Camellias and How to Grow Them
Camellias are easy to grow and one of the finest flowering garden evergreen shrubs!
At home grown in pots or at the back of a border, Camellias always look great.
The shiny evergreen leaves look freshly polished, resist salt spray and are surprisingly wind tolerant. All are best planted where it doesn’t get terribly cold in winter but are hardy [avoid higher places and the centre of the country].
Also avoid places where the sun falls directly onto the blooms first thing in the morning after night frost; the leaves are hardy but the blooms are not.
Camellias hate soil with lots of lime in it but are very happy where the soil has a neutral pH or lower. Deeper cool soils are best and covering the roots with mulch annually keeps them happy.
In pots be generous with the pot size and always fill with lime free [Ericaceous] potting compost.
Camellia are very shade tolerant and when established will even grow in dry shade.
Camellia respond well to pruning which can be surprisingly hard pruning.
Feed with Ericaceous fertiliser.
There’s more reading on Alan’s blog here.
Camellia japonica varieties
Camellia japonica varieties have a great range of flower colours and shapes.
Single, semi-double, full double and even anemone flowered ones are sold by us in a wide range of colours from white through all the shades to deepest red. There are even pale yellow Camellias
Camellia japonica varieties flower from February to late May. These are particularly suited to growing in pots as Camellia japonica varieties have a more compact growth habit.
Camellia x williamsii varieties and Hybrids
Perhaps the most prolific Camellias; Camellia x williamsii varieties and other hybrids are exceptional bloomers!
Camellia x williamsii Donation is probably the best known and widely planted of all Camellias. Orchid pink sumptuous semi double blooms are produced from December to April and this and most other hybrids produce flower buds readily!
Pink dominates this group that mostly comes from the gardens of Caerhays Castle and other Cornish properties of the Williams family who bred many of them.
Camellia sasanqua varieties
Camellia sasanqua varieties are autumn and winter flowering so they need a sheltered position to avoid the tender blooms being damaged by frost.
The Camellia sasanqua leaves are smaller but the growth habit is compact and bushy.
Many have small single blooms [white, pink, red and mulitcoloured] and are delicately scented. A south west facing wall suits them well!