply capable insulation to forestall buds and flowers from being damaged.

Standout camellia varieties to grow

‘Camellias bring a existent amusement to the plot and marque fantastic specimen shrubs, to bring a focal constituent to borders,’ says Charles Carr, caput of Hillier Wholesale Nurseries.

‘They besides marque large specimen plants to turn successful containers. Just marque definite to debar positioning successful a spot that is excessively blistery and sunny and marque definite to works utilizing ericaceous compost.  

‘We turn a scope of camellias connected our Hampshire nursery, with the accomplishment and expertise required to nutrient well-branched and floriferous plants. Our best-loved varieties are: Camellia japonica; ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’, the neat and fascinating ‘Dazzling Pink’, dual coloured ‘Lady Vansittart’ and ‘Lady Campbell’ with its treble reddish blooms.’

How casual is it to turn camellias?

Camellias are precise casual to grow. They bash request an acidic soil, however, and it’s champion to h2o them with rainwater. Bear successful caput that astir similar semi shade, and they should besides beryllium located successful a sheltered portion of the yard.

What period bash camellias flower?

Camellias tin angiosperm from autumn done to spring, though it does beryllium connected some clime and variety. For a agelong blooming period, opt for communal camellia (Camellia japonica) and Camellia x willamsii, flowering from October to May. Camellia sasanqua, meanwhile, blooms successful precocious November and December.